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UPDATED: Pastor Adeboye speaks on 2023 elections, preferred candidate, others

The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Enoch Adeboye, has said he has no preferred candidate for next year’s general election.

“Every political party is heavily represented. If I vote for anyone, I would be unjust to the rest of my children; I am the father of all and I like it that way,” he said. He added that he will support whoever God says.

“…my assignment has nothing to do with partisan politics, do not distract my attention. You will bear me out… I have never told you, this is the fellow you should vote for… I have never said this is the party you should belong to; I have never said it and will never say it,” he said at the April 2022 Thanksgiving Service held on Sunday.

Mr Adeboye also said Nigerians who refuse to vote in an election have no right to complain about the government.

“You were Nigerian before you became a Christian. As a Nigerian, you have a duty to register, to vote and make sure your vote will count. You have a duty to belong to any party of your choice; you can’t refuse to vote and then complain about the government,” the cleric said.

He said he has no care for the political party people belong to or vote for as long as they do their duty – vote in the upcoming 2023 elections.

During his sermon, he said God has yet to speak to him about the 2023 elections unlike in 2019 when God spoke to him a year before the elections.

“As of now, I still do not know whether or not there will be an election next year. Do not say that Pastor Adeboye said there will be no election next year, that is not what I said… Adeboye does not know yet,” he told his congregation.

For this reason, the cleric said, he does not know if there would be elections in 2023. He added that God might still speak to him about the elections.

“How come you don’t know? Because my father has not talked to me about it yet. The last time we had an election, He (God) spoke to me about the election by June of the previous year and this is April. So, it is not late but He hasn’t told me yet,” he added.

“I want you to listen with anointed ears and anointed hearts. Pastor Adeboye is not and will never be a politician. I have never been and will never be; that is not my calling, I am called to be a pastor,” he said.

Mr Adeboye’s statement on his political involvement comes at a time when there are speculations about the intentions of the church’s department on politics and governance.

RCCG in March announced that it has set up a department on politics and governance to help muster support for members with political ambitions.

While some find the church’s active participation in government commendable, many have condemned the action, alleging that it is a front to campaign for Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. Many Nigerians believe Mr Osinbajo seeks to contest the 2023 presidential election although he has yet to declare his interest. Mr Osinbajo is a cleric of the RCCG.

On Sunday, Mr Adeboye noted that he is very concerned about the Kaduna killings, oil theft, Nigeria’s depressing debt profile and other current national challenges.

However, “anybody who comes to me from whatever party to pray for them, I will pray. I have only one prayer for every one of them, “Father, let your perfect will concerning this fellow be done”

Speaking on his concerns about Kaduna, he said, “you cannot go to Kaduna by road, air or train. That brings so many questions to my mind as a man of prayers. Why Kaduna? Who is trying to isolate Kaduna? Why? After Kaduna, which next?” he asked.

He noted that while some Christians are killing themselves over 2023, rapture (a theological position held by some Christians consisting of an end-time event when all Christian believers who are alive, along with resurrected believers, would rise in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air) may come before the end of the year 2022.

“It is in the news and nobody has denied it that as of now more than 80 per cent of the oil we are producing is being stolen… that leads me to several questions,” Mr Adeboye said.

He went on to ask accountability questions on the whereabouts of the stolen oil.

“Who is stealing the oil? Where is the money going? What do they want to do with the money? Who are the foreign nations buying this stolen oil? How many of these nations of the world are your friends?”

According to him, it is an open secret that more than 90 per cent of the money Nigeria gets from crude oil sales is being used to furnish interest accruing on debt.

“We are borrowing more and according to a friend of mine, we are moving steadily towards a state of bankruptcy, a whole nation…”

He asked his congregation to pray to God that Nigeria’s debts be cleared just like in the time of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. If not, generations to come will continue to pay these debts, he said.

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