Like RCCG, why other churches will soon come up with their “political” memos

Pastor Enoch Adeboye

By Ademola Adegbamigbe

The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) grabbed the front pages recently with a letter, asking members not to look askance again at politics. This has generated serious debates. While many said the church wanted to be partisan because of one of its members, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, not a few defended the church that it had no ulterior motive.

In a memo addressed to all regions, provinces, zones and other levels of the church, the mission said the directorate was created for the political education of its members. The memo dated February 28, 2022, and titled, ‘Office of Directorate of Politics and Governance’ with reference number: RCCG/AGO/ADM/AA/MEMO/20/01/2022 was signed by Pastor John Odesola, Assistant General Overseer in charge of Administration and Personnel.

According to the memo: “We write to formally notify you that the mission authority has created the Office of Directorate of Politics and Governance in the RCCG. Further to this, Pastor Timothy Olaniyan (PICP Lagos Province 12) has been appointed to lead the Office.

“You are kindly requested to appoint with immediate effect a Provincial Officer for your province and also ensure that the same is done at all levels of the church – zone, area and parish. The essence of this directorate is to help coordinate the engagement of our people who are willing to be involved in politics as well as mobilize support for them when required.”

Pastor Femi-Emmanuel

However, the man at the centre of the whole drama is not even a member of the RCCG. He is Pastor Femi Emmanuel, lead Pastor of Living Spring Chapel International Churches, and National Director, National Directorate of Politics and Governance, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN). As we published on this platform in February, many Christians in Nigeria wave off Politics as a dirty game, meant for people who could play rough. Unfortunately, when they refuse to vote or be voted for, they suffer from the negative rulership of the “earthen” or “scoundrels” they deride with so much puritanical condescension! However, the Body of Christ has recognised this problem and decided to do something about it. The Church should not play the ostrich. This is why Pastor Emmanuel comes in as a mobilizer.

This made him issue a statement, saying no one should read any negative or ulterior motives to the memo from RCCG. He added: “This is at our request and it is an answered prayer for us in DPG. This is what we have been asking our GOs to do since.  Many more will do so soon as we are in consultation with them.

This appointment of the RCCG is not in support of any Political candidate at all. We asked for it. I trust other fathers and leaders of the faith would soon follow suit.

PFN/DPG is still at the level of building a grassroots base. We are still far from presenting candidates. Anyone talking of presenting candidates at this point does not know politics. Politics is at the grassroots. You can’t present candidates when you are not at the grassroots. You are at the back of the fence politically speaking.

Where would you get candidates (WARD OFFICERS)  to vote for you at the primaries and party conventions? Is it angels that will vote for you?

I appeal to All our GOs especially those with national spread and others to do what RCCG just did for us and connect their appointed officer to join us in these great efforts as RCCG had done.  We are eagerly waiting for others to do the same.

I do long write-ups like this because I seek every opportunity to educate the Christian community. You can’t have candidates or vie for Political office if you are not active at the Ward level to elect Ward officers.

Please, please, join us to build the grassroots. Stop making comments in error. Ask from DPG  first.  Kudos to Redeem. The RCCG deserves our collective commendations.

This historical gesture is of immense encouragement to us so far. We enjoin other leaders to do the same for the sake of our future. Kindly inspire other GOs to do the same.”

When he spoke with the media, including TheNEWS in February, he explained his present assignment as the Director of Politics and Governance of the PFN.

“It’s been great. What we have done so far is sensitizing the church fathers on the need to encourage their church members to be part of the political process. It will amaze you that there are churches that have over 11 million members. And these are members that can easily be encouraged to join the political process, especially from the grassroots. The good thing about the Pentecostals is that they are aggressive and vibrant. They follow their pastors as devotees.

Pentecostals are doctrinal people there is the tendency for them to be able to be influenced by their pastors. They believe in their pastors. Some call them papa. There are churches in this country that have branches everywhere. So for us in the DPG, we believe churches can take advantage of their number to influence the political process to put good people there.

There are only 8,080 wards where decisions of delegates that will select those who will vote for are made. Our position is; why don’t we overwhelm these wards and put good people there so they can elect credible representatives to vie for election.”

When asked about the outcome of his sensitization, he replied:People are beginning to understand that apart from having their PVC they need to know who to vote for and be able to influence the process. And efforts are being made in that direction so that we don’t keep recycling the old politicians. You can see that it is the same old people that have been there before independence and shortly after that are still in the political space.

We need to sensitize the young people so that they don’t need to protest but be part of the political process. The church can form a caucus and have a massive following. The church must not just wait for the election day, it must be part of those who produce those we are to vote for. That is what the Directorate of Politics and Governance is doing so far. That is the message we are spreading to all churches. Until we have credible people to vote for we will just be going in cycles. That is why I have a lot of concerns about 2023.”

*Read the full interview HERE

The RCCG memo