By Emmanuel Aziken
How the Man of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye became entangled in the ever unfolding political theatrics in Ekiti State would amuse even those that had become accustomed to the subterfuge that is ever on offer in that state.
Pastor Adeboye’s Master, Jesus The Christ, was Himself not unfamiliar with such theatrics that are served by political leaders who seek to use the platform of religion to consolidate political power.
John the Baptist, Simon Peter, Paul of Tarsus and some other early Christian leaders were also in similar awkward circumstances in which political leaders sought to promote their political profiles using the platform of religion.
Adeboye was in Ekiti State on Christmas Eve during which time he visited the palace of the Ewi of Ado-Ekiti. Governor Ayodele Fayose not surprisingly joined the Ewi to receive the Man of God.
In a clearly unmistakable tone, the pastor had given his endorsement of certain administrative initiatives of the governor.
“We thank God for your life sir. We thank God for your courage, for your boldness, we thank God for your being willing to take risks so that your people can be protected. You have been a governor who knows when to say enough is enough in defense of his people. And I’m sure you know what I’m talking about and I am sure the world knows. I don’t want to say more than that, but be assured that we are praying for you and you will succeed in Jesus Name.”
Even though not a politician, a scrutiny of Pastor Adeboye’s words would show that his words were carefully measured.
First, Adeboye who is more than 20 years older than the governor addressed him as sir, indicative of the fact that he addressed him in his official capacity. He lauded the governor’s willingness to draw the line on issues that seemingly denigrate the dignity of the rights of his citizens. Since the GO didn’t spell it out, one can only guess references to actions like the enactment of the law prohibiting open grazing in the state.
However, in a setting where political conspiracies unfold by the hour, it was not long before the endorsements turned into a political maelstrom.
Within 24 hours of the visit, a statement was circulated in cyberspace in which the chairman of the APC in the state, Mr. Jide Awe was quoted to have denounced Pastor Adeboye.
If true that it came from Awe, it would be the first time in almost two years that Awe would issue a press statement. Awe, however, came out to disown the statement as he claimed that the statement in which he, Awe was quoted as abusing Adeboye was fabricated and issued by Governor Fayose’s aides.
According to Awe, the Fayose led-PDP wanted to paint the APC in a bad light by giving the impression that the APC was insulting the highly revered Adeboye.
The developments in Ekiti underscore the desperation of the political class to go to whatever extent to score political points. It is an extreme that should not be tolerated given the cushion that the true worship of God plays in our lives.
However, other men of God have not been as discreet as Adeboye in engaging the political class.
No state perhaps exemplifies the saturation of the political pastors in the polity as Akwa Ibom State. There, one cleric, Pastor Bassey James went to the extent of formulating a new line of study when he espoused the gospel of Akpabioism as a study in the life of former Governor Godswill Akapbio.
Whatever the men of God in Akwa Ibom saw in the former governor was never divulged; but the extent to which they took the support for the former governor was quite unfathomable given the extent they went in promoting the former governor!