The general overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye has clarified a memo it issued directing the creation of a “political department in the church.
RCCG said the objective was to help coordinate the engagement of it’s people who are willing to be involved in politics as well as mobilise support for them.”
The memo, which leaked online, came as political parties and politicians gear up for electioneering campaigns ahead of the 2023 general election.
Vice-president Yemi Osinbajo, a pastor of the RCCG, is rumoured to nurse a presidential ambition, even though he is yet to officially declare his intention.
Comments on social media insinuate that the directive from RCCG, a leading Pentecostal church in Nigeria, with about 32,000 parishes, is geared towards rallying support for the vice president
But Pastor Adeboye through the Church’s Spokesperson, Pastor Olaitan Olubiyi debunked it.
According to him, the politics directorate of the church was created to sensitise members of the church for active political participation including getting their Permanent Voter Cards ahead of the 2023 general elections.
He stated that the directive existed long ago and is targeting at getting people involved in politics.
“There is nothing connecting Osinbajo with the directorate; RCCG has been mobilising, creating political awareness long since transition from military to civil rule. RCCG has made it a policy to educate its members on political education – get voter cards, no violence.
“The directorate has nothing to do with Osinbajo or anybody. I don’t know why people are linking something the church has been doing, which every organisation should be doing, to him”, he said.
He said Christians cannot afford to act ignorantly by staying off politics because the choice of political leadership affects the entire wellbeing of any people.
He further advised other churches in Nigeria and elsewhere to emulate the activities of the church by sensitising their members to be politically involved.
The memo dated February 28, 2022, and titled, ‘Office of Directorate of Politics and Governance’ has the reference number: RCCG/AGO/ADM/AA/MEMO/20/01/2022.
It was signed by the Assistant General Overseer in charge of Administration and Personnel, Pastor John Odesola.
The memo partly read:
“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.”