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RCCG’s Dangerous Foray into Politics for Osinbajo

By Farooq Kperogi Twitter: @farooqkperogi The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Nigeria’s most popular Pentecostal church where Yemi ...

By Farooq Kperogi

Twitter: @farooqkperogi

The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Nigeria’s most popular Pentecostal church where Yemi Osinbajo was (is?) a pastor, issued a Feb. 28, 2022, memo, which came to light today, that hints at a massive, ground-up political operation to help its members win political offices in Nigeria.

The memo talked of the establishment of an “Office of Directorate of Politics and Governance,” which it said should be replicated “at all levels of the church – zone, area and parish” in order 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.”

Peoples Gazette correctly interpreted the memo as an “arrangement to mobilise sweeping support for [Osinbajo’s] ambition” to be president.

This isn’t really surprising, frankly, because Pentecostal Christians see Osinbajo as their representative in government and think he is the fulfilment of Pastor Enoch Adeboye’s oft-quoted prediction that one of them would become Nigeria’s president during his lifetime.

(Osinbajo’s rise to the vice presidency, for the record, was a consequence of Buhari’s personal desire to blunt notions of his Islamic fanaticism by having a pastor as a running mate. It was the same reason that caused him to prefer Pastor Tunde Bakare, a Muslim convert, as his running mate).

Osinbajo himself defines his role in government in the narrow terms that his co-pentecostalists see it: as the materialization of a Pentecostal Christian theocratic dream. That’s why his inner political circle is almost entirely made up of Yoruba RCCG members. 

When his multi-billion-naira corruption in the management of the Buhari regime’s social investment program was probed by members of the Aso Rock cabal (which caused it to be taken away from him and transformed into a separate ministry), it was discovered that the vast majority of people who benefited from the contracts he awarded were Yoruba members of the RCCG.

Osinbajo is so smugly ensconced in his RCCG filter bubble that he doesn’t even care to seek out the cultural counsel of his Federal Government-imposed Muslim aides when he travels to the Muslim North. 

That is why he routinely steps into mosques-- and once into the bedroom of the late Yar'adua's mother-- with his shoes on, even though the Queen of England whose people brought to Nigeria the Christianity he practices takes off her shoes when she visits mosques. 

There’s no Christian in government in Nigeria’s history who has ever been as narrowminded, as culturally clueless, and as insular as Osinbajo, which was why, as I said in my last Saturday column, a senior Yoruba Christian professor told me recently that Osinbajo would “create greater instability as president” than Buhari has because “The Sharia folks will confront [Osinbajo’s] Christian fundamentalism with more violence,” which would precipitate disabling communal upheavals.

What the RCCG is doing with its wholesale immersion into partisan politics isn’t unique, of course. Muslims, particularly Salafists, pioneered it. 

The late Sheikh Abubakar Gumi started it in, I think, the 1980s when he urged his followers to be politically partisan, and even shocked the Nigerian Muslim community when he said politics was more important than worship.

Just like the Pentecostals, the Salafists want to take over the power structure and impose, by stealth or by force, their version of theocracy on the rest of Nigeria.  

Salafists’ highest representative in government today is Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami. He taught for 2 years at the Islamic University of Madinah, the ideological breeding ground for Salafist ideology, and is being prepped for a greater role.

Anyone who wants to hasten Nigeria’s conflagration should elect Osinbajo as President and Pantami as Vice President. Osinbajo would be the matchbox and Pantami the matchstick. 

The push and pull between Pentecostal and Salafist theocratic craziness would provide the friction necessary for the matchstick and the matchbox to collide. 

With RCCG's openly political partisanship, expect the same from the Salafists. Let's see where that leads.


  1. Nice piece indeed,I really enjoyed reading it and inspired as well.
    Weldone sir more grace!

  2. Prof, in my view, the Islamic University of Madinah has exerted the greatest influence on Northern Nigerian society in the past 30 years and it will continue to do so. By pumping freshly-minted internet-savvy salafi clerics back to Nigeria every year, it is on the way to significantly transforming the religious and political landscape of Northern Nigeria. Salafi-controlled mosques and Islamiyyahs are now clearly more numerous than Sufi-controlled ones. Salafism will soon become the default Islamic ideology in the North. The transformation is extending to private secondary schools many of which are controlled by these ex-Madinah clerics. It's not hard to see that this trend will soon culminate in political influence. They have already helped to put Buhari in power. The average far northern youth is today so beholden to these clerics that its difficult to reason with them on any matter that is contrary to the views of the clerics. One of the Kano salafi clerics Aminu Daurawa recently said very unflattering things about the female private parts but the only female in Kano who had the courage to challenge him was inundated with death threats that she had to issue a message of apology. The salafic clerics can raise an instant violent mob anywhere in the north if they so desire. It is no exaggeration to say that the Islamic University of Madinah holds the destiny of northern Nigeria in its hands.

  3. Well, Sir, whom are you suggesting to be moderate and capable of sailing the sinking ship, Nigeria?
    Thank you so much for your enlightenment.


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