The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), has clarified its position on the newly created Directorate of Politics and Governance, saying the department is strictly for voter education and not to push or support any particular candidate as being insinuated.
The creation of the department last week by the church had generated a lot of heat and criticism with many believing it was created for the sole purpose of galvanizing support for Vice President Yemi Osinbajo who is being rumoured to be nursing the ambition of running for President in 2023.
While the condemnation went round, other aspirants for the presidency came out to also lampoon the church for allegedly favouring one candidate over others.
However, in a statement on Saturday issued on behalf of the church by the Assistant General Overseer (Admin and Personnel), Pastor J. F. Odesola, the RCCG debunked speculations that the department was created to prepare a soft ground for Osinbajo as the “essence of the directorate is to help coordinate the engagement of our people who are willing to be involved in politics as well as mobilise support for them when required.”
The statement reads in full:
“The attention of the Assistant General Overseer (Admin & Personnel) regarding the internal instrument to Directorate of Politics and Governance in the Redeemed Redeemed Christian Church of God that someone, in sincere ignorance, has dropped into the media which has been drawn to reactions in the public to the function of the Directorate.
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“It is important to highlight that the operative words are: ‘…help coordinate the engagement of our people who are willing to be involved in politics as well as mobilise support for them’.
“We wish to state that:
1. Nowhere in the statement is it mentioned nor insinuated that a particular political aspirant is being referred to. As would be expected, the Church has members that belong to several political parties, but would not itself get into partisan issues.
2. As a big and dynamic church, RCCG considers herself one of the nation’s stakeholders and the work of the directorate is in direct response to the advisory of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to support our members on effective and efficient voter education and the discharge of their related civic rights and obligations.
3. As a big and dynamic church, RCCG considers it necessary to respond to the growing interest of its members in politics and governance by ensuring that their standing as law abiding citizens in all spheres of life is neither compromised nor fall below the standard expected of followers of Christ.
4. RCCG, by this, is not doing anything new or different from some other denominations such as the Catholic Church or other religious bodies who bring its members up to date with policies, laws and regulations regarding their polity and its governance.
5.Therefore, the RCCG does not promote the interest of one particular political party as its members are to be found in all the political parties holding high ranking and responsible offices and have in the past gone through necessary tutelage on how to conduct themselves in public office.
6. RCCG will continue to offer spiritual and moral support to its members through prayers, encouragement, exhortation, counselling and moral instructions as would be expected from an organisation which, on record, is fully conscious of its Christian Social Responsibility.”