Prelate Makinde To OBJ: Identify Corrupt Pastors
In a swift reaction, a former Prelate of the Methodist Church Nigeria, Bishop Sunday Ola Makinde, on Saturday, challenged former President Olusegun Obasanjo (OBJ) to mention the corrupt Christian leaders in Nigeria.
While absolving leaders of orthodox churches of corrupt practices or condoning corrupt members, Makinde stated that politicians often patronise other churches whose heads, he described as “vision seers.”
“I will not say yes or no to what he (Obasanjo) said that religious leaders are to be blamed — or share part of the blame — for corruption in Nigeria. I don’t think when these corrupt politicians give gifts to church leaders, they will ever tell us the source of their money; either they took it from the security vote or from a contract scam or from any other means. They will not!
“Again, religious leaders are in categories. We in the Catholic and orthodox churches don’t prophesy that someone will win an election; that we have seen the vision. They will not even come near us. We are not prophets; we don’t prophesy. They prefer to go to those who will prophesy that they will win, even when they will not win.
“The Church has always been the conscience of the nation. Those who fought vehemently against June 12 1993 Presidential election annulled by Gen. Ibrahim Babangida were religious leaders who stood upright more than any other. Let them (politicians) now come out and name the religious leaders who took money from them and we will rebuke them (religious leaders) and praise them when we have to.”
When asked if it was a challenge to Obasanjo to name names, the retired Prelate replied, “I know Obasanjo; he would have named them. I worked with him for eight years in Abuja. He would mention names. I trust him for that.”
He added, “They are passing the buck and shifting blame when they don’t know where to shift the blame again. How many of us in the Catholic and orthodox churches are living beyond our means? Even if they are buying jets, I don’t think it is from politicians.”
Makinde also cautioned the ex-president against making general statements on Christianity and corruption.
“None of us in the Methodist Church has been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. None! We have to make statements that are discriminative and not collective or general.”