Presidential Candidate, of the Social Democratic Party, (SDP), Prince Adewole Adebayo has indicated that the interphase between the state and the church needs to be respected with better understanding.
To this end he said the party captured the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN)’s Strategic Policy Document in the SDP Manifesto.
Prince Adebayo who spoke during an interactive session with the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), in Abuja, ahead of the 2023 General Elections also indicated that political leaders are products of the churches and mosques.
According to him, if political office holders were not doing well, the churches and mosques should look inward and try to bring more of the fear of God into their members.
He, however, said that if elected, his administration will get Nigerians to be more patriotic and allow everyone to worship God peacefully.
He gave the assurance that his party will be truthful to Nigerians, while ensuring freedom of worship and a promise to instill patriotism in Nigerians, entrenching justice for all.
He noted that the CAN’s Strategic Policy Document was apt as it is important that the church is now coming at this juncture, to try to intervene at a time when their children were already acting out their belief system as he insisted that he will implement it if he emerged President, however, he expressed gladneas at the similitude of the CAN’s document and his party manifesto.
“So, we believe in moving the country forward. The problems still fall back to the leadership of the country.
“The quality of human beings that have been leading the country is just like what happened to the children of Israel who said they can now have their leader and God gave them Soul.
“So, to solve our problem, the leaders must be truthful and just. In this country, truth is an offense. If a leader is truthful, nobody will remember his religion or party.
“So it is important that the church is now coming at this juncture, to try to intervene at a time when their children were already acting out their belief system. What I see in the presentation by CAN is the one, the church is thinking and I know that church is praying that one I have no doubt. And the thinking of the church is not just individualised it is now collectivised and the church is not just having a collective thought process, the church is communicating and doing so early before we go in there and start to follow what is not right.
“The church is to participate in politics. But don’t do it the way the politicians do it. Teach us the good way to do politics,” Adebayo said, adding that he will address poverty.
“I know that people are hungry, so they go to church. When they are seeking solutions to their problems, they go to the Church. So the religious organizations must be empowered to take care of the people. We will unite this country and do justice to everyone.”
On his part, the National President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Archbishop Daniel Okoh, said the idea was to review the Nigerian development because the association wants the progress of the country but will not endorse any candidate.
Okoh said the country was submerged by chaos ranging from insecurity adding that the CAN document to the presidential candidates is to help them review the crisis and address it.
“Yes, Christians must get involved in politics because it is biblical. Christians should not leave politics in the hands of people that are not supposed to be there. And leaders must consider righteousness in all they do.
“Part of what we are doing today is to ensure that righteousness is entrenched in the polity. CAN remains non-partisan,” Okoh said, “we will not endorse any candidate.”
“That is why we invited 18 of you to come so that as we are looking at you, we will know whether you are telling us the truth because we have the spirit of God in us.
“Nigerians have heard you, their decision will come up on the day of election. CAN have taken a number of stands on political issues in the country. It took us a long time to arrive at these decisions. Whatever you see or hear, it is important you verify.
“We have not changed our earlier position. At the same time, the Church is not in any enmity with any political party. The church is founded in love. But our position and understanding of the entire process will help us, ” he said.