The Redeemed Christian Church of God has dissociated itself from rumours making the rounds that its General Overseer, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, gave his blessings to the vice-presidential ambition of a former Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.
The All Progressives Congress had on Wednesday named Osinbajo, who is said to be Adeboye’s close ally, as the running mate of its presidential candidate, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
The RCCG denied celebrating the emergence of the law professor who pastors its Olive Parish located on Banana Island, Lagos.
Writing on its official Twitter page on Wednesday, the church said it does not dabble into politics in any shade or colouration.
“We are a mission and we do not meddle in politics,” the RCCG stated while urging Nigerians to be wary of fictitious and misleading social media accounts dragging its name into the murky waters of politics.
Meanwhile, reactions have begun to trail the emergence of Osinbajo as Buhari’s running mate for the 2015 presidential election.
While many applauded the opposition party for coming up with Osinbajo, a cross section of Nigerians disagreed with his emergence.
Leading the pack of Nigerians who kicked against the emergence of the former Lagos State justice commissioner on Wednesday was R &B Singer and founder of Empire Mates Entertainment, Banky W.
According to the award-winning musician, there were better experienced hands than Osinbajo in public administration that the APC could have picked from.
He lamented that the “crap” called religion had robbed the opposition party of fielding Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, who he described as more eminently qualified than Osinbajo.
“It (Buhari’s running mate) should be Fashola. They use religion as a tool to control us. I don’t care about my leader’s tribe, religion, or whatever jargon they keep feeding us. Zoning ‘religioning’ are all crap. Who cares if Fashola is a Muslim? Didn’t we vote him into power in Lagos? Did the fact that he’s a muslim affect the way he lead the state?
“They brainwash us into thinking these things (religion, tribe) really matter and then we wonder why we’re still here facing the same problems as a nation. We wonder why people still kill each other in places like Jos.
“Some of my mentors, clients, business partners and colleagues are from different tribes and religions than mine. What difference does it make? I don’t choose who to do business with based on if they’re from my village. I don’t choose who to associate with based on their religion,” Banky W said on Twitter.
But supporters of Osinbajo have disagreed with those questioning his emergence. Online commentator, Dipo Awojide, expressed confidence that the APC presidential candidate being an academic, would bring dynamism to governance, at the national level.
Awojide described the law professor as an upright Nigerian and a role model who has mentored scores of young men and women on ways of “building careers without stealing.”
Describing him as a man of deep intellectual persuasion, Awojide tweeted, “As a Nigerian and as a member of the RCCG, I’m proud of Prof. Osinbajo. No apologies.
“Call him Prof. Osinbajo, call him Pastor Osinbajo, call him all you like, but you know you can’t call him a thief and a looter.
“Being neutral in an era of misgovernance and misrule is unwise. You don’t have to join a political party, just vote for the best man.”
Online activist, Gbenga Sesan, also hailed Osinbajo’s emergence, stating that the Buhari-Osinbajo ticket would form a government that would “demonstrate the capacity for competitive action over mediocrity.”
According to Sesan, unknown to many, the Senior Advocate of Nigeria is much more than a pastor.
“He (Osinbajo) is a Professor of Law, reformer with a track record in Lagos and Abuja, and a fine administrator. I’ll say APC made a smart move and got a great man,” he tweeted.
Arguing that Osinbajo was a good choice, Abuja-based public affairs analyst, Waziri Adio, explained that the university teacher would add value to the Buhari presidential ticket.
He said that Osinbajo co-founded Integrity, a premier pro-accountability non-governmental organisation before he became Lagos Attorney-General. He has since been active in civil society after office.
“I think he’s a good choice. He’s calm, articulate, cerebral, and reform-minded. He complements GMB both on his strengths and weaknesses.
“True, Osinbajo is a pastor at Redeemed Church, but I do not think he was chosen only to appeal to that church. But his value on d ticket is because the South West will be the battleground in 2015,” he wrote on Twitter.
But the Presidency has insisted that President Goodluck Jonathan will coast home to victory in 2015. Special Assistant to the President on New Media, Reno Omokri, insisted that despite the opposition party’s alleged grandstanding it had yet to unveil its programmes.