Deputy President of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Archbishop JohnPraise Daniel has urged Nigerians and the political class to rally round President Bola Tinubu in the task of making Nigeria better.
He also urged the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi, and that of the People’s Democratic Party, Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar to support the president.
He made the submission recently during a parley with reporters.
John Praise who is also the Presiding Archbishop of Dominion Chapel International Churches and Chairman of the Northern Coalition of Bishops and Apostles however insisted that his opinion does not represent the views of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria.
He expressed hope that the Supreme Court will not overturn the result of the Presidential Election. Rather than continue in litigation, the PFN leader opined that the opposition should support Tinubu.
“I believe we should all join hands together to move this nation forward. The end of a four-year tenure is around the corner and other elections will be held and we can try again. Abraham Lincoln tried 18 times before he became the president of the United States of America. I believe that those who did not win this time can try again. President Tinubu won this election.” he stated.
While insisting there are no proofs that the election was rigged, he said, “We must not be sentimental. For instance, how could Atiku win with all the troubles in PDP, the G5, the Wike factor, and Kwankwaso in Kano? Practically PDP was divided and there is no way there could have been a cohesive voice. Also, the Obi factor; Obi who used to be the stronghold of PDP in the South East divided the votes of PDP.”
He noted that President Tinubu’s ambition to be the president dates back to about 24 years ago. “The people with him now are either those he had worked with in Lagos or those he has influenced politically. Obi worked for eight years in Anambra, I do not know one person you can point to that he raised politically. Let us be realistic. He may win in the future but not now. With all the analyses going on I do not see how Atiku or Obi could have won the election. This is my candid opinion which is personal and not that of PFN.”
John Praise however said he could speak on behalf of the Northern Coalition of Bishops and Apostles who interfaced with Tinubu in a conference at Wuse Zone 5, Abuja just before the elections.
He said he knew Tinubu was the person God had laid his fingers on to change the course of Nigeria after the meeting he had with him and four other bishops in his office before the election.
“I still believe he is going to do that. Most of the things we discussed are practical things he is implementing. Insecurity is being curtailed and we are going to have sanity and peace. We still have some pockets of insecurity here and there but I believe it will soon be a thing of the past. I think, to a great extent, God is going to use him for such a time as this in the country. Let us give him time.”
He agreed there is a lot of hunger and suffering adding however that Nigeria is moving in the right direction now.
Commenting on President Tinubu’s speech at the United Nations, John Praise said, “ he made lots of Nigerians very proud and made us know that we have a president that can speak the mind of the people and rule the people.”
He believes the steps taken by President Tinubu will yield good fruits in the future. “We know the current suffering in the land is momentary and I believe things will pick up economically. I believe that even the fuel price will go down. I want to say he is taking steps in the right direction to right the wrongs that have kept the country backward for a number of years.”
Recalling the pre-election period, the cleric said, “I was never an ‘Obident’ person, I knew the attacks I got when Tinubu came to have a meeting with me and when he addressed the Bishops. We were tagged fake Bishops and there was no name we were not called. I am not speaking as a leader in PFN. I am speaking as an individual, and I am a leader in my own right. I am the Presiding Archbishop of Dominion Chapel International Churches with branches across the world. I am the Chairman of the Northern Pentecostal Bishops Forum or we call it the Northern Coalition of Bishops and Apostles. So I can speak on those grounds. I am so convinced that the hand of God is upon President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to change the course of events.”
He said Tinubu has changed the narrative on the appointment of service chiefs. “A Yoruba man is Chief of Army Staff, an Igbo man is Chief of Navy Staff, a Muslim Hausa is Chief of Air Staff and a Christian from Southern Kaduna is Chief of Defence Staff. We should give kudos to whom kudos are due.”
Muslims can’t complain
John Praise said Muslims have no reason to complain about the appointments made so far. “To my Muslim brothers, I say I think we should be grateful that God has given us a man as intelligent as Bola Ahmed Tinubu to do things the way he feels will bring sanity to this country. Out of all the ministers, I do not know how many are from the North but I think only two or three are Christians. Have we complained? Some ask why it should be so but that is his decision. Let us believe in our leadership more so the Bible says we should not speak evil of dignitaries. Leaders are given to us by God. There is no leader that can ascend any throne except God Has permitted it – Romans 13 verse 1.
“In the hierarchy of governance in this country, the president, the vice, speakers, and chief justice of the Federation are all Muslims, except the Senate President who is a Christian and from the South. We should stop all these complaints and look at who can deliver and bring us out of the woods.”
Despite his support for Tinubu the PFN leader says he had never been a politician “I have supported every leadership. When Obasanjo was there I was always at the Villa for prayers. I was also there at Christmas carols. When Yar’adua came I was the one that prayed during his inauguration. When Jonathan was in power I was there not that I am a member of PDP. I supported him whereas people called me all sorts of names. When Buhari and his Vice came, I gave all my support. People said I was an APC member, I said ‘no’, that I was only a believer supporting those in governance. Anyone God puts there I give all my support. The people I lead in my networks go in the direction I go. We should be patient and see what God will do with the president He Has given us in this nation.
Leadership in Pentecostal Churches
He denied insinuations that Pentecostal leaders run a one-man show in their assemblies. “We are Holy Spirit-filled people and we are led by the Spirit of God. Pastor Adeboye is not the founder of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) but the founder (Pa Akindayomi) appointed him through the leading of the Holy Spirit and look at what he has done. See how far he has led RCCG. Yes, I know that there are some churches where the founder died and the wife or children took over. Those are exceptional cases and even if that happens and the Holy Spirit permits it who can question the Holy Spirit? If it happens that way it is not dictatorship. We are sensitive to what God is saying and we are sensitive to the Holy Spirit.”
He however advised his colleagues to have a succession plan especially when they start getting old. Some people die unexpectedly and there arises a need for a successor. “The most recent was that of Pastor Taiwo Odukoya. The Board of Trustees of the Ministry sat and elected the son to take over. It is not a family thing as people say but if a family member qualifies to take over, who questions it? The Bible says, ‘Who are you to judge another man’s servant? Before his master, he stands or falls. Yea, he shall be held up: for God is able to make him stand,’ Romans 14 verse 4. By the way, some Churches already have a succession plan and I recommend that every Pentecostal church or family goes back to the drawing board and has a succession plan.”
Church of God Mission
He cited the example of the Church of God Mission when Archbishop Benson Idahosa died unexpectedly at 59. “His wife was not even into the ministry per se (she was into business). But the leadership came in, consecrated her a Bishop, and appointed her to take over the ministry. I do not know whether you have been to any of the Balm of Gilead conferences. You need to see the massive crowd.
“That woman has taken the ministry to another level because she stabilised the ministry when her husband died and took it to a higher level. If God says ‘yes’ who can say ‘no’? I do not want people judging, saying it is like a family thing. No, it is a spiritual thing and since it is a spiritual thing let God be God and let every man be a liar. Where the Spirit of God is, here is liberty and those that are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.”