Josef Onoh, chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s spokesman in the south east, has accused Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan of the Catholic Diocese of Abuja, of forcing God to join one of the political parties in Nigeria.
His reaction stems from Onaiyekan’s interview where he made political statements positioning himself to have resentment against the incoming national administration of the president-elect, Tinubu, as reported by Information Nigeria.
Onoh however said he most respectfully asks the Emeritus Archbishop to seek God’s divination before dragging the Almighty into Nigeria’s mainstream politics or excuses God out of Nigeria politics.
He referred Onaiyekan to Patrice Lumumba’s address to the church, where the Congolese politician and African Independence leader told church delegates that religion has been abused by most custodians of the church and misused in many dimensions.
Responding to the Cardinal, Onoh said: “Onaiyekan is forcing God to join a political party on earth. His outburst is an attempt to force God to join a political party on earth. But priests should continuously remain priests. It’s disappointing that someone such as a Cardinal like Onaiyekan has failed to separate politics from the church and so he is trying to interfere in the affairs of political parties, while hiding personal interest.
“The people we looked up to for the teachings of the Lord have become buccaneer priests and have balkanized the church, hiding their preferences in religious opinions. I expected him to advise Nigerians who have faith in God to always do the right thing irrespective of circumstances or religious inclinations.
“I expected him to encourage Nigerians to support a candidate with compassion, fear of God, either in Allah or Christ, because God is universal. But his outburst was born out of emotions, sentiments, rather than general collective interest and that is an attempt to force God to join a political party on earth. His outburst goes against the doctrine of the church.
“Cardinal John Onaiyekan, should not forget he’s the Emeritus Archbishop of the Catholic Diocese of Abuja while Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is the National leader of our ruling party the APC. Asiwaju is one of the best tactical politician in the current political sphere of Nigeria and amongst the best in Africa. He’s our president-elect, hence may I remind Cardinal John Onaiyekan, that jesus said, “Give unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s, give unto God that which is God’s (Mark 12:17).
“Jesus refused to become involved in politics but the Bible stressed obeying the authorities. As God made it clear throughout scripture, he puts whomever he wants in charge (Romans 13:1 & 2). God knew your capabilities when you chose to be a priest and neither did our president-elect, our party, the APC, nor Nigerians take a negative position against your emergence as the Archbishop Emeritus of Abuja, rather we respected and revered the position God has bestowed upon you and your mandate was more of a spiritual guidance and service to humanity.
“Jesus when questioned by Herod and Pilate refused to give an answer to defend himself. Jesus didn’t involve himself in politics but insisted that taxes and respect be paid to those governing. He also made it clear that when man’s laws were at odds with God’s, then God’s law trumps and must be followed by Christians (John 19:8-11).
“May I point out that your current utterance against our president-elect goes against the teaching of Jesus, hence even if you are unhappy that your preferred candidate lost to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, our and your president-elect, going by the teachings of Jesus your clearly in no position to be the judge and jury of the pending opposition legal adventure in the court.
“One would have expected you to respect God and believe his power over man’s laws rather than casting your faith in man’s laws above God’s power based on your latest Comments.
“Jesus is considered the Christian Exemplar and in all matters Christians follow Jesus, his words, actions, etc. As a respected man of God you should be and lead a life both in action and comments that are exemplar and inspiring to be emulated. Leave politics to politicians, for the thorny road of politician doesn’t differentiate between political foes, oppositions, vile and venemous verbal attacks cast in the brutal fields of politics that even men of God are seen no different from the rest, hence I urge you to focus more on the word of God that the polling unit.
“Jesus managed to understand it all and keep it straight, staying on the path, knowing that there is something more – he saw the heavens open at baptism.
“Christians imitate his behavior to the best of their ability, and rely on his sacrifice for errors. Paul said to keep your eyes on the prize, focusing on the things to come while obeying Jesus Christ in the here and now (Colossians 2:17, 18).
“I urge Cardinal John Onaiyekan to keep away from making inciting political statements. Like jesus, learn to keep it straight and desist from attempting to use the name of God to promote a selfish political position knowing how gullible Nigerians can be deceived by Religion.
“It’s a promise to Christians that this world is not the end all. It’s made very clear in the book of Revelation where this system of things is headed. God will control things so Christians should not feel compelled or stressed out to fix things politically. In other words, He has it covered (Revelation 21:1, 2).
“Once again like the words above, Jesus must have had your current outburst in mind when he made this statement so I urge Cardinal Onaiyekan to desist from sining against God and going against his words hence he should stay away from making unwarranted and political statements with intention to incite Nigerians against our president-elect in the pursuit of his personal agenda to avoid the wrath of God.
“Finally, may I remind Cardinal John Onaiyekan that some things are a matter of Christian conscience with study and prayer. Christians love God wholeheartedly, and love their neighbor as themselves. Beyond that the Bible seems to indicate we’re just trying to do God’s work which isn’t practical. For only God can give power hence today despite all odds, all the treacherous terrains, and ridding through the eye of the storm.
“Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu our dear president-elect emerged victorious, God has chosen him to lead Nigeria and you Cardinal John Onaiyekan to serve him and spread his word and yes Daddy I believe together we shall all come together to renew hope and if you doubt all I’ve said and referenced in the bible, you’re free to go and verify.”