Pastor Enoch Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), yesterday said he would not endorse any presidential candidate because they were all like his “children”.
He said he was not beholden to any political party, saying politics was not his calling.
Adeboye spoke during the special monthly prayer and thanksgiving service at RCCG National Headquarters, Throne of Grace, Ebute-Meta, Lagos.
Responding to critics of the church’s establishment of a directorate of politics and governance, he told the congregation in a sermon broadcasted live to All RCCG parishes across the country, that they should not distract him from his role as a pastor.
Adeboye said: “Let me make it loud and clear. I am a pastor and I would never be a politician. I have never been and will never be.
“I am called to be a pastor. That is what God wants me to be. That is why I don’t carry a big title. He says to me clearly: you are to be a pastor.
“I am a pastor. I am not even a prophet. I only hear from Him once in a while. My assignment is to pray for you and pray for nations, including Nigeria. It has nothing to do with partisan politics. Don’t distract my attention.”
Adeboye said he had never campaigned for anyone or directed his members to vote for any candidate or join a particular political party.
“I have never told you this is the fellow you should vote for either in secret or the open.
“I have never said this is the party you should belong to. I will never say it. Why? Because every party is heavily represented in the church.
“If I vote for anyone, I will be unjust to every one of my children. I am the father of all and I like it that way,” he said.
Adeboye urged members to exercise their civic duties.
“All I am saying and I am saying it loud and clear: nobody is born a Christian. You are a Nigerian first. You have a duty to your country to register to vote and to make sure your vote will count.
“You have a duty to belong to any party of your choice at the grassroots. You can’t fold your arms and refuse to vote and begin to complain.
“You must register, you must vote. You must sit down there after you have voted and make sure they count the votes and you take note of who they said won.
“You must make sure that there is no more rigging in Nigeria. I don’t care who you vote for. Do your duty. And you must do it.
“My assignment is to pray. I will pray for this nation. I asked for 1000 volunteers. I got more than 26,000 and we prayed. God heard. And the answer will come,” he said.
Adeboye said he was yet to hear from God on whether the 2023 election will hold.
“As of now, as I am standing before you, I still don’t know yet whether or not there will be an election next year.
“My father has not talked to me about an election. He might have told you. But I am yet to hear him.
“Don’t say that Pastor Adeboye said there would be no election next year; that’s not what I said. Adeboye does not know yet. Put the word ‘yet’,” he said.
The cleric expressed concern about insecurity in the Northwest, especially in Kaduna.
“I have a lot of things occupying my mind. Kaduna is on my mind. You can’t travel to Kaduna by air, by train or by road. The question is: Why Kaduna. Who is trying to isolate Kaduna?
“After Kaduna, which is next? Some of you are killing yourselves about 2023. You don’t even know if the rapture will come before the end of this year. Kaduna is a prayer point,” he said.
Adeboye claimed that over 80 per cent of Nigeria’s oil is stolen.
He said: “It is in the news that the oil we are producing is being stolen. And nobody has denied it.
“That leads me to several questions. Who is stealing the oil? Where is the money going to?
“Eighty per cent of our money is going into the hands of some people. Who are the foreigners buying this stolen oil? How many of these foreign nations are your friends?
“It is an open secret and not denied that more than 90 per cent of our income from the leftover of the oil stolen is being used to pay interest on the money we borrow. We are borrowing more, meaning we are moving steadily to bankruptcy.
“My beloved Nigerians, we are moving to bankruptcy. You can see the reason why I am more concerned about what is happening now than what will happen a year from now.
“We must pray for Kaduna. Pray for all the states. Pray that God will expose those who are stealing our oil and that God will have mercy on our nation.”
Recalling that Nigeria became debt-free during the Olusegun Obasanjo Administration, Adeboye added: “God can still do it. If God does not intervene, our great-grandchildren will still be paying debts.”