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Why Religious Leaders Must Stop Endorsing Parties, Candidates During Elections – Cleric

Says transactional leaders ruling Nigeria The Founder and Lead Pastor of The Transforming Church, Rev. Sam Oye, has called on religious leaders in the country to stop displaying public support for political parties or candidates vying for elective positions. He warned that clergymen involved in partisan politics risk losing their status and public respect if the candidate or party they supported fails to perform while in office. The cleric stated this on Thursday at a media briefing ahead of the church’s celebration of 1000 days of the Prophetic Prayer Hour (PPH), programme slated for June 19. The PPH programme usually conducted online is designed to rekindle the passion for prayer in the hearts of believers, by providing a platform for Christians across the world to pray for all that matters. He stated: “Religious leaders should not unnecessarily involve themselves in the political life of the people, knowing that an average religious leader has in his assembly, people of diverse political expressions. It is therefore critical that religious leaders should not show the overwhelming weight or ecclesiastical weight behind a particular political group. This is because that would alienate and disenfranchise others who have certain expressions or affiliations to other political parties in the same assembly. “So we say to religious leaders, have your own political party, but don’t use your platform, which is supposed to feed everyone to advance the cause of a political party. According to him, the danger of using the pulpit to advocate for a political party is that “history will not forget when that party fails you”, adding that “when the party fails the nation, the pastor, the religious leader, the Imam, who advocated for that party will be brought to a state of discredit.” He added: “I’m sure you saw that happened recently when some religious leaders backed a particular party and said that party was going to be our Messiah but when that party did not perform, people brought back the videos of what those religious leaders said. “So, religious leaders should speak truth to power, share the thoughts of their people and bring Nigerians together, because at PPH, we believe in the unity of Nigeria. We believe that together we are better and no part of this country is better than all of this country.” While lamenting that Nigeria currently lacks transformational leaders, he noted that until this moment, transactional leaders had been governing the country. The cleric, therefore, called on President Bola Tinubu to make the expansion of the economic frontiers and infrastructure his main priority. He added: “What we have had in Nigeria until this moment is transactional leadership. It is about give and take. Everything should not be about negotiation and bargaining. Though there is a place for that but to build a country from a third-world to a first-world country, we need transformational leaders not transactional leaders. “If only this administration will focus in creating the basic infrastructure, we would be better off. We should have a functional healthcare system in every local government so that our people don’t die between running from local areas to the city. Same applied to the roads, schools and so on. We have the power and the resources to do this.” He urged Nigerians to take advantage of the PPH programme for a turn around in individual lives and the nation.

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