10 Reasons Osinbajo Will Ignite a Religious Civil War
By Farooq Kperogi
A Yemi Osinbajo presidency would, with out a doubt, plunge Nigeria into the depths of a smoldering spiritual volcano that can hasten its self-immolation. This isn’t some idly churlish oracular indulgence. It’s based mostly on an intimate familiarity with Osinbajo’s trajectory of spiritual bigotry, overpowering anti-Muslim prejudice, and irrevocable devotion to the materialization of a Pentecostal, particularly RCCG, seize of the Nigerian state. Here’re 10 causes for my fears:
1. The RCCG memo that requested church buildings to actively help its members vying for political places of work was impressed by Osinbajo and is constant together with his historical past of exclusivist spiritual politics. In 2013, for instance, he fashioned the Christian Conscience Group—together with Enoch Ajiboso, Dele Sobowale, and Most Reverend Joseph Ajayi—to champion the reason for a Christian governor of Lagos State.
According to a September 27, 2013, Daily Post information report titled (*10*) the group was led by “former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Lagos, who is also a pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, Professor Yemi Osibajo.”
Just like he has masterminded the religionization of the politics of 2023, in 2013, Osinbajo delivered a lecture titled “Christianity, Politics, Now and Beyond” that instigated Christians to deploy Christian spiritual blackmail to power Tinubu to endorse a Christian governor for Lagos in 2015—in a a part of Nigeria that deafens the remainder of the nation with the tiresomely sterile mantra that “religion doesn’t matter in Yorubaland.”
2. Osinbajo’s advocacy for a Christian governor in Lagos wasn’t impressed by any need for spiritual pluralism. A Muslim has by no means been elected governor of Ondo and Ekiti states. In Ogun State, his natal state, Ibikunle Amosun is the one Muslim governor the state has ever elected since 1979, although Muslims are no less than 50 % of the state’s inhabitants. Osinbajo is ok with that.
3. The technique Osinbajo used to incite spiritual fervor in Lagos previous to 2015 is the exact technique he’s utilizing now. The RCCG memo is simply a small a part of a larger spiritual incitement technique.
On Nov. 5, 2021, for instance, the Guardian reported Bishop Wale Oke, President Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), of which Osinbajo is a pivotal member, to have stated, “We do not want another Muslim president come 2023.”
In one other Feb. 12, 2022, interview with the Guardian, Oke stated, “Not only should the South produce the next President, the next president ought to be a Christian, not a Muslim. This is very important.”
And in a Feb. 20, 2022, lecture in Jos, in response to the Sun, CAN president Rev. Samson Ayokunle stated Christians should unite to elect a Christian president. He stated this throughout a lecture disturbingly titled “Defeating Your Enemies through the Power of Unity,” which creates the impression within the minds of his Christian viewers that Muslims are “enemies” of Christians who have to be defeated in 2023.
“In the last election, [Buhari] had about 14 million votes and that is not more than a population of two denominations in Nigeria talk more of [sic] the entire Christian body,” the CAN president stated throughout the lecture. “If we are united, I can see rightly in the spirit, God knows the person and we by the mind of the spirit, we can know the person God want [sic] to use. We have leadership in CAN, and if we listen to the leadership, it will be well with us.”
4. Osinbajo is a suave, charming however poisonous Islamophobic bigot who garments his bigotry with oratory. He is just associating with Muslims due to his political agenda. He visits mosques (together with his footwear on— in a betrayal of his ice-cold disdain for the faith) and awkwardly utters salaams solely as a stoop-to-conquer technique.
Osinbajo’s overt Christianization of the 2023 election has already brought on the usually secular Bola Tinubu to, on March 19, enchantment to the Supreme Council for Shari’ah in Nigeria in Osogbo to create a political wing to help Muslims operating for political places of work as a result of “Other religious groups have commenced political sensitisation by creating political departments or directorate among themselves to promote their own.”
You see what I’m speaking about? That’s a first within the Southwest. The stigma of being labeled a “Muslim fundamentalist,” a favourite, overused rhetorical cudgel usually deployed to silence Yoruba Muslims, used impel Yoruba Muslims to smile and bear their suppression.
Osinbajo’s overt bigotry is blunting that. Imagine what is going to occur within the Muslim North ought to Osinbajo by any likelihood grow to be president.
5. Osinbajo sees Muslims not as fellow residents who observe a totally different religion however as misplaced souls in want of salvation. If they’ll’t be salvaged, they need to be inferiorized, victimized, and excluded.
For occasion, on Feb. 22, 2020, in response to the Sunshine Truth, an Ondo State newspaper, throughout the funeral of the mom of former Ondo State governor Olusegun Mimiko, Osinbajo deliberately went out of his option to damage the sensibilities of Yoruba Muslims when he gloated that the girl, recognized as Mama Muinat Mosekonla Mimiko, left Islam for Christianity towards the tip of her life.
This was a sensitive topic as a result of though Mama Muinat’s two youngsters—former Gov. Olusegun Rahman Mimiko and Prof. Femi Nazheem Mimiko— transformed to Christianity, she’d resisted pressures to go away Islam. She had been sustained in her Muslim religion by her US-based third son, Abbas Mimiko.
Many Yoruba Muslims who’d hoped that she’d proceed to be steadfast in her Muslim religion despite immense strain to go away it felt gratuitously mocked by Osinbajo when he crowed with perverse pleasure over her late-life conversion to Christianity.
If Osinbajo was simply a pastor, that wouldn’t be out of line. In reality, it could be completely legit. But whenever you’re president or vp, you wield monumental symbolic and cultural energy. When you employ that energy within the service of divisive spiritual politics, you inflame uncooked passions that may provoke communal convulsions.
Imagine Atiku Abubakar attending the funeral of a late-life Muslim convert in Adamawa State (which has a huge indigenous Christian inhabitants) and gloating over the particular person’s conversion from Christianity to Islam.
6. Yoruba Muslims say there’s a “standing rule” in Osinbajo’s legislation agency, Simmons Cooper Partners, that the employment of Muslims there have to be regulated, which has ensured that “99%” of people that work there are Christians.
In reality, somebody confided in me that Osinbajo as soon as requested an worker at his legislation agency with a Muslim final identify, who’s really a Christian, if he thought of how his identify would possibly “work against” him, subtly encouraging him to change it.
7. Political Pentecostals want Osinbajo to be president so they can say that the prophecy of Pastor Enoch Adeboye– that one of them would become a president in his lifetime– has come to pass, which would then be used as a recruiting tool, particularly in Yorubaland.
But this is a dangerous game because it will inspire a sustained pushback from other Christian sects and from the Muslim North. When Saudi-trained Muslim clerics start to run for elective offices as a strategy to counter political Pentecostals and to also swell their ranks, a religious civil war would be a question of “when,” not “if.”
8. Osinbajo’s spiritual bigotry and Pentecostal Christian particularism aren’t something we’ve ever seen in Nigeria earlier than. Most politicians exploit faith to realize political energy, however Osinbajo desires to use political energy to advance a slim, divisive spiritual agenda. That’s a large distinction, and it’s a probably destabilizing distinction.
Osinbajo isn’t the one spiritual bigot in excessive workplace in Nigeria. I spent the final seven years calling out the spiritual bigotry of fellow northern Muslims, together with calling out the northern Nigerian Muslim clerical institution for being in mattress with the Buhari regime, on the expense of my ostracism not simply in my area however even in my hometown the place Imams recited maledictions in opposition to me, however Osinbajo’s is in a world of its personal.
9. In a earlier article, I known as Osinbajo a “matchbox” that a collision with a Muslim matchstick would trigger to ignite a spiritual conflagration. He’s really worse than that. He’s a flame. Like flames, he’s rhetorically engaging, and the politically naïve prefer to hover round him like moths to flames, which find yourself burning them alive.
In a Nov. 10, 2019, column titled “The trials of Brother Osinbajo,” Nigerian Tribune columnist Festus Adedayo revealed that whereas Buhari was sick and away in London, Osinbajo attended a Redeemed Christian Church of God prayer session in his house state of Ogun the place the pastor prayed for Buhari to die in order that Osinbajo would take over as president “with the VP shouting [a] thunderous ‘Amen’.”
Osinbajo was so rattled by this revelation that he urged his media aide to frantically subject an incoherent, unconvincing denial. Otto von Bismarck is commonly credited with saying, “Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.” Incidentally, simply final week, a Southwest buddy confirmed to me the authenticity of this incident.
10. Although he’s married to Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s granddaughter and even shares the identical hometown as him, Osinbajo doesn’t share the late sage’s knowledge that politics and faith shouldn’t be merged.
In a perceptive January 27, 1961, lecture titled “Politics and Religion,” Chief Awolowo suggested in opposition to the religionization of politics and the politicization of faith. “A religious organization should never allow itself to be regarded as the mouthpiece and instrument of the powers-that-be,” he stated. “If it did, it would sink or swim with the government concerned…and would no longer be well-placed to tell the truth as it knows it.”
After 2023, let Osinbajo retire to the church. He has no enterprise being the president of a complicated, multi-religious, and multi-ethnic nation like Nigeria.
Osinbajo’s anti-Muslim bigotry is shocking as a result of, politically, he rode on the coattails of Muslims to get to the place he’s right now. Prince Bola Ajibola, a religious Muslim who established considered one of Nigeria’s first Islamic universities, gave him his first political break when he appointed him as his Legal Adviser when he was Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation throughout the IBB regime. He once more took Osinbajo alongside to the International Court of Justice.
Osinbajo’s subsequent main consequential appointment was his selection as Lagos State’s Commissioner of Justice and Attorney General. He was on condition that job by Bola Ahmed Tinubu whom he’s now combating utilizing Christianity as a dagger.
Tinubu launched Osinbajo to Buhari whose opportunistic love for pastors to assist dim his picture as a Muslim fanatic brought on him to select him as Vice President.
So, beneath his innocent, debonair, smooth-talking exterior, Osinbajo is a vile, hateful, illiberal, inveterate, and treacherous spiritual bigot who will incite a spiritual civil struggle if he turns into president.
Religious civil wars are messy and harmful. Few international locations survive them. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!