The General Overseer of Living Faith Church, Bishop David Oyedepo has been attacked for allegedly saying only mad people will vote for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the coming general elections.
Reports making round quoted the renowed preacher to have said; “the number of votes that APC will get in 2023 is directly proportional to the number of mad people in Nigeria.”
However, this has generated mixed reactions from Nigerians. While many state that the pastor has no right to decide for people on who to vote for, other stated that the words from the cleric are nothing but true, going with the hardship the country is experiencing under the APC government.
Reacting to the development, Chairman of Kaduna State Peace Commission (KAPECOM) Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon said that religious leaders must see themselves as instruments of unity despite their personal political preferences.
Fearon argued it was wrong for any religious leader to tell his congregation to vote for any particular party.
He spoke on the sideline of a high level meeting of political parties, candidates and stakeholders for peaceful campaigns and elections in Kaduna State where 18 registered political parties, 14 governorship candidates, and candidates for the National Assembly and House of Assembly signed a peace accord.
The event was organised by KAPCOM with support from Hope Action Progress, Legal Awareness for Nigerian Women (LANW) ActionAid, Christian Aid, Global Community Engagement and Resilient Fund (GCERF), SARVE and Global Peace Development (GPD).
The theme was: “Building consensus and mobilising collective action for peaceful 2023 general elections in Kaduna State”.
The Anglican Bishop was dismayed religious leaders wants to be seen as rulers, a situation he said is not helping the country and its democratic processes.
He said Nigerians must be allowed to vote their choices regardless of religion and tribe, stating “let candidates manifestoes and competence speak for them and not their religion or tribe.
“Religious leaders are part of the political problems we have in this country, some of them want to be rulers which is a wrong concept bringing about unnecessary sentiments.”
Idowu-Fearon who expressed fear with the way political activities are going with candidates being viewed on regional basis, averred that the elections might be inconclusive in the first ballot.
On the agitation by the South East for the presidency, he said: “Nigeria is practicing democracy which requires negotiation and not threat of any kind, adding that politics should not be seen as a do or die affairs.
“Insecurity and burning down of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office in the South East will only end up drawing the region backward politically if not addressed holistically”.
He said leaders of the region are certainly not doing enough to address the situation.
“As we approach the elections, the media must be objective, religious leaders must educate their members to vote based on competence and pray for the candidates because voting is a religious responsibility.
“Party candidates must be honest and should abide by the constitution and their campaigns must be issue based devoid of hate speeches and calumny, above all we pray for a violent free conduct of 2023 general elections,” he said.
Also reacting, Real Chukwuma said; “It’s good to tell your people what is right and the truth, we can’t continue with this APC unwilling to do things right. We need a man with a big heart who can set Nigeria free from the wickedness of UK,EU,US & China. I know many don’t understand this but in due time thank u.”
Ahamefula Joash said; “Bishop Oyedepo is right, if after witnessing the killings, insecurities and economic failure to the highest proportion any one who still vote for APC is MAD. Bishop oyedepo is in order.”
Meanwhile, some Nigerians have disagreed with the claim that the president of the Living Faith Church, Bishop David Oyedepo, endorsed Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party.
The cleric reportedly said that Nigeria needs a deliverer and not a leader to rescue the country in the 2023 election.
A journalist took to his Twitter page to express happiness in seeing Obi in his church but in his comment session of the post, some netizens disagreed on whether Oyedepo endorsed Obi or not.