Nothing Wrong In Church Leaders Being Partisan –Bamgbola

Brief and interesting interview.

Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Lagos State Chapter, Apostle Alexander Bamgbola, in this interview spoke on the administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and the performance of President Muhammadu Buhari so far. Excerpts:



So far, would you say that the insistence of the Christian bodies that Governor Babatunde Fashola’s successor should be a Christian has been justified?

The Bible says that God predestines a man. They are the ones He calls. They are the ones He will justify and they are the ones He will glorify. That call for God to give us a Christian governor in Lagos was divine. The church prayed for it. We are therefore praying that God will justify him. However, it is too early to say that he is justified or not. Some Christians delight in the Lord. When we ask Him anything, He gives to us. It is left for the man He called to work for his own justification.

What are the expectations of Christians from Governor Akinwunmi Ambode?

David says that what God demands from every ruler is to be just and fear Him. We expect that Ambode will be just and fear God. He is not ruling only the Christians. He will also rule Muslims and people of other religions. If our governor will be just and rule with the fear of God, God will justify him. We are praying for him because we love him.

What is your view on the current tension among the Christian community over the clamp down of churches over the use of public address systems?

He did not start the policy. This regulation was put in place by previous governors. The regulation was there before Ambode became the Lagos State governor. He is only implementing an existing law of the land. We, the church, are aware of its existence. I was the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) Chairman of Lagos State when the law was promulgated by Fashola. But, people who were implementing it were overzealous and were impounding public address systems. Even now, when Ambode revisited the law, overzealous people started to clamp down on churches.

Both Muslims and Churches are guilty of this breach, which causes noise pollution. The government is justified regulating the use of public address systems. In overseas, you do not hear noise as it is in Nigeria. When I travelled overseas, I only heard the noise of car horn once and I was the one pressing it. The church is in support of the law. We have to talk to churches. They cannot be making this type of noise. Therefore, I advocate the use of sound proof devices by churches.

Former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon has been going on with his ‘Nigeria Pray’ project over the years. Would you advocate that other former Christian leaders and politicians should emulate him and get involved in such projects to bring about the real change the nation needs?

General Gowon came out of a godly family and he is a godly man. If a foundation is destroyed what can the righteous do? Gowon in his 80s is doing what he is doing because he is from a godly home. My advice is for Christian leaders who pass through churches should contribute their quota in rebuilding the nation. I pray that God will give Nigerians a new spirit.

The 2015 general elections polarised the nation’s Christian communities, with some being objects of severe allegations. To what extent should Christian leaders be involved in partisan politics in future?

God told us to pray for those in authority. We have to be led by God as Christian leaders in every role we play in the nation. So, we religious leaders have to be led by God. Unfortunately, some of the leaders in the church have not been led by God.  That is why we subject ourselves to accusations and allegations. We have learnt some lessons. We can allow some levels of politics. We are ruled and we are rulers. But, we must go back to God and ask Him to lead us. It is all a spiritual issue. Some of us went so far during the elections, but we have learnt our lessons. There is nothing wrong in some church leaders being partisan. The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, is a pastor, remember.

How would you rate President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration so far?

My rating of President Buhari is very high. This nation needs a leader like Buhari that will rebuild it and restore the wasted foundation. I rate him very highly. All the noise of his choice of people for appointment, I am not part of it. He has not violated the constitution. We need people who are qualified. Before, North lacked qualified people. Now, we have qualified people across the land. He is not violating the constitution. He has to choose people who will deliver, who will help to rebuild the nation. If they are from one section of the country, it does not bother me. As a leader, he has to pick his people. He is looking for the best people who will deliver. As long as the people know why they are being picked, his Change agenda, he is in order.

As a Nigerian expert, I received a lot of respect all over the world while I was abroad. But, this respect is being insulted all over the world now because of the evils of some of the leaders. I am not looking for any position from the government. But, we are praying for him. Everyone is now being careful everywhere.



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