As Nigeria inches closer to the 2023 presidential elections, some electorates are still itching to see their spiritual leaders like pastors and Imams play a major role in deciding who they will vote for.
Spiritual leaders usually urge their followers to vote for certain candidates based on conviction and prophecies. The 2023 general elections might not be an exception.
DAILY POST reports that prior to the 2015 elections, the Spiritual Director of Adoration Ministry, Enugu, Rev Father Ejike Mbaka, had prophesied the emergence of Muhammadu Buhari as Nigeria’s president.
Despite backlash from Nigerians, Mbaka had insisted that Buhari would win the presidential election, which he eventually did.
Our correspondent observed that with another election season around the corner, spiritual leaders are beginning to point their followers on the path to follow.
David Ibiyeomie of the Salvation Ministry, had cautioned Nigerians against voting for the wrong political party in 2023. He warned that the naira would double to N5, 000 if Nigerians voted for the wrong political party in 2023.
A pastor of the Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) Abule Egba, Lagos, had disclosed that the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, would win the 2023 presidential election.
Pastor Alamu David said God showed him that Tinubu will succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.
While some pastors openly and privately endorse their preferred presidential candidates, the General Superintendent of Deeper Life Bible Church, Pastor William Kumuyi, and his counterpart from the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, Pastor Enoch Adeboye said God had not told them anything about the elections. Adeboye said he was not sure if the 2023 elections would hold.
On his part, controversial Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, had said Nigeria needs an experienced politician to take over the reign of governance from President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023. Gumi noted that Nigerians should do away with ethno-religious politics in the 21st century in order to build a united country.
Speaking on this issue, the leader Of INRI Evangelical Spiritual Church, Primate Elijah Ayodele, said prophets would play a major role in deciding the country’s next president.
Ayodele urged Nigerians to listen to genuine prophets of God to avoid the past mistake of picking the wrong leader.
Speaking with DAILY POST, Ayodele said: “Nigerians don’t want to follow what God is saying any longer; only a few people like us will play a critical role in 2023.
“Pastors have seen different things, some people say it’s Atiku, Obi, or Tinubu, but only God knows who will lead this country amongst them. Pastors and prophets would play a major role if only Nigerians listened. Because Nigerians are desperate now, the same mistake we made in 2015 might repeat if we are not careful.
“The person we think is not good may be the good one before God; Nigerians are just clamouring but have never clamoured to know the state of God’s mind regarding this election; they have not.
“When Akufo Addo wanted to contest in Ghana in 2020, I warned them that this man they picked would bring about suffering; what is happening to Cedis now? It has crashed.
“Our role is to tell the people what the lord wants; if I tell the people this is who God wants, but they refuse, then it’s up to them. I’m not for anybody; my party stands for God, not humans. I don’t know if Obi, Tinubu, or Atiku can do better; until God tells me this is the one I have chosen for the nation, speak.”
Ayodele’s position was, however, downplayed by the National President of the Arewa Youths Consultative Forum, AYCF, Yerima Shettima.
Shettima noted that spiritual leaders might not influence the voting pattern in 2023 because Nigerians are well-informed.
He lamented that prophecies from religious leaders in the past failed to materialise.
“The election of 2023 is not going to be business as usual; people are well informed, unlike what was obtainable in 2015 and 2019, where clergymen from both religions were prophesying things that never came to pass.
“Their followers are disappointed because they prophesied many things that never happened. I don’t think they have that influence on where votes go and don’t. It won’t work this time around; we know what happened in 2015 and 2019, where they prophesied, and all their predictions appeared to be doomed, so it won’t work.
“Some of these clergymen have failed in their fields. We have seen those who said they got their message from God, and it never came to pass; God never lies or disappoints when he makes a promise.
“So, I wonder which God they are consulting. Is it this almighty God we worship or are they consulting an oracle? We must be wary of those characters,” he told DAILY POST.