Politics: Prophet Isa El-Buba’s tirade Daily Parrot

Prophet Isa El-Buba is the president of EL-Buba Outreach Ministries, Int. (EBOMI), with headquarters in Jos, Plateau state, Nigeria. He is one of the many Christian leaders in recent years that have become politically active. A recent video clip of his ministration showed him swearing at and cursing those who dissented from his political views. He insisted on his political convictions and justified his political activism on the premise that the discrimination against Christians in Nigeria had become excessive. In the viral clip, he singled out the All Progressives Congress (APC) for mention, denouncing the party for presenting a Muslim-Muslim ticket for the next presidential poll. Apart from heartily and gloomily cursing Christians who planned to vote for the APC ticket, he swore that he would actively participate in electioneering. It was not surprising, therefore, to see him embracing Peter Obi’s Labour Party. He had made good his threat.

Right before the eyes of this generation, the Medieval spirit of The Crusades (1096- 1295) has berthed in Nigeria. Not only did the prophet curse, he also walked his talk by showing up mid-September at Mr Obi’s rally/fitness walk held at the Rwang Pam Township Stadium in Jos, the Plateau State Capital. Addressing the rally, Prophet El-Buba said, “I want to appeal to Nigerians not to vote for corrupt politicians who have looted our treasury. Vote for people who have the interest of the common man at heart.” It was, of course, indefensible that the prophet showed up at a partisan political rally, but if he had limited his admonition to advocating for electoral and behavioural purity, his partisanship would have been overlooked. But true to his label as a radical Christian cleric, a fierce appellation he earned before he converted to Christianity, he bellowed: “That is why we have decided to throw our weight behind Peter Obi, the Labour Party presidential candidate because we have seen what he has done as Governor of Anambra State and his antecedents show he is someone that can bring us out of the woods.”

It is not clear which is giving birth to which. Just what did Mr Obi do as a two-term governor that merits the prophet’s praise? As governor, Mr Obi elevated what he now describes as honesty, but more accurately parsimoniousness, as an administrative and policy feat. His eight years in office not only failed test, his administration was marked by nitpicking, insularity and paranoid attention to minutiae.  If the prophet sees anything remarkable in Mr Obi’s administration, neither he nor even the former governor himself has been able to effectively communicate it. His social media campaigns have of course been scintillating, and youths in many parts of the country have rallied behind his banner. But beyond that, the rest is empty void. Prophet El-Buba obviously wishes Mr Obi to be remarkable, and it is that wish that has given birth to his conclusion that the governor shone when he governed Anambra State.

Then the prophet gave the clincher: “We came here to pray for a better Nigeria,” he intoned in his characteristic preachy language, “and also sensitise the citizenry about the upcoming elections.” He is not telling the truth. They didn’t go to the stadium to pray for Nigeria but to conduct a political rally, and also partly demonstrate fitness as their banners announced. Nigeria is indisputably in dire straits, but it beggars belief for a preacher of no mean standing to conflate a political rally with old time revival gathering. There are enough scriptural reasons to warn preachers who occupy the office of Christ’s ambassadors off politics, but Prophet El-Buba is probably too angry with what he sees in the country to hold his peace any longer. He must have also convinced himself that he had his congregation all locked up in Labour Party, with no room for dissent of any kind, and should any dissent crop up, it must be on pain of his horrendous curses.

Sadly, top Christian leaders in Nigeria are themselves engaged in one form of political endorsement or another. They did it under ex-president Goodluck Jonathan, including cursing dissenters, and are now doing it again, having not learnt any lesson from overreaching themselves in direct opposition to Christian exegesis. There is, therefore, no one to warn Prophet El-Buba against his excesses and iniquitous insistence that his congregation be herded into his political column willy-nilly. There is no one to gently admonish him that his Christ would not curse anyone because of political dissent, having given His life a ransom for them. There is no one to tell the prophet that if God gave His only begotten son to die for the wicked, it would be sheer folly for anyone to curse those for whom Christ made such profound sacrifice. Alas, there is no one to tell the Jos-based prophet that by aligning with a political party, and cursing those who would not agree with him politically, he had made Christ’s death of no effect, and that worse, he had become so familiar with Christ to the point of dragging Him along to rallies.

The Evangelicals burnt their fingers during the last United States presidential election. The Nigerian Pentecostals, who champion the current crusading and partisan fervour, are replicating the same error and misstep committed by their brethren in the US. In becoming fully politicised and making political support a doctrinal issue, the church seems to be abjuring the great and profound virtues and principles of their faith that made it possible to bring down empires and subdue kingdoms. Prophet El-Buba belongs to a group of radical and opinionated clerics who fight for the political kingdom rather than the souls of men. If it has become so easy to curse those whom Christ came to redeem and bless, simply because of political dissent, and regardless of how God loves everyone, including dissenters, Christ, the personification of love and blessing, is being compelled by the modern Nigerian preacher to take the back seat.

Putin as uncanny reminder of Hitler


Russia’s President Vladimir Putin committed two major shocking leadership blunders in the past few weeks that have triggered uncanny comparisons between him and Germany’s World War II mastermind, Adolf Hitler. Firstly, Mr Putin has threatened mass destruction, using nuclear weapons, against Ukraine because of embarrassing setbacks in battles along the extended frontline between Russia and Ukraine. Threatening mass destruction, and swearing it was not a bluff, speaks to his readiness, if not ghoulishness, to use the apocalyptic weapons, even if he eventually balks at using them. To not flinch at causing so much pain for doubtful, ephemeral and questionable goals indicates complete callousness. Hitler did not flinch at causing mass deaths, as the holocaust showed, and he had no remorse whatsoever. Mr Putin is cut from the same cloth, notwithstanding his genuine apprehensions about NATO expansionism and national security threats.

Secondly, Mr Putin has annexed four conquered Russian-speaking Ukrainian regions. This is a misplaced and shortsighted imitation of Hitler’s execrable policy of Lebensraum (or living space). How the Russian leader, with all his years as president, has not acquired the wisdom to know that such forceful takeovers do not last is hard to explain. He should ask himself the stories of Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic) which Hitler’s Germany annexed based on the 1938 Munich Agreement, and Alsace-Lorraine (now Alsace-Moselle) in France which Germany also annexed in 1871 after the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871. Why he thinks his annexation of Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson in Ukraine would last, assuming he won the war, is incomprehensible. Hitler used the annexation of Sudetenland as pretext to launch a world war that consumed between 40m to 50m people (some estimates put the figure at over 70m), or nearly three percent of the world’s estimated population of some 2.3bn people at the time. Mr Putin has spoken carelessly and recklessly of provoking a world war simply to save face. He does not seem to bother about the millions who could be consumed in the war. He will not last.

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