RCCG: Measuring Pastor Adeboye’s Contribution to Nigeria’s Problems

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By Nneka Okumazie

What should the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye, have done differently that alone would have brought about development in Nigeria or improved the current situation of the country?

In what Nigeria has become, what is his exact share of the problem? What particular problem in Nigeria is just because of Pastor Adeboye, and without him, would not have existed?

Anything that worked in Nigeria did because there were several other factors involved, whatever failed in Nigeria did because there are countless other factors.

The country has been perennially disorganised and mostly taken advantage of by military leaders, political parties, banks, foreigners, accountants, telecoms, religions, entertainers, contractors, journalists, etc.

There is no shortage of people who criticise the government. Government criticism is a religion of its own, with leaders and followers. Some do, then join the government to do worse than before. There are some who do to have influence or stay relevant. There are some who do it in public but dine with them in private. There are some who do because of bias. Others use it to misguide people to think all a nation needs to develop is good governance. There may be a few who genuinely do, but it is never continuous or total because there is a limit to what the government can do in a country where the attitude of the majority is against development.

Though influential, there is no policy role Adeboye plays in government or key responsibility he has besides civic duties, which directly or indirectly he probably carries out well, including the overall addition of his church to the GDP and GNP of the country.

He often tells his followers people to vote, and obey the law. He does not incite violence, and it seems he tries to reduce his share of contribution to problems of society, for the most part.

What has anyone blamed Adeboye for or recommended he does that, if he alone had, would have made Nigeria somewhat better? Some say at least do something or say something, but in what category of problem would that action or speech be especially effective?

Some often say he should blame politicians and attack them, but there is no evidence that because of a pastor, a politician would do anything significantly different.

Even if it were possible they did something a little differently because of a pastor, they won’t give credit, which is not necessary, but would instead subject him to political attacks depending on what political side he hits the most.

Some have praised others for courage but blamed him for lack of courage, that is unfair. The way to rate someone for courage is first on a primary job, not another. Then to see if it is done at all, or the effectiveness, necessity, etc. A surgeon is not a courageous plumber is a bad argument, even if the surgeon had to do something in an emergency at home. A pastor is not a courageous government critic along that line.

Doing what some expect of him in the way they expect of him looks bad on those people because it has to be their way to be right.

His private conversations with politicians may or may not be cordial, but blaming him for not speaking the Nigerian truth to them is a diversion that would not have made the country better.

The pastor leads an organisation that is his primary mission and vision. His focus is continuous growth, which is the same as other organisations and nations. There is no evidence that the church directly stands in the way of anything that would have made the country a better place.

The church is massive. There are things he would have instructed against or not like in the church that he would have said over and over, but for some reason, some within the church may not remember, know, or adhere to. It may reflect badly on him, but his responsibility in that case, in fairness, is low. However, arguments can be made about excessive monitoring, which is also debatable for a Kingdom where spirit and truth are not optional.

Pastor Adeboye is not responsible for any politician, no matter what seems like a relationship they have or regularity in the church.

If a politician is not courageous, passionate or has nothing to offer on the job, it is the responsibility of the politician, regardless of administration or position.

Adeboye also does not necessarily deserve credit for whatever any politician does because it comes down to the adult doing things as they choose.

The pastor often says pray for the country, as his own faith in what works applying to a complex problem. Some disagree but as bad as the country is, some things still work, at least to some extent, telecoms, electricity, roads, schools, etc.

This says that what does not work, including within those and others, have not gotten to a threshold of great ideas or enough courage, passion, sincerity, fairness, etc. to make them work.

There are, of course, learned people, exposed, well-to-do, who are in private and public positions, but what it means to hold that position for societal change is meaningless.

Praying, as what the pastor believes, work adds something that increases the chances for a change, whether anyone agrees or disagrees. And what does it hurt, whatever else, for good, anyone is doing?

There is a limit to what a government can do if a private company decides not to give an effective product or service. There is a limit to what a citizen can do if a local office of a government service demands a kickback or nothing. Even if there are investigations, there are ways they game things to ensure the rot continues.

So, the layers of problems in the country are much beyond just government, officials or companies, though that does not mean they can’t do damage or make things worse.

Although supremacy of the law and the rule of law works, most of what keeps many things in society functional is doing things in good faith or goodwill, for good of society, without force, reward or where no one might know.

Enforcement is powerful, but there are limits. Some are looking for whom to force them to do what they should do or who would try so they can play evasive. Some are already experts at deception, with nothing true about what they say or do, except for what they want.

To criticise is easy; some people involved in crimes abandon their responsibility and, worse, would speak up since it is what should be done to be accepted.

Adeboye is not Nigeria’s problem except for those who have created a problem they decided to fit him into.

For everyone who says Adeboye is a problem, there are at least 10 or more personal failures they each have to what the country is facing.

There are many things that used to be thought that if this changed in the country, or if this was done, things would be different, many have been tried, but they have either failed or become meaningless.

In the market, there are people who strive to get customers to their business or to those of others; that individual way is how a nation strives to develop as a people.

There are those whose personal environment or dressing is clean; that kind of seriousness is what people do to improve their society.

There are those who pursue personal improvement for better job prospects that is the kind of thing people do to grow their present and future.

It is not what anything is, where or who, but what drives it or the kind of action and character that is involved.

There are many diversions to what would make the country better than in reality are false. There are some people in the business sector who have a direct power to make things better, with little risk to themselves of fortune, but they would not.

Outside the Kingdom or scriptures, Pastor Adeboye may have used some anecdotes that were not good examples, and critics say oh, hear what he said, or that some misunderstood and acted on it, but that Adeboye is responsible for Nigeria’s problems is like blaming the Nigerian critic for not speaking a foreign language and the critic defending against that.

[Proverbs 19:22, The desire of a man is his kindness: and a poor man is better than a liar.]

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