July 5, 2022
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2023: No Muslim successor for Buhari – PFN VP, Archbishop Osa-Oni – Vanguard

  • November 1, 2021
  • 11 min read
2023: No Muslim successor for Buhari – PFN VP, Archbishop Osa-Oni – Vanguard

National Vice-President of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN, (S/West Zone), Archbishop John Osa-Oni, last Tuesday, inaugurated his zonal executives. Present at the grand occasion, held at Vineyard Christian Church, Lagos under the theme, In This Thy Might, was the PFN National President, Bishop Francis Wale Oke, among other top leaders of the Fellowship. 
Those inaugurated include Rev Toyin Kehinde, PFN Zonal Secretary; Rev (Mrs) Enitan Osa-Oni, Zonal Women Coordinator; Dr Shade Toyin Kehinde, Asst Coordinator/Secretary, Women Wing; Pst Akanbi Daramola, Zonal Dep Sec; Bishop Abraham Olaleye, Zonal Evangelism and Mission Director; Bishop Odusoga, Zonal SSO Director, and Rev Kunle Abdul, Zonal Media and Publicity Director.
Osa-Oni, who is also the President of Vineyard Christian Ministries International, later fielded questions from Sunday Vanguard during which he spoke on topical issues in the country. Excerpts:
What is your take on Sheikh Gumi’s warning to the Buhari administration against declaring bandits as terrorists?
I do believe that sometimes some of his utterances are very questionable and I think the Federal Government should be able to hold him.
Moreover, if it was Christian Association of Nigeria or Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria that was speaking that way, the Federal Government would have sent the DSS after us. I think government should do the needful about Gumi.
Nobody is above the law in Nigeria. The South West Zone of the PFN is not the only body calling for necessary action concerning Gumi. The Federal Government has declared the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as a terrorist group.
It is unfair for IPOB to be declared as a terrorist group when bandits have done much destruction and they don’t carry that tag.
There are indications that a Muslim could succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023. What is the position of the PFN?
There shouldn’t be anything like that. The outgoing President, a Muslim, would, by the time he is leaving office in 2023, have ruled for eight years and this is the time for Christians to produce the President of Nigeria.
A pattern has been established since 1999 when President Obasanjo (Christian) was succeeded by President Yar’Adua (Muslim) and President Jonathan (Christian) took his turn. Now President Buhari (Muslim) is in office. It makes sense for a Christian to succeed him in 2023 and that is our expectation.
And what if the potential successor is a Yoruba Muslim?
A Muslim is a Muslim whether he is Yoruba or not. There should be fairness, justice and equity and a pattern has already been established.
Your take on Anambra election and IPOB declaring lock down from November 5 to November 10…
I think the people of Anambra should step out and vote for their candidates; even if only 10 people came out to vote there would be a winner. Whether you step out or not, there would be a winner because the election would be conducted.
I will advise the people of Anambra to heed the constitutional right to vote.
What is the PFN South West all about?
South West PFN is the one that controls the entire six states in the region. We have different units in the PFN.
We have six geographical locations as follows: South-South, South-East, South-West, North – Central, North-East and North-West.
And what we are doing is taking PFN to the grassroots. In the gathering today, we had people from Ekiti, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Ogun and Lagos, all the states in the South-West.
How has it been piloting the affairs of the South-West Zone and the challenges?
When we came on board, it was so exciting. For instance when we went to some of the states in the zone, especially Osun, our people there said they thought they were not part of the PFN because the leadership never got to the grassroots.
But if you look at the composition of our executives, we picked each person from each of the states; we never left any state out. And I believe that when people get involved, there would be a change.
What is your group doing concerning the challenges in the southern part of the country?
I do not see any challenges in southern Nigeria. The basic question agitators are asking is why should they be second citizens in their country? If you check all our parastatals for instance, how many of them are in top offices?
And if you check our military, how many southerners are in top offices? I know many of my friends who were retired prematurely because they are southerners.
Or they kept struggling and after many years without headway they voluntarily retire especially because their younger ones from the North were promoted ahead of them.
That is not the way a nation should be governed and I believe that the UK or the United States which we run to are never run that way. I believe that Christians are praying but beyond prayer all Christians should get involved in the political process.
We are not going to only vote but be part of the whole process. We are moving from voting for people into getting involved.
It is time for Christians to get involved and thank God for what CAN and PFN are doing; they are encouraging everyone to get involved.
We shall educate and help our teeming members to be actively involved in the entire process.
Politics is not a dirty game, it is a clean thing and we believe that we can get involved. The Bible says when the righteous is in power, the people rejoice and we want to see that Nigerians rejoice again.
When I first travelled out of Nigeria, a dollar was about 80k. When I was in the university, a meal was 25k and before I graduated it was 50k. People will clean your room before you came back from lecture including the bathroom and toilet.
I went to the University of Lagos, College of Medicine, Idi-Araba and I was deeply sad by what I saw. The state of our educational institutions, I believe a lot of things need to change when you have the righteous in power.
Where do you think Nigeria got it wrong?
We got it wrong when we began to highlight sectionalism. When we were regions, everything was working well.
The late Chief Awolowo declared free education, free health and we all enjoyed it. He was a man that transformed the education of the South-West. We missed it but I believe we can rise again; it is never too late to right the wrongs.
 Earlier, Osa-Oni read a statement.
It reads: “The South-West PFN used the occasion of the conference to pray for Mr. President, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, his cabinet, the judiciary and the National Assembly, regarding the fate of our nation Nigeria and the prevailing occurrences of insecurity and violent attacks unleashed on the ordinary citizens across the nation.
“It is our prayer that the political class and all who are responsible for staving off the ongoing killings raping, armed robbery and other violent vices will demonstrate the political will, to address the seemingly intractable national challenges, first or the sake of the nation, and second, for posterity and the pursuit of national statesmanship (on legacy), long after the records of the current generation of leaders’ services to the nation will be recalled.
MIXED FEELINGS
“While the South-West PFN conference commends the President and, especially the military, for having prevented the slide of Nigeria into complete state of anarchy, as recently witnessed in some North-East and North West states, yet we observe that the effort of government at the various levels has not yet fully addressed the national chaotic situation, to the point where Nigerians can sleep with their two eyes closed.
“On this, we postulate that the crises besetting our nation will require a more nationalistic approach in strong political will, to address the situation pragmatically.
CLASSIFY OR DECLARE BANDITS AS TERRORISTS
“The continued non-classification of banditry along the line of terrorism, against the Nigeria state constitutes a significant curtailment to the military operations in their efforts to stamp the various shades of anarchists, who rage consistently and incessantly against our dear nation, and the peace of the Nigerians, with impunity
EMPIRICAL DATA
“In the latest record of violent attacks, the Nigeria Defence Academy was invaded with heavy toll of casualty on high-ranking military personnel.
“Equally it has been alleged that the deadly gang (bandits) shot down a reconnaissance jet of the Nigerian Air Force and yet made an attempt to shoot down a presidential jet sometime.
“Only last week Wednesday, October 21, 2021, the ongoing effort of the Federal Government to restore the railway system suffered a major setback on the heels of bandits’ attack.
“To put it straight, referencing the Kaduna State Commissioner for Home Affairs, in his third quarter report to the Executive Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, he listed a total of 343 people killed, 830 abducted while only 69 of the bandits were neutralized by the military. “Earlier in the first two quarters, a total of 1,723 citizens were abducted with 545 killed.
“Of these figures, hapless women and minors were not spared.
ISSUES IN THE SOUTH-WEST
“The South-West has been a peaceful, prosperous and hospitable region of this potentially great country.
“This is evidenced by the large number of industries, commercial and educational activities in the region.
“The number of people from other regions who troop in to engage in one legal activity or the other is a testimony to this.
“Do we need to remind ourselves also of persons from outside Nigeria who come to transact their businesses here? It has always been our joy receive all.
THE STATE OF SOUTH-WEST ROADS AND INFRASTRUCTURE
“Lagos and Ogun states in the South West are veritable major routes of transportation of persons and goods to other parts or the country, yet the rehabilitation of almost all the highways, which commenced since the days of the late General Sani Abacha, lingered almost forever begging for completion.
“We make appeals to the Federal Government to see to it that the Benin-Ore-Shagamu-Lagos highway, the Benin-Owo-Akure-Ilesha-Ile-Ife highway, the Lagos-Ibadan highway, and the Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta expressway be completed altogether, without further delay’’.
“The untold sufferings and hardships of Nigerian commuters on these highways are enough and should elicit the concern of government at all levels.
OUR POSITION
“Today, we declare our support for the calls by the military on one hand, the National Assembly, Governor Nasir-el-Rufai of Kaduna State and other patriotic Nigerians, on the Federal Government, to declare all bandits as terrorists with no exception to the rule.
“Secondly, government must fish out those who are bent on making the South-West unstable, unsafe and uninhabitable.
“It will be a whirlwind that does nobody good if government waits until people begin to defend themselves.
“Finally in the same patriotic spirit and pursuant to the nationwide clamour for true federalism which distinguished the First Republic in the hands of the founding fathers, we join in the call for the entrenchment of true federalism in practices and intents of governance, such that the clamping on our nation’s true potentials will be lifted”.
“The untold sufferings and hardships of Nigerian commuters on these highways are enough and should elicit the concern of government at all levels.
OUR POSITION
“Today, we declare our support for the calls by the military on one hand, the National Assembly, Governor Nasir-el-Rufai of Kaduna State and other patriotic Nigerians, on the Federal Government, to declare all bandits as terrorists with no exception to the rule.
“Secondly, government must fish out those who are bent on making the South-West unstable, unsafe and uninhabitable.
“It will be a whirlwind that does nobody good if government waits until people begin to defend themselves.
“Finally in the same patriotic spirit and pursuant to the nationwide clamour for true federalism which distinguished the First Republic in the hands of the founding fathers, we join in the call for the entrenchment of true federalism in practices and intents of governance, such that the clamping on our nation’s true potentials will be lifted”.
Vanguard News Nigeria

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