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2023: Nigeria needs good leaders, not religion- Pastor Ojubanire, Ethiopian Church Head

 ....Bemoans buying and selling of Naira notes

By Jeleel Olawale

The Senior Pastor of the Ethiopian African Church of Christ,  Pastor Babatunde Ojubanire (JP) has declared that Nigeria needs a good leader at this critical period, saying Nigeria cannot afford to miss this opportunity of electing good leaders who could recover the country.

Ojubanire who spoke with our correspondent shortly after the church service held in Ile-Ife, said the church has been praying to God for good leader.

According to him, people are saying muslim/muslim ticket, no, but what is paramount is that we need a good leader.

"What we need is good leader, whether muslim/muslim or christian/ christian".

"Moshood Abiola/Kingibe was voted under muslim/muslim ticket, people voted for them without looking at their belief. If muslim/muslim candidate will be good for Nigeria, then, it's good. Those with Christian/muslim and or muslim/christian, what do they do? They were punishing us. Religion should not be a parameter to choose good leader. 

"What concerns us as a church is for Nigeria to be peaceful and allow everything to be in order. The church members are also coping with the situation".

He said the church has no position on who to vote for, since members of the church are all partisan, but  can only advise politicians to allow peace to reign and eschew violence. He noted that the mind dictates for individual who to vote for. "Let everybody keep it in mind who he or she is going to vote for. The duty of church is to pray for Nigeria for God to choose good leader for us".

"The church cannot give directive to members to support a particular candidate because members of the church belong to different political parties. There is no directive to members to vote a particular candidate. No good church would do that, so, no directive to members".

Speaking on Naira redesign crisis, Ojubanire said the policy affected members of the church, the pastors and the whole congregation, stressing that as the head of the church, he said he has 5,000 on him because he could not withdraw his money from the bank.

"The policy is a good one, but implementation is bad. It affected us badly. When you want to introduce a policy, you must be well prepared, understand the advantages and disadvantages, think of how it will affect the populace. 

"We are bigger than those ruling us. They should have considered people living in rural and urban areas before implementing the policy. I deposited my money in bank but I couldn't withdraw it, which is a great problem.

"Nigerians are in problem because of the policy. The policy is affecting ordinary people. The timing is short. We should have been allowed to spend the new and old naira together until it is faced off from the circulation. They should extend the period more to enable people spend the money because the new Naira notes in circulation is not enough", Ojubanire said.

The Senior Pastor noted that some people said it would improve our economy but the implementation is poor, adding that some people kept the money somewhere, which can equally ruin the economy. "If they keep the money in banks, it will not boost the economy but outside bank, it would work out for us positively as a country".

He said the attitude of some bankers are  worrisome, claiming that they withdraw the money from  ATM and sell it to some other people for clandestine gain. The money issued to customers inside banks is as small as N3,000 to N5,000 which is peatry amount of money.

"The buying and selling of naira notes which many people have resulted to, is evil and an  ungodly act which will have grave consequence on those involved in the illicit act. They are making life more difficult for ordinary people. "How can I buy naira with naira, it is totally wrong, it is not good at all, a bad attitude indeed.

"Establishing POS is good because of its numerous advantages but they should not impose exorbitant charges on us. The amount charged by POS operators is too much", Ojubanire declared.

He recalled that Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, the governor of Kaduna State, sometimes  alleged that a governor withdrew the sum of five million naira from his bank and kept it in his house because he owns a bank. This attitude is bad, many people are suffering. He knew them, even President Mohammadu Buhari knew about it, it is bad.

He, therefore, called on federal government and Central Bank governor to look at the populace and solve the naira and fuel crises within shortest period. "Let everything be in order and print more money. The banks should circulate the money according to the rule. The church is praying to get out of the crises. So, the only thing we can do is to pray".

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