Paul Adefarasin’s Escape Route
By: Deji Yesufu
One of the easiest jobs to do in Nigeria is that of a public commentator. There are no want of topics to talk about at any given time in this country. In fact in recent times and to pay closer attention to my calling as a minister of Jesus Christ I have cut down on my commentaries on national issues. I’ll rather look at matters that concern the Christian faith and that is why Paul Adefarasin’s statement, in a recent sermon, caught my attention. Punch online quotes Pastor Adefarasin as saying:
“I bring you greetings from Pastor Ifeanyi who is busy taking care of the frontier of our world and preparing our escape route… If you don’t have a plan B… I know you have faith, I have faith too but I have a plan B… With technology, I can speak to you from anywhere in the world… Get yourself a plan B. Whether that’s an Okada to Cameroon or a flying boat to Seme Border. A hole in the ground, a bunker as we call it. Just get yourself a plan B. Because these people are crazy. They are nuts. The whole bunch of them. And watch the signs because it can happen, just like this (snaps fingers).”
If you missed the gist, this is what Adefarasin is saying: I have just returned from a trip abroad where I went visiting my wife, Ifeanyi, and family. She sends her greetings. Her living abroad with the children is my family’s plan to finally relocate from Nigeria. I will still be pastoring the Church from there since basically all that pastoral work consist of is preaching. I will speak to you via satellite. I advise you also to have an escape route too: seek a way to get out of Nigeria. The insecurity is creeping on everyone and no one knows who’s next. That, in a nutshell, is Adefarasin message to his congregation.
In 1994, in a space of 100 days, close to a million Tutsis were murdered by their Hutu neighbors in Rwanda, East Africa. That incident is regarded as the Rwandan Genocide and it remains a stain on the conscience of the world, while at the same time causing a turn around for that country. Rwanda has since gone past that tragedy. Many people were killed but one occasion during the genocide depicts the heart of true religion: all the white people were being evacuated by UN soldiers. A Reverend father was called upon to join the expatriates. He turns to his people, one of them had asked him earlier “… where is God in all these…?” The father said he had just realized that God was with the suffering Hutus. He stayed behind and was killed a few minutes after the UN soldiers left.
A few years to the end of the second world war, a German theologian and Pastor, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, decided he must return to war torn Germany from the USA where he had gone to seek refuge. When he was asked why he was returning he explained that he could not partake of the rebuilding of Germany if he was not part of her liberation. He stole into Germany but was soon roped into a fathom coup by Hitler’s men. He was put in a consecration camp and would have gained his freedom but some fleeing German officers executed him just after Hitler had killed himself.
If anyone is in doubt of the falsehood that pervades much of Christendom today and that is ably represented by Adefarasin, here it is: behold modern Pentecostalism and its penchant for self preservation. Adefarasi forgets that the foreign country his family has fled to was built by the blood and sweat of the children of those countries. Does Adefarasin know anything about history? Does he know the story of the invasion of Normandy where thousands of young Allied soldiers walked into their deaths as they sought to liberate France in World War 2. Many of those boys were barely 20 years old and they were killed in their thousands. They were literal human shields for the other soldiers who later invaded the beach and won the battle, and took France from Germany. That single battle was the beginning of the end of Adolf Hitler.
Here’s the point of my rant: the world is today a global village and everyone has a right to live anywhere they choose. However, the people who are the leaders of thoughts in Nigeria should not be the one championing the mass exit of Nigerians from this country. Yes there is insecurity in the land but is Nigeria at war? Even if we are at war, is it not fellow Nigerians that will fight this war? Leaders of thoughts, particularly religious teachers, should be championing a spirit of patriotism – a heart to help build Nigeria and not one that seeks at fleeing the country. And the way human nature is; it is those who are least benefiting society; those who are parasite on the system that seek to flee when there is nothing left for them to feast on. After years of enjoying the largesse of ministry in Lekki Lagos, Adefarasin sees that the next port of call is to live abroad while overseeing his ministry from a foreign country. If you still go to such a church, your mumu neva do you.
Again this is not a call to Nigerians to stay in the country. If you wish to leave, go. But such gaffes should not be coming from a pastor in the Christian religion. Christians do not think like that. One of the things that preserved Igbo land during the civil war was the myriads of Christian organizations that remained in the East to nurture the people physically and spiritually. When a so called Pastor is championing escape routes out of a country because of insecurity in the land, know that such a person is not a shepherd but a hireling.