What Should Christians Do with a Bola Tinubu Presidency?
By: Deji Yesufu
Earlier this morning, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu was pronounced winner of the 2023 Presidential elections in Nigeria. Tinubu becomes the 16th president and Head of State of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Tinubu, a Muslim from South-West Nigeria, had chosen a Muslim from North-East Nigeria as running mate. In the process, he led his campaign on a Muslim-Muslim ticket, which alienated a lot of Christian voters. Tinubu had clearly reasoned that the votes he will pull from northern Nigeria will far outweigh the votes from a vexed section of Christian voters. And one must admit that he was right after all. The natural question therefore is this: what do Christians do with a Bola Tinubu Presidency? My short answer will be to counsel that we accept it. The long answer will be explained in the rest of the essay.
First. Christians must come to terms with how the Bible regards political power. Scripture teaches that all power belongs to God and he bestows them on whomever he wishes. What it means is that in the providence of God, nothing could happen in the political arena of Nigeria without God ordaining it. In other words, God made Tinubu the Nigerian president. I have read commentaries elsewhere where it is suggested that God could never make somebody with the kind of record Tinubu has president. Truth is that if every one of the contestants are weighed on the balance of God’s holiness, no one will emerge worthy. God still uses imperfect people in governance. Except for Joseph and Daniel, every other ruler in the Bible were heathens. Why do we think that God will then raise a Christian or a near perfect man to rule Nigeria?
Second. The political contest is not over. Nigeria still has a judiciary, no matter how imperfect she is. At the last count, Bola Tinubu polled 8.7 million votes; Atiku – 6.9M; Obi – 6.1M; and Kwankwanso – 1.7M. On the natural, the difference between Obi and Tinubu votes is a mere 2.6M votes. If the Labour Party do their home work well, they can narrow down this difference through careful data collection from polling units and go to argue their case in court. But does this nullify my earlier claim that God made Tinubu president? No, it does not. The same God who made Tinubu president now can remove him through legal means. The opposition have been positing that Tinubu rigged himself to government. That’s fine. The onus is on them to argue their case in court, present their evidence and allow the judiciary to pronounce on the matter. Whatever comes out of that process is the will of God. Does that mean that God is just sitting down, rubber stamping everything men do? No. It means that God has both decreed the end from the beginning and also ensures the means to the end. True faith concludes that God is in charge, whatever the actions of men.
Third. Nigeria is the Christian’s dwelling. God’s command to us is to pray for the peace of our cities because if she has peace, we will have peace also (Jeremiah 29:7). Now the political peace of Nigeria has been long in the making. Nigeria is not a divine entity; this country did not fall from heaven. It was human beings who put the concept of nationhood together and concluded that large swaths of communities connected together as a nation will fair better than isolated communities. The modern Nigerian state came about via British colonisation of our people. After the British left, Nigeria has gone through ups and down. The country has endured a thirty-month war; it has also experienced period of sustained prosperity; etc. All of these add up to the making of the country. Every thing Nigeria has experienced as a nation are part of God’s providence for her and the Christian mindset is that all of these will add up towards God fulfilling his good purpose for us. And God’s primary purpose for Nigeria is the redemption of his elect within this nation state. Whatever will make for peace, the preaching of the gospel and the enduring of a Christian Church in Nigeria is God’s purpose for this country. Anything else is secondary. So, any government that will allow for the gospel to thrive is the government Christians must pray for.
Lastly. In the light of the aforementioned: with the reality of God sovereignty actively working to give Nigeria a purposeful government and God working through any circumstance, including overturning a Tinubu government in the judiciary and installing Obi, the Christian’s attitude is one of complete faith in God. God is in charge. Therefore, the Christian’s attitude to a Bola Ahmed Tinubu government is one that calls us to pray for him. We must plead with God that Tinubu will succeed in his proposed policies. We must pray that God will give him health and wisdom. We must ask that God send him sound men to develop a new Nigeria. We must pray against nothing evil befalling him. After we have prayed, we must trust God to do his will.
As I close this essay, I wish to make an appeal to Eastern Nigeria who are the biggest losers in the Peter Obi botched presidential campaign: please be patient. My friend from Enugu told me that he put his reputation on the line, calling his friends who had sympathy for IPOB to give the Nigerian project a chance: that a free and fair election can happen in Nigeria. He says now he cannot say anything because he is now being blamed. He said if his friends resort to guerrilla warfare against Nigeria, he will not be able to oppose them again. I sympathise with the Ibo nation but I can only appeal for peace. I believe the judiciary still works and Peter Obi had used the Judiciary before to recover a stolen mandate. Let’s allow peace to reign and let’s argue our case like responsible people. Most people only know how violence begin; few know how it will end. I believe Ndigbo will one day have her son rule Nigeria. Peter Obi made a very good statement towards that end in the just concluded elections. Nigeria is better together than torn apart.
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.