The 2015 Election is less than 48 hours away. The different candidates have gone through a gruelling and somewhat evocative campaign to imprint their names and party logos in the minds of voters. The umpire, INEC, has most certainly already printed the ballot papers. For some Nigerians however, their candidate’s logo is not on the ballot paper. They are “voting for Jesus”.
It sounds ridiculous. In the course of the election campaigns, I have heard people make statements like, “I am voting for God”, or, “I am voting for Jesus”. These ultra-religious people would vehemently hold on to their statement, no matter the reasons given to them about the importance (and logic) in voting for a human being. Sometimes, I have felt so peeved, that I wanted to give them a verbal bashing, or a gentler sermon on common sense.
What the heck does it mean to vote for Jesus? His name is not known to INEC. He does not belong to any political party (forget the self-aggrandizing comments by politicians). He is not an independent candidate (which Nigeria’s constitution currently does not permit). He did not do any campaigning, not even a small photo-size campaign leaflet. There is no chance of a write-in by voters. Yet, someone wants to vote for Jesus.
The ultra-religious voting-for-Jesus crowd falls into two groups. For the two groups, “voting for Jesus” simply implies that they would not vote. That is the only logical inference. The first group believe that Christians must have nothing whatsoever to do with the political system of this “sinful world”. These ones would definitely be better off living in Planet Utopia. For them, voting is practically a sin. The other group is not fixated on considering voting as a sin, but they still consider voting as “taking sides against God”, since God is supposed to select leaders.
These groups have failed to see the relevance of human leadership. Those who claim that God is supposed to lead, conveniently forget that God leads through people. Moses, the judges, David and other biblical leaders demonstrate purposeful leadership by human beings. I wonder how they expect God to lead any country. How will the people know what to do if they cannot see their leader? It is “lead-er”, someone in front who everyone can see.
I am amazed at those who oppose elections to select societal leaders. Surprisingly, these ones hold small elections or other selection processes to select leaders for their churches or groups. They ought not to have any human leader. I would have expected them to wait for God to lead them directly. It would be nice to get to their church, ask whom the leader is, and be told that it is God. God would sign documents and represent them in external meetings.
It is hypocritical to refuse to vote, and then keep complaining about bad leadership. If you would not vote, then do not complain about the country’s affairs. Swallow whatever pill the government gives you with joy and gladness. Spending 30 hours daily complaining and praying (disturbing God) about the ills of the society is an exercise in futility. They pray for good leaders, yet, refuse to partake in choosing good leaders. If it is a sin to vote, they should channel their energies in asking God to appropriate the powers of the executive, legislature and judiciary to Himself. That is the only thing that would satisfy them.
On Saturday, while many Nigerians would be at various polling units, deciding on the nation’s future, some would be at home, daydreaming about an ecclesiastical leadership. INEC had better modify the ballot papers. Else, it would disenfranchise those who want to vote for Jesus (or helped them disenfranchise themselves). A “vote for Jesus” is a vote for foolishness (pun intended).