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Come May 29, 2023, two ordained Christian ministers will be stepping out of the pulpit to the government house as they become the executive governors of their states.

These are Rev Father Hyacinth Alia who won in Benue State, and  Pastor Umo Eno of Akwa Ibom State.

This puts paid to the old belief of the church seeing politics as a dirty game. Apparently, gone were the days when religious leaders perceive Nigerian politics as a “dirty game”. It’s like the time has come to cleanse every dirty part of politics by the wisdom and anointing of the clerics.

Today, clergymen seem to be tired of preaching “change” to politicians from the pulpits and want to enforce the change they desire themselves through active political involvement.

This is so because, among many unprecedented developments that the 2023 general elections heralded, the rise of clergymen who temporarily dumped their cassocks on the pulpits to run for different elective offices stands out. Legally, all eligible Nigerians can vote and be voted for, according to Chapter IV of the 1999 Constitution.

At least two of the clergymen-turn politicians who took “steps of faith” have been declared governors-elect in the March 18 governorship polls by Nigeria’s electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The entry of clergymen into politics is not entirely new in Nigerian politics. Before Fr Alia and Pastor Eno, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, a law professor and senior advocate, is a pastor with the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG). Also, Senator Remi, the wife of the President-Elect, Bola Tinubu, is an ordained pastor with the same church. There are a few others like Rev. Femi Emmanuel.

With their inauguration slated for May 29, 2023, all eyes will be on Father Alia and Pastor Eno to fulfil their campaign promises and not conform to the intractable corrupt system that has characterised governance.

This may serve as an encouragement and a beacon of hope and confidence for other ordained ministers who want to change the world positively not only by their words but by their public deeds.

Father Alia of the All Progressives Congress (APC) won the March 18 governorship poll in the North Central state. The Catholic priest won 473,933 votes ahead of his closest rival and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Titus Uba, who scored 223,913.

The Returning Officer, Prof Faruq Kuta and Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Minna declared Father Alia the winner. Fr. Alia is expected to take over from Governor Samuel Ortom of the PDP G5.

At the same March 18 poll, INEC declared Pastor Umo Eno as the winner.  Eno polled 354,348 to defeat his closest rivals — Akanimo Udofia of the APC who scored 129,602 votes and Labour Party (LP)’s Uduakobong Udoh who got 4,746 votes.

Eno was declared the winner by INEC Returning Officer in the state, Prof Emmanuel Adigio.

Eno, a former Commissioner for Lands in Akwa Ibom, is the anointed candidate of the incumbent governor, Udom Emmanuel, whose two terms of eight years will end on May 29, 2023.

Pastor Eno graduated from the University of Uyo where he bagged a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and Public Administration as well as a Master of Science in Public Administration.

He worked in different banks before he ventured into the hospitality business. The immediate past Commissioner for Lands and Water Resources in Akwa Ibom State is the founder of All Nations Christian Ministry International.

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Julius Adegunna, a writer, and publisher of good news and reports. He is also a trainer in Writing and Publishing, a Media Consultant and an Entrepreneur. A 1987 Graduate of International Relations of the University of Ife, (Now Obafemi Awolowo University) with Post Graduate Diploma in International Relations, and Master in Communication Studies of Lagos State University. He lives in Lagos, Nigeria.

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