Don’t jostle for appointment, value your eldership, Pastor Umo Eno Tells Christian Leaders

Don’t jostle for appointment, value your eldership, Pastor Umo Eno Tells Christian Leaders

As the scramble for political appointment into the new administration gathers more steam, some Christian elders have also thrown their hats into the ring. Information gleaned by our reporters shows that some well-known figures in the Christian community are up in arms, jostling to gain the listening ears of the governor for one appointment or the other.

A source revealed that even some of the elders who have served the state in higher offices in the immediate past have oiled their lobby machinery to ensure they were not left out of the equation; they curry favour from leaders perceived to have the ears of the governor.

Yet others, a source disclosed, have pushed forward themselves directly by reaching the governor with numerous calls, text messages and CVs.

The cravings for appointment by Christian elders appear to have reached a breaking limit, impelling the governor to publicly appeal for restraint. He sued that rather than these elders routing for appointment in his administration, they should maintain their revered statuses as Christian elders and statesmen whom he would consult from time to time, instead of becoming his appointees. This way, he maintained, Christian elders will continue to enjoy their pride of place as respected clergy than become his appointees.

The governor amplified this point during a breakfast meeting at the Banquet hall, Government House, last week with the Church leaders. 

While interacting with the gospel ministers, he expressed worry over numerous overtures for political appointment by some Christian leaders whom he described as statesmen.

His Excellency said: “The truth is, no matter how highly placed you are, once we give you an appointment, you are now a servant and you have lost that immunity of eldership. I want you to understand what you are looking for because the governor will send you to go here and there but if you are an elder statesman, you can call the governor at any time and I will say, ‘Yes sir!”

He also added: “But if you are an appointee of the governor, if you come to my office you will stand, you can’t sit down because you are an appointee. So you choose what you want, but all of us have influence and access to this government and the most important thing we should seek for is access.”

Promising to run an open government whereby church leaders will have access to him, he admonished Christian elders on the imperative of forging stronger unity, eschewing bitterness and divisiveness in the body of Christ. He assured them of access but with caution, as some were already using the opportunity to canvass for appointments.

The governor also pleaded with the elders to use the open door given to them discreetly, stressing: “If you have access, we can talk but don’t disturb me too much, let your calls be scarce.”

The struggle for appointment by clergymen has raised a lot of eyebrows; making one keen observer to ask if pastoring was no longer an all-important duty as it was considered in the past. Reacting to the comment by the governor, the state chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Bishop Chris Nyong, who also attended the breakfast meeting, affirmed the governor’s position, observing that it was too early for such pressure. He said: “I am completely in total support of what the governor said; it shows that the governor wants to be careful not to temper with the honour he has already developed for the Christian elders, whom the Bible says, should be given double honour.”

Nyong called for restraint, emphasizing that it was more honourable for elders in the body of Christ to value their revered role as advisors to the government than scramble for appointments. “The governor rightly said that any person that is his appointee will also have to operate according to the template of appointment. Of course, he will no longer see you as a Christian elder or respect you as he should,” he said.

Admonishing Christian elders to prefer to play advisory roles to government than taking up appointments, he explained that the moment you take up appointment, you lose value as an elder and the governor will now, “see you as his errand person and you have to do whatever he tells you to do and go through protocols but if you remain as a Christian elder, the governor will see you as his colleague in ministry; he will treat you as a high profile colleague and will listen to you.”

He, however, urged Christian elders not to relent in praying for the new administration, as the success of Pastor Umo Eno’s administration is equally their success.

Quest News 24

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