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Abimbola Adelakun 

In the past few days, I have watched several videos of my former pastor, Chris Oyakhilome, rehashing conspiracy theories that linked 5G technology with COVID-19. It has been a deeply embarrassing experience for me, watching him talk so confidently about what he has not even tried to understand. Oyakhilome’s church, Christ Embassy, has many upwardly mobile young people. Some of them work in the tech industry and could have put their pastor straight with some quick education on the different natures of technology and disease. How did they allow him to go on the pulpit and be asking people to pray against vaccines? How did it happen that he could pull up poorly designed charts on a large screen in the church and even share several videos that, although confirmed his paranoia, proved nothing substantial about the danger of 5G technology?

Pastor Chris is (or used to be) a modernist. I attended his church at some point partly because he was a skilled preacher of the Word with dazzling stagecraft, and partly because of their taste for tech stuff especially as it concerns modern gadgets. Part of Christ Embassy’s niche has been an unapologetic deployment of the aesthetic of the novel, their perspicacity to employ newer technologies before their counterparts. I do not think there is any church in Nigeria that has as many digital apps as Christ Embassy currently does. They invest in projects that concern using technology to further church experience on-ground and online. They also host frequent workshops where they brainstorm on how to advance churching with modern technology. Watching him now, I cannot reconcile Christ Embassy’s adaptive attitude to technological advancement with his newfound Luddism.

The advent of groundbreaking technology frequently gives rise to concerns and debates about how far humans should go in the bid to transcend existing limitations, but most of Pastor Chris’ assertions about 5G have been so atrocious that I face-palmed in shock. To think that there was a time that I took his sermons to be the very Word of God, and patterned my life based on his prophetic vision. If he could be so bold about what is clearly out of his range of competence, only God knows how much of what he taught us, his flock, were based on similarly poorly informed ideas.

There is no point repeating Pastor Chris’ paranoia to offer a rebuttal. Trying to deploy facts to sway people who are already taken by conspiracy theories is usually counter-productive. I have not come across a single conspiracy theorist that can be convinced by facts. They will not only chalk down all your arguments to part of the conspiracy, but you will also end up strengthening their resolve. If Pastor Chris and his followers remain sceptical by the counterarguments offered by the Senior Pastor of Kingsway International Christian Centre, London, Matthew Ashimolowo, there is nothing else anyone can say that will move their needle. We cannot do anything about their beliefs, but we can put some ideas out there for the benefit of those who are not sure of what and how to believe.

Of course, Pastor Chris’ cant against 5G technology neatly folds into the history of human reactions against new technology. People have always been threatened by technological changes that change their relationship to time and space because, like it or not, it propels a new way of experiencing the self and the structures of existing relations. The invention of new things from writing to printing, bound books, photography, cars, the telephone, streetlights, the radio, cinema, film, and the Internet has been met with paranoia and moral panic. In the 19th Century, when Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, people thought it would destroy privacy and social relations. According to one writer, because of telephone communication, “we will soon be nothing but transparent heaps of jelly to each other.” Today, people say pretty much the same thing about mobile phones and social media. We now look back nostalgically at the time when the telephone, the same device they said would ruin social relationships, was a far less-threatening means of technologically-mediated communication.

In 1825, when the Stockton-Darlington Railway opened in North-east England, people expressed fears as Pastor Chris and his followers are doing today. They said the railway was unsafe, that people would fall out of the contraption because of the speed at which trains could travel. Some thought the human body would melt if people travelled as fast as they could do through the railway. Some concerned individuals forewarned that women’s uteruses would fly out of their bodies if trains reached a speed level of 50 miles per hour. Today, we know better than traffic in such ideas anymore. Again, when electricity was being introduced into homes in the USA, people also protested. They warned that if private homes were to be lit, women and children would be unsafe because they would be visible to potential assaulters.

Some of the moral panic that seizes people who fear modern technology also happens because inventions make people see the world differently, and that affects how they relate to religious authority. Religious leaders particularly fear scientific advancement because it changes how people understand the Divine Will. We cannot narrate the history of the Protestant Reformation that changed the history of Europe without talking about the significant role that the invention of print technology played in that event. When Galileo started promoting his heliocentric theories in the 17th Century, the Church opposed the range of his vision because his radical claims challenged religious leaders’ interpretation of the Bible. They did not exactly put their anxieties in the apocalyptic language of the “anti-Christ,” as Pastor Chris is doing, but it was a similar threat of the restructuring of their familiar world. I concede that not every technology has been good for mankind, but one would expect someone of Pastor Chris’ calibre to at least do his homework before spewing 5G truthism and anti-vaccine conspiracy theories.

This 5G conspiracy theory and the link with COVID-19 will not be the end of the moral panic that will seize people. Every day, as science and technology advance its scope of possibilities, people will push back for fear of how it will take the bottom out of their world. They are not alone. There are bioethicists who also make important ethical arguments about human invention, and they challenge inventors to put a moral brake on their enthusiasm as they invent. They urge scientists to be responsible with their vision, and yes, we can be reassured they have our backs. What they do not do, is to ask people to pray against vaccines. That will be illiterate.

Finally, of this one thing I am now convinced: sometime in the future, when the COVID-19 vaccine has been developed and humans have overcome the disease; when the human race- including members of the future Christ Embassy who will inherit Pastor Chris’ church-are doing wonders with 10G technology, they will look back at this time in history and laugh at their founder in the same way we laugh at the wisdom of those who said if God wanted man to fly he would have given man wings. They will be amused at his claims the same way we are when we read historical accounts that tell us that people were once opposed to inventions like the eyeglasses because they thought disabilities were the will of God, and they were not meant to be corrected.

I do not know when that day will be and who will be around to witness it, but I do know that Pastor Chris will be remembered for being the face of 21st Century Luddism in this part of the world. He will be less remembered for the megachurch he built, the scores of young people like me that he nurtured, and even the various healing miracles that he performed. This crass display of ignorance is what will define his legacy. He will go down in history as a prophet, true, but one with a limited vision

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The uneasy thing about Nigeria’s Independence Day celebration reminds me of Frederick Douglas’s thought-provoking speech which he delivered on the 4th of July, titled “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”. This famous and powerful address was made on July, 5, 1852. Douglas, an African American abolitionist and former slave questioned the hypocrisy of celebrating American independence and freedom while the black people were inhumanely treated under the shackles and manacles of slavery.

In that famous address, Douglas argued passionately that the celebration of freedom and independence was a hollow gesture for the African slaves and thus challenged the moral conscience of white America, urging them to confront the moral depravity and injustice of the institution of slavery.

Douglass began by acknowledging the significance and achievements of the American Revolution, praising the architects of the American republic for their commitment to the cause of liberty and justice. However, he quickly shifted his focus to highlight the stark contrast between the ideals professed and captured in the preamble of the American constitution -“we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal…” in the one, and in the other, the horrid condition experienced by the enslaved African people. In that speech, Douglass draws heavily and eloquently from the Bible, the American Constitution, and the Declaration of Independence to reveal the contradictions and ironies inherent in the American society.

It is in that sense, that we as Nigerians must reflect on Frederick Douglass’ powerful words and draw parallels from that knowledge and experience with a view to inspire us to critically examine the significance of Nigeria’s independence. Although Nigeria’s independence from colonial rule on October, 1, 1960 marked a pivotal moment in our history however, it also revealed the complexities and challenges that accompany self-rule 63 years down the line.

Like Douglass, who highlighted the stark contrast between the ideals of liberty and the reality of slavery in America, we must also interrogate and understand the overreaching implications of independence for Nigerians.

Independence should not just be about political freedom or self-rule, but entails also, the responsibility to harness our God given potentials-both human and natural in order to live up to the promise of a free and prosperous nation. This would mean, tackling poverty, misery, unemployment, inequality, illiteracy, insecurity, corruption and ethno-religious tension that persist within the Nigerian society.

Similar to Douglass’ call for justice and equality for all Americans, it is crucial to recognize the fact that true independence encompasses freedom from man-made hardship and suffering, systemic oppression and other forms of insecurity.

Frederick Douglass believed that the Fourth of July should be a time for reflection and self-assessment, urging Americans to confront the hypocrisy of celebrating freedom while denying it to a significant portion of the population. In the same vein, Nigeria’s Independence Day should prompt us to critically examine the discrepancies between the nation’s founding principles and the troubling reality of a vast majority of Nigerians today. By every conceivable standard, Nigeria is a deeply troubled nation.

We therefore must engage in introspection and ask ourselves challenging questions: Are we truly living up to the ideals of a united, prosperous, and just nation? Are all Nigerians able to fully enjoy the benefits of independence, irrespective of their social class, religious and ethnic background? How can we genuinely address the governance deficit and put an end to the failure of successive administrations with a view to better the social and economic conditions of all citizens in Nigeria? Do we really deserve the kind of leadership foisted on us for decades? Must Nigerians continue to adjust and readjust in order to survive under the grip of a highly perfidious elite operating an economic and political system that thrives on injustice and corruption?

Think about it!


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The presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 elections, Peter Obi, says Nigeria is “gradually losing one of the biggest intangible assets that make a nation strong, which is respect for the rule of law”.

In a statement he posted on his X handle in celebration of International Democracy Day on Friday, Obi said “our dear nation has continued to swing dangerously away from the boundaries of true democracy”.

He said that Nigerians must “remind ourselves of the need to work together to build and deepen our nation’s democracy”.

The former Anambra State governor called on all Nigerians to remain committed to building and reinforcing our nation’s democracy.

“As witnessed in the country today, the mindless erosion of the very ideals and tenets on which Nigeria’s democracy was built, if not checked, will only push the nation deeper into lawlessness,” he wrote.

“The current trend of endemic corruption, abuse of the constitution, disrespect for the rule of law, and transactional politics which cuts across the executive, legislative, and judicial arms of government, have continued to conflict with our nation’s enforcement of democracy.
Source: (

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Admiral Jibrin Akpabana: The Definitive Choice for Kogi East to Reclaim Power



By Comrade Shaibu O

In the lead-up to the pivotal Kogi State Governorship election, the residents of Kogi East, particularly the Igalas, find themselves at a crossroads, compelled to closely scrutinize the political landscape and deliberate on the most fitting candidate to challenge the incumbent Yahaya Bello’s bid for an extended tenure through Ahmed Usman Ododo.

The impending decision carries profound implications, as the Igalas, who have been witnessing a gradual erosion of their majority status, must strategically navigate this juncture in their political trajectory. Amidst the complex interplay of contenders, one figure stands out as a beacon of hope and transformation: Admiral Usman Jibrin, affectionately known as Akpabana, representing the Accord party.

In order to fully comprehend the stakes at hand, it is paramount for the Easterners to internalize a pivotal truth: their prospects for success hinge on presenting a unified front in the upcoming election. A fragmented approach, characterized by multiple contenders, could inadvertently pave the way for their collective failure. Hence, the Easterners ought to acknowledge that a singular, unifying figure is needed to carry their aspirations forward, and that figure is none other than Admiral Usman Jibrin.

While it is undeniable that Hon. Muritala Ajaka of the Social Democratic Party has garnered substantial popularity, particularly among the youth demographic, it is imperative to acknowledge that popularity alone cannot guarantee victory in the political arena. Ajaka’s commendable financial capabilities and potential as a leader notwithstanding, the formidable challenge presented by Bello necessitates a more comprehensive strategy. The Kogi election landscape echoes the adage, “The Kingdom of God suffered violence and the violent took it by force.” Triumphing over Bello’s entrenched influence demands unwavering determination and an audacious display of political force.

Governor Yahaya Bello has demonstrated an acute understanding of power dynamics and has wielded his authority with unapologetic vigor since assuming office. The echoes of his previous triumphs in 2019 serve as a stark reminder of his tenacity and the necessity of matching his resolve with equal determination. The assertion that Bello’s hold over the East has waned due to personnel changes in his camp is a misguided notion.
The new cadre of individuals supporting Bello in the East have proven themselves to be even more formidable and relentless than their predecessors.

Admiral Jibrin Akpabana is a figure whose very name reverberates with promise and the potential to disrupt Bello’s dominion. This assertion is substantiated by the fact that Governorship elections are intricately interwoven with national influence, and in this realm, Jibrin stands on a more favorable footing. Unlike Muritala Ajaka, who has seen his national influence dwindled since departing from the All Progressives Congress, Jibrin’s affiliations, including his role as a former Chief of Naval Staff and his familial connection to a former Chief of Defense Staff (Admiral Ibrahim Ogohi), positions him as an unassailable force, impervious to Bello’s manipulation of security agencies.

It is imperative to grasp that victory in a gubernatorial race transcends monetary largesse. The bedrock of a successful campaign lies in cultivating a cadre of loyal supporters who are willing to lay down their lives for the cause. Admiral Akpabana boasts a robust network across the state, built upon his legacy as a naval leader, wherein job opportunities were facilitated for numerous individuals. Kogi Easterners stand to capitalize on this deep-seated loyalty, galvanizing it into an insurmountable wave of support.

Furthermore, Admiral Jibrin has meticulously cultivated an array of influential backers on the national stage. While the identities of these individuals may remain shrouded in secrecy, the telltale signs were unmistakably on display during his son’s recent wedding, where distinguished personalities graced the occasion. These influencers hold the key to determining the fate of Kogi’s governance.

The power of social media, while undeniably significant in contemporary politics, should not be overestimated. The tale of Peter Obi’s campaign serves as a poignant reminder that virtual support does not invariably translate into electoral victory. In contrast, Admiral Jibrin has garnered the unwavering endorsement of key political elders and opinion shapers in the East, signaling a formidable groundswell of support. These venerable figures possess the resources and influence to decisively tip the scales in Jibrin’s favor.

As the days unfold, Admiral Jibrin Akpabana is poised to ascend the Eastern social media landscape, wielding an arsenal of compelling narratives and rallying cries.

The winds of change are palpable, as erstwhile supporters of Muritala Ajaka recognize the pragmatic imperatives and align themselves with Jibrin’s compelling vision. The writing on the wall indicates a shift of seismic proportions, compelling a collective shift towards Akpabana, propelled by the realization that, in the best interests of the Igalas, Muri must gallantly cede the spotlight to the Admiral, whose prospects shine luminously on the horizon.

The impending Kogi State Governorship election beckons the Easterners to embrace Admiral Jibrin Akpabana as the transformative leader capable of wresting power from the indomitable Yahaya Bello. With an unparalleled grasp of security agencies, unwavering loyalty from across the state, and a constellation of national backers, Akpabana is primed to restore the East to its rightful place of prominence.

As the tides of change surge inexorably forward, the Easterners stand at a historic crossroads, poised to recalibrate the trajectory of their political destiny by placing their unwavering faith in Admiral Jibrin Akpabana.

Comrade Shaibu O.
Political Analyst
Writes from Lokoja

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