From Tony Osauzo, Benin
Alles Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for the 2020 Edo State governorship election, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, yesterday, said politics in Nigeria is seen to be dirty largely because good people have allowed the bad to be in it and dominate it.
Speaking in an interview ahead of his 60th birthday, he said: “When you have bad people in politics, the system will be bad. It is true that in Nigeria, politics is seen to be very dirty. It is so because we have allowed the wrong people to be in it. So, basically, because good and decent people do not participate in politics, that is why we are facing what we are facing.
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“The truth of it is that for a long time, there have been quite some wrong teachings among us Christians. In the past, there was this wrong teaching about poverty, that rich men cannot make heaven, only poor people will. So, a lot of Christians will shun good jobs and say no, if I take that job, I will not make heaven.
“But later, they realized there was no scriptural basis at all for such belief. When Jesus talked about how hard it will be for a rich man to make heaven, he was just referring to those who carry riches above the things of God, not that rich men cannot make heaven. Rich men can make heaven if they use their wealth in a manner that will please God.
“In fact, your riches can actually guarantee you heaven if it is well used.”
The former governorship candidate, who is an ordained minister of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, also said: “It is the same thing with politics. You say, ah, no, Christians should not be involved in politics but it is through politics that leaders emerge. Are you saying Christians should not be leaders and yet politics and the actions of the leaders affect our daily lives?”
He counseled that as the nation prepares for the 2023 general election, one of the many ways Christians can participate in politics is to register as voters, own a valid permanent voters’ cards (PVC) and be ready to vote for good, tested and credible candidates.
“It is time we take the bull by the horn and be active in politics to reverse the system. As the Bible puts it when the righteous rule, the people are happy,” he said, saying he went into politics to improve the welfare of his people.
“I am concerned about the situation of our state and the condition of our people. And that is because no matter the much you do as an individual, you can only scratch the surface. The only institution that has the capacity to contribute meaningfully to the welfare of many is the government. Government is the custodian of our commonwealth. So, anybody with such passion like mine must be in government so that our commonwealth is used for the good of more people.
“We need to save our state. I believe we can make Edo better and greater than it is presently, so that our children can agree to live here and in turn help in contributing their own quota to the growth and development of our state,” Ize-Iyamu, who shares the same birthday with his wife, Idia, said.
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