Nigerian’s have been reacting to the news that the APC Presidential Candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari, (believed to be a muslim fanatic), attended the 2015 annual thanksgiving service of the Lagos State Government on Sunday, along with his Vice Presidential Candidate, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, a senior pastor in one of the popular gospel churches.
A photograph showing the former head of state Gen. Buhari, his APC running mate, the Lagos state governor, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Eunoch Adejare Adeboye and his wife, made the front page of some national dailies, and is creating a buzz on social media.
The thanksgiving service held at the Lagos State Secretariat, was attended by Christians, Muslims and traditionalists as is often the case, annually.
One of those who took a swipe at the opposition party presidential flag bearer was the Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs to President, Dr. Doyin Okupe.
Dr. Okupe commenting on the issue Tuesday, on Twitter said: “Buhari attends thanksgiving in Lagos. How time changes. Next Gmb will be taking Holy communion in this desperate bid for Power.Jesus is Lord.”
Responding to Okupe’s statement, some Nigerians posit that Buhari’s presence in Church on Sunday is not enough proof that he is a changed man, having allegedly made comments in the past that not only supported the devastating activities of Boko Haram insurgents in the past, but has also fueled religious crisis particularly in Nigeria’s northern region in recent times.
Some of the tweets:
“@essiongodwin602 : The same man who in 2001 says it is not the business of Christians if Muslims cut people hands under sharia.
“The same man who said as attack on Boko Haram is an attack on the north”
“@adedoyinsola_A: GROW UP!!“@doyinokupe: Buhari attends thanksgiving in Lagos. How time changes. Next Gmb will be taking Holy communion in this desperate bid.”
“@kasalilanre: … yes fayose did with his Cap Off,Buhari was Forced to goto church!Hypocracy in action!”
Some followers however see it as a positive move, cautioning the presidential spokesman to exercise caution in his untterances.
“@ZibbyJ: @doyinokupe Have some dignity, Sir.”
“@shakara5050: abi if gmb’ going to church is his problem. They said he is fundamentalist he go church dem dey cry again.”
Is General Buhari’s attendance at the thanksgiving service a good political move, or an act of hypocrisy?
And should the issue draw such political importance to attract the comment of the president’s spokesperson?
Meanwhile, here is what the Lagos State governor said at the thansgiving ceremony:
We gather today in the Centre of Excellence every year to thank and praise God together, Christians of different denominations, Moslems with different affiliations and traditionalists, because we are all grateful. That is the Spirit of Lagos”.
“We must focus on our common humanity, and those things that we share together and focus less on those things that are different about us”.
He declared, “If our creator wanted us to be the same it is not difficult for him to do so. Your faith is not better than mine, and if you think it is, I cannot quarrel with your opinion. You must respect my right to practice mine”.
“As for me, I have said repeatedly that I do not see ethnic groups, I see Lagosians, who contribute to the development of their state, but I cannot change the way people choose to see themselves…see the cup as half full instead of half empty”.
“Yes, men may have passed laws and given names to territories, but the Earth is the Lord’s. So, let men be men, and let God be God, because His will shall be done”.