THE STORY OF KOLE OLUWAJANA, RCCG PASTOR WHO CONTESTED THE ONDO GOVERNORSHIP RACE IN 2007 ON THE PLATFORM OF THE ALLIANCE FOR DEMOCRACY
Pastor Kole Oluwajana was in charge of the True Vine Parish of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Maryland, Lagos. He was the Alliance for Democracy candidate for the governorship election in Ondo State in 2007.
In this interview which was first published in the Vol.1 number 2 edition of Church Times in May 2007, Oluwajana shared his experience in politics and offered a timeless counsel to believers who want to go into politics.
How did you join politics in the first place?
I became born again in 1993 and between that time and now God has helped me in so many ways that I don’t do anything without his leading. I moved so fast in the things of the Lord. So there is nothing in being a governor that I will consider more important that being a minister of God. My foray into politics was due to the leading of God in 2002.
What exactly were you doing when God led you into politics?
I was in my office praying when God spoke to me concerning taking active part in politics. I also felt that God had planted so much in me and that there was a need to touch more lives. I was touching lives as a minister of God but I felt I could touch more lives than what I was doing. God then gave me the leading to make some contacts and some moves that would enable me actualize this call to serve. I knew my venture into politics would raise questions in the body of Christ. I knew I was going to relate with a lot of people that were not believers but when the leading of God was so strong on me, I had to obey God. It is somebody who has a vision that will be convinced that the vision is not a creation of his own imagination.
So how did you make your contacts?
I made my first contact in 2002 and by December of that year. I was already discussing with the then governor of Ondo State, Adebayo Adefarati who is now late. By the time I was meeting him for the second time, he wanted me to take up an appointment as a commissioner. I did not find that attractive. And moreso the people did not approve of me taking up an appointment because I was always in Lagos. But the governor felt I should be in his government so he made a special arrangement for me to be a special adviser in charge of Lagos and that was a useful position and we related quite well whenever he was in Lagos. That was the genesis of it and one step led to the other and I found myself getting the ticket of the party for the 2007 election.
So what was the immediate reaction of the church?
At the initial stage when I was made special adviser there was no reaction from any quarter as such but when I had to stand for elective position it became an issue. I had to discuss with my area pastor as well as see the general overseer of the RCCG, Pastor Enoch Adeboye. He told me if it was the leading of the Lord that I should go ahead but he expressed some concern that some of his spiritual children who had been in politics before had not done the body of Christ proud. But what I could not tell him was that some of those people who went into politics did not take the pre-caution I was about to take. They were too sure of their standing.
Adeboye went on to say that everybody comes for prayers and since I was his son, he prayed with me. I believe the Lord had a reason for sending me into politics but the human reasoning differ from the way of the Lord. When a king was going to be sent to the Jews they were expecting that he would come as earthly king but by the time Jesus came and was leaving the earth they knew that he was the king of kings. Christians who criticized those of us who went into politics will have to seek to get confirmation from God whether what we did was right or wrong.
What was the enormity of the criticism?
Those who were close to me were backing me up in prayers. But I was not unmindful of the fact that there were a number of critics out there judging by what they said about Rev. Chris Okotie. I believe I went into politics to allow God do what he would do. From what has happened, there were a few benefits of going into politics. I have turned out to be a specialist in politics and I would be available to advise any Christian who ventures into politics or who wanted to go into politics. For you to be a counselor in that area you would have been on the field and experienced what goes on there so you can caution those who are interested in the intricacies of what goes on there. I knew that God needed somebody to go there and I happened to be one of those that God picked to go into politics. As time goes on things will be evolving. I’m already taking it as a ministry.
Secondly, I can confirm to you the extent of demonic power in politics that we hear about which some of us have not seen. It is real that people get shot and the bullet does not penetrate. You can see all kinds of evil around. I can also confirm to you that there is a grace around a child of God and that christians who are sure of their stand in God can go into politics. It may be difficult for you to understand some of the things I’m saying because I did not win eventually. But those who know me can tell you that I have laid an example for people in the state and that many would know that God is supreme.
What were the kinds of suggestions that people brought your way?
The pressure on me was enormous. If somebody is a believer, he needs a level of grace in the Lord to be able to stand by the time he is confronted with all kinds of suggestions and pressure. In politics your supporters will bring all kinds of things to you and they will prove those things to tell you it works. They may even go to the extent of doing charms on your behalf without your knowledge. They told me that they were aware that I was a pastor but that there are some people in my church who also do what they are asking me to do. They told me that they knew Pastor Adeboye had prayed for me but that people who get involved in voodoo and all kinds of demonic things also go to get prayers from the camp. But all those attempts to make me compromise my faith did not move me.
I used to tell them that many of them had not seen God at work. I told them if they had seen God at work they would not talk the way they were talking and give me the kind of advice they were giving me.
An incident happened one day when thugs came to attack people in the campaign office I was using. I was coming from Lagos to Akure and now stopped at the campaign office and the Holy Spirit told me not to go there. Two other brothers that worked closely with me did not go there too but we were around the place when we discovered that thugs were fighting around that area.
Those that were in the party office were those who had protected themselves with charms. Some thugs came from outside and attacked them with cutlasses but the cutlass did not penetrate but when bottles were used on them they sustained some injuries. The following day we met and they were boasting. But I told them if the charms they used were that effective then the bottle that was used on them would not have worked even though cutlass could not penetrate them. I then told them that the power of darkness was limited.
I happened to be the only governorship candidate that did not carry thugs around. I did not have police escort. Party members quarreled with me that I did not have a crowd around me. To the glory of God I made many trips to Akure with my driver and I was never attacked.
But did you ever think you would win the election?
At no time did God tell me I would win the election. When you talk of prophecy there is always God’s timing. At the time some people were coming up with prophecies that I would win this particular election I asked God to talk to me by Himself and He told me he won’t tell me if I would win. I think what God wanted me to do was to participate in the process. I’m still in the process and I know that His name is being glorified by my obedience.
How was the home-front when you were in politics?
Initially my wife was not comfortable with the decision for me to go into politics but as time went on she got the confirmation that God was leading me. She prayed along and gave her support. She heard God on the matter. But she is now asking question now that, since God told her that I would win why didn’t I win. I have had to explain to her that there is timing for every vision. But more importantly, if a vision is of God, the person that got the vision should just play his part. It is left to God to fulfill the vision. If it doesn’t work out, there is no need to grieve.
But a lot of people will find it difficult to believe that you never compromised your faith as a politician?
I can confirm that I never compromised my faith. God will not allow a temptation that is beyond your capacity if you are sincere with Him. One area that may be hard for a believer to handle is the area of bribe. It is believed that you have to give a lot of people money to be able to have your way. But I believe it is not right to induce people with money. So when the elections were around the corner, money just refused to come my way. I prayed to God and the Lord told me it was not a matter of money. If the money was there perhaps I would have been tempted to compromise my faith. I would have rationalized many things. I would have set up a committee and would have told them I did not want to have anything to do with money and would have still given them the money indirectly. That is why I believe the purpose of my venturing into politics was still achieved as a believer.
Given what you have experience how will you counsel a believer going into politics?
I made a statement earlier that pastor Adeboye had his fears and I never had the opportunity of explaining some things to him. I believe if I become the governor of Ondo State because the process is still on, I would be the first governor that will be preaching on Sunday and still be running the state. I will be a pastor who will come to the Holy Ghost camp and seat among the congregation.
But protocol will not allow you?
That is the point. Within the RCCG there are pastors who are in top positions and still maintain low profile. The point I’m making is that when you are a pastor and you are in government, you are under a compulsion to live a clean life. Any Christian going into the politics must first think of God’s calling and then the rest will follow.
Why is it that many Christians who have tried to get into politics are not getting there?
Nobody can stop the work of God. There are people you refer to as true believers and are not. A true believer who goes into politics will definitely fulfill purpose. The fact that one does not get elected does not mean God’s purpose is not fulfilled.
Looking back now how do you feel?
I feel fulfilled. I feel I have done what the Lord asked me to do. I thank God that I’m now having the feeling that God had used me to achieve a purpose. I met a couple of people in the last couple of days who have greeted me and say sorry and I say, sorry for what. I am the only candidate that is not raising an issue concerning the election because I believe the will of God concerning my participation have been fulfilled already.
But how come you don’t have much media presence?
There was funds constraint. It is not that we don’t know what to do. Brethren were also not forthcoming. We all know that righteousness exalts a nation but we are not forthcoming when it comes to helping believers to get to a place of authority. In fact what you find is that Christians support non-believers with their funds. This is shocking. When it comes to sponsoring a believer who believes he has a calling to go into ministry, Christians develop cold feet. When Moses was praying at the bank of the Red Sea, God told him to use the rod he had on him. It is time for us to use what we have to get what we want.
Are you satisfied with the state of things in Nigeria?
I can’t be satisfied until we have a sizeable number of believers in government. There are a number of leaders who know what to do but they do not have the discipline to do it. We don’t have people who have intimate knowledge of the scriptures which I believe is useful in the running of any nation.
How did you become born again?
I used to be an in an orthodox church and I was the president of a society. Over the years people had preached to me but I never gave the issue of being born again any consideration. I believed that if God wanted me to be born again He would speak to me by Himself. In those days I used to have a PA who preached to me but I did not budge.
But what came to me as a surprise later in life is that it was an unbeliever God used to speak to me to give my life to Christ. The person came to my office and said to me that I was having problems because I had not given my life to Christ. He also said the source of his own problem at that time was because he did not have Christ. As he was talking, unknown to him I was having a rethink. Immediately he left my office I called my PA and told him I was ready to surrender my life to Christ. And that was it. I wanted to remain in the Orthodox Church but God did not allow me. But rather than wait on God on which church to go, I went to another church and the decision boomeranged.
What helped me was that I was not looking for miracle and power. I was looking for a relationship with God. So when I could not get what I wanted in that church I moved out of the place and went to another church where they speak vernacular but my children could not cope with the church. So I had to go and pray. I particularly had to pray for my wife who had not given her life to Christ by then. I prayed that my wife would be saved. By the time I returned home, my wife was about to go to church and the Lord directed her step to a Redeemed Christian Church of God in ACME, Ikeja. It was in the church that she gave her life to Christ. She was eager to tell me her experience when I came back from the prayer mountain. We both ended up in the RCCG. The rest is history.