Former special adviser to ex-President Muhammadu Buhari on media and publicity Femi Adesina has revealed that clergyman Rev Chris Okotie, a former presidential candidate, asked him to stay loyal to Buhari while the latter was in office.
Mr Adesina, who served in the capacity of special adviser on media for eight years, stated this in a note published on Tuesday on Facebook.
The former editor of The Sun said that while he was at Aso Rock several Christian leaders “whipped up hatred from the pulpit against their country’s leadership.”
He wrote, “At a particularly turbulent period during the administration, when my name was everywhere, and the Wailing Wailers and coppersmiths of this world were deliberately twisting and turning whatever I said upside down, calling me all sorts of names for faithfully serving the President, my phone rang. Who was at the other end? Rev. Chris Okotie, Senior Pastor, Household of God Church, Ikeja, Lagos.
“I’d known the cleric for a number of years. He had been particularly gracious to a Christian ministry I belonged to, and was also among those upholding me in prayers in my national assignment.
“So, on that day, he called me up. ‘Brother Femi,’ (that’s how he usually calls me, and I believe there’s no greater honor in Christendom than to be called Brother or Sister, no matter other titles we parade). ‘I’m calling to encourage you at a time like this. Please stay loyal to the President. He needs you at a time like this. If everybody betrays him, you must not. You are serving a government you chose to serve, so stay steadfast. Don’t mind the nonsense that some people are saying. We live in a very complex country.'”
Adesina said he thanked Okotie “profusely”, promising that he would remain with Buhari all the way.
Adesina added, “There’s a chapter in my forthcoming memoir titled ‘Buhari and a part of the Church.’ There, you will get to read what some preachers did to us, and how they spewed hatred from the pulpit. So very unlike Jesus Christ. Pity!
“‘Working With Buhari: Reflections of a Special Adviser, Media and Publicity’ is in print. Sooner than later, you will get to read it, by the grace of God.”
In the twilight of the Buhari administration, Okotie began calling for an interim government to be formed which would “eliminate the legislature and end the perpetual conflict between the centrifugal and centripetal forces, which has created the regional xenophobia engendered by the political class.”