Saturday, January 11, 2014

#CODED-ish News: Pastor Chris Okotie joins 2015 presidential race

11:11 AM


Despite losing the bid to become Nigeria’s president on two occasions, Pastor Chris Okotie of the Household of God Church International Ministries has announced his intention to run for the nation’s number one position in 2015.

He disclosed this in an exclusive interview with Saturday PUNCH in Lagos on Thursday. Okotie said he would contest for Presidency under the platform of the FRESH Democratic Party. He however refused to disclose the strategy being put in place to ensure his victory in next year’s presidential election.

He said, “I don’t want to talk about our strategy for now, we have learnt from our past experience, we don’t want to talk about it for now.’’

FRESH party was recently proscribed by the Independent National Electoral Commission but the party won a court victory against its de-registration in June last year.

FRESH, stands for Faith, Responsibility, Equality, Security and Hope. According to Okotie, only a fresh Nigerian can salvage the nation. He said all the cosmetic and superficial activities that were going on in the ruling party were a journey in futility.

Okotie first ran for President under the banner of the Justice Party and lost to former President Olusegun Obasanjo in May 2003 elections. He ran again in May 2007 as a member of the Fresh Democratic Party and lost to the late President Umaru Yar’Adua.

Asked if he would contest in 2015, Okotie said, “I will run in 2015, God willing.

“God spoke to me about my participation in the political process, which was why I took the step in the first place. He has not said anything contrary.’’

Reminded that he had always lost in past elections and that people might actually doubt if he was instructed by God to contest in election, he said as a servant of God his duty was to obey God’s instructions. He explained that he lost in past elections because of the prevalence of election malpractices especially by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party. He said, “I can sum it up in one word-rigging by the PDP. Even one of the party’s stalwarts, Chief Adeseye Ogunlewe, told The PUNCH recently that all elections have always been rigged. So that answers the question.

 “These election questions are inter-related. If they didn’t rig, then I could have won. Apart from election malpractices, the duty of a servant of God is to obey his master when he gives him instructions, irrespective of whether he fails or succeeds. Like Moses in the Bible, who kept fighting until Pharaoh released the Israelites.’

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