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Pastor Tony Rapu: Is Goodluck Jonathan the Biblical Uriah?



Pastor Tony Rapu - September 2013 - BellaNaija

Dr. Tony Rapu heads the group of ministries comprising This Present House, God Bless Nigeria and The Waterbrook.

He posted an interesting article on President Goodluck Jonathan on his official Facebook page

Nigeria is in a difficult season. It is locked in a war with a psychotic and criminally minded terrorist organization whose sole mandate is to force its perverse ideology on the nation. In recent weeks, the abduction of more than 200 girls from a school in Chibok, Borno State has focused global attention on Nigeria. Across world capitals, the #BringBackOurGirls campaign has gained several high profile ambassadors from Michelle Obama to Pope Francis. In Nigeria, #BringBackOurGirls has galvanized a hitherto inert populace into action. Celebrities, social activists and business leaders have all joined the movement. The tempo was raised even higher when a few days ago, CNN aired a video allegedly released by Boko Haram showing dozens of the abducted school girls with the terrorist leader announcing that the girls had been converted to Islam. This induced conversion of captured minors who may have been subjected to unknown terrors is nothing if not cold-blooded and inhumane.

The entire incident has undoubtedly been a tragedy on several levels, with multiple layers of negligence and dereliction of duty. The fact that the school stayed open in such a high-risk area was bad enough but to compound issues, the military protection for the school was grossly inadequate given the insecurity in the area. Once the girls were abducted however, what amazed the world was the slow pace of the government’s response. It seems that it was only when the international media and local activists refused to let the matter be forgotten that the government itself decided to mount a public reaction. Inevitably then, the saga of the stolen girls of Chibok has become a barometer for a broader critical review of the prevailing culture of governance under this present administration. It yields an unflattering assessment of the current political leadership.

However, at a time when there is a growing consensus of negative opinion on the quality of those currently in charge of running the government, we who desire change must think and act strategically with the big picture in mind. There is a huge difference between serving the country and serving the current government of the country. There is also a distinction between criticizing the government and condemning the nation itself. While our criticism of the government is often well intentioned, genuine patriotism may sometimes require us to take a broader view of national issues. Dwelling on the obvious shortcomings and failures of the present administration at a time when we as a nation face staggering problems might be a shortsighted approach.

We must accept that as a nation, we are at war and there is a need to view the complex synergy of the government and the nation through a different lens. At a time such as this, we are called to focus on the prospects of a united nation and in so doing we may be seen to support flawed government policies. This is not because we condone corruption or accept incompetence but because it is the expedient position demanded when we have a long-term perspective.

We can freely admit that the present administration has left a lot to be desired when it comes to its performance on the corruption index. It has been compromised by graft and a great measure of ineptitude. But if we take cognizance of the bigger threat posed by the evil scourge that is Boko Haram, then our grounds for support may shift in favour of a grossly imperfect government. Any rogue organisation that engages in terrorism, rapes women, maims and murders children, abducts girls and commits dastardly acts against the citizenry, requires our focused and unified attention. We need to come together as a collective entity and take on the challenge of engaging the Boko Haram fundamentalist ideology and halting its brand of terrorism.

Taking the long view of the prospects of the nation at this time may mean juggling different perspectives in order to arrive at an accurate, albeit seemingly politically incorrect position. Sometimes, reaching such a position requires us to make a choice by weighing different evils in order to arrive at the lesser option. Speaking truth sometimes requires us to take a position of expediency and to be pragmatic in the context of the larger picture. In this instance, truth demands that we acknowledge not only the present government’s incompetence and corruption, but also the fact that a stable government is crucial in the fight against the threat of terror. Jihadist terrorism and its agenda to spread deadly chaos and create ungoverned spaces where it can thrive is the obvious greater evil.

The initial attack on Churches was a war of attrition designed to trigger reprisal attacks by Christians that would engulf the nation in a religious conflagration. Failure to elicit the desired response caused Boko Haram and their evil sponsors to devise other means to make the nation ungovernable. Let us therefore not play into the hands of these enemies of progress.

A truly strategic appraisal of the situation suggests that we must not overreach ourselves by trying to confront more than one formidable evil at the same time. Extremist terrorism is the more immediate threat, one that we must stand against in the short term. This may mean rallying around a President and a Commander-in-Chief whose grasp of his duties has been demonstrably less than average. If we must halt a satanic agenda and prevent the country from descending into anarchy then we must come together urgently and single-mindedly. How does one effectively rally around an administration whose competence is debatable? We do not presume to have all the answers, but it is clear that the future of this nation depends on our ability to close ranks now against a lethal and very present threat.

When David committed the abominable act of adultery with Bathsheba, he sought a way to cover his tracks. When all failed he devised a dastardly scheme of sending Uriah the husband of Bathsheba to the war front. David’s instruction to General Joab, the commander of his army was to put Uriah in the thick of battle and then tactically withdraw. Without the support of able men around him, the hapless Uriah died in battle. If we must stop the descent of the country into chaos and mayhem we must now rally together at the battlefront against a common enemy that seeks to envelope our land with its evil and barbarism. Leaving our President in the thick of battle without the necessary support is to sentence him to the tragic fate of Uriah, a situation that will certainly have disastrous consequences for the country.

There is a battle raging over the soul of our nation. We must look beyond the facts of incompetence in government that clearly stare us in the face and see the ‘truth’ of the agenda behind the terrorists’ agenda. We must now interpret the facts we see, in the light of the deeper ‘truth’ we know. In accepting to find ways to actively support our leadership out of its current quagmire we are temporarily accommodating the lesser of two evils because our first priority is to secure the nation from further harm. Once this is done and the ideology and barbarism of Boko Haram nailed in its coffin, we can then return to the unfinished businesses of confronting mediocrity and ineptitude in our institutions.

God forbid that Goodluck Jonathan goes down in history as the last president of a united Nigeria.


  1. annonymous

    May 15, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    God Bless You Pastor Rapu. I think I’ve just been too angry to see the bigger picture as clearly as you put it.

  2. Bade

    May 15, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    You are too wise!

  3. Hurperyeahmie

    May 15, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Hmmmmmmmm food for thought!!!!!!!! God bless you Pastor Rapu

  4. iba

    May 15, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    I am not moved by this sorry to say. I want to believe I am patriotic but this government has failed Nigeria; in the area of job creation, good health care, security, CORRUPTION, you name it. So while I pray for my dear country, I will not cover my eyes and pretend its alright and not speak up. I refuse to be blinded by spiritual discourse tilting towards sentiments and nothing more.

    Oh yes its got nothing to do with Dr Rapu by the way. Been to his church and loved it…

  5. Kay

    May 15, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    Very measured and wise, Pastor Rapu. I wonder, however, if we can’t do both. Nigeria is quite possibly going through a season of divine judgement — we’ve never had it this bad, nor have we ever been this vulnerable. I don’t have faith that we’ll have this golden opportunity post-Chibok to address other issues. We’ve come to a critical place in Nigeria’s history where something has to give. I am mindful that the spirit dimension is critical to what happens in the natural and I am still not entirely sure rallying around a failing President in a failing country should be our spiritual posture. Boko Haram may be a clear enemy, but so is the way Nigeria is structured, and, dare I say, so is our President. Enemies. I am all for nationalistic sentiment, but I am also for dismantling all that stands in the way of our progress. This is a time of intense spiritual warfare over the soul of Nigeria; this will be the year things turn around because we are all prepared to fight the most challenging battles of our lives. One gets the sense that this is the beginning of a very long night, but day will eventually break. Perhaps hell shouldn’t break loose in batches for Nigeria anymore — abductions today, bombs tomorrow, no time to recover in-between incidents. Let it break completely — let us discuss our diversity, our mutual suspicions, our plans for the way forward, our expectations of government; and let us begin the hard work of rebuilding versus tackling our myriad problems one at a time.

    I have gone past being pacified. We cannot continue to pontificate over blatant dysfunction. Let God arise and His enemies be scattered.

    • amaa

      May 15, 2014 at 2:10 pm

      I quiet agree with you I think what we all are scared of is Nigeria breaking up and with South and North Sudan not still at peace even with going their separate ways how can we guarantee that we will be . But think for a minute if we did not have that fear at the back of mind maybe just maybe everyone can be truly equal and documented comments like ANYTHING less of a Northern PRESIDENT come 2005 is tantamount ………………… . will be non existence . I do believe that the president has the power an authority to stop this and bring their sponsors to shame if only he just for second forget about 2015 presidency

    • Bleed Blue

      May 15, 2014 at 2:39 pm

      @Kay…who are you that you speak the words of my heart so precisely?

  6. eze1

    May 15, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    Good one there sir. May God continue to increase you in wisdom. however, I like to say that since you know and have admitted that the government is incompetent, we will all be doing ourself the desired patriotic good by doing all possible to remove the incompetent leader who has dragged down this sorry trajectory due to his cluelessness and incompetence. We cannot abandon the country, this is the only country we’ve got, but we also cannot put Uriah in the battle field just to punish him, it will be better we allow those with the skills, prowess and leadership discipline to take charge. the next election gives us that privilege. meanwhile, between now and the next election, we must all stand up, and rally round to save the nation and give President Jonathan the much needed support (hoping that he will not turn us down owing to what he may term as as political expediencies). I believe the most patriotic thing for the president to also do is not to seek a reelection especially since he has seen that he lacks what it takes to govern this nation.

  7. x-factor

    May 15, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    Amen!!! @ the last line

  8. Changing Faces

    May 15, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    I love pastor Rapu. He’s one of the few religious leaders who has a heart for this country. He feels the pulse of the people and encourages through difficult times. I visited TpH a few weeks ago, at the onset of bbog campaign, and the lady preacher encouraged people to be a part of the movement, and to be sensitive to others feelings and struggles. I believe I’m encouraged by this article… time to look at the bigger picture

  9. Idak

    May 15, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    This is a man after my heart. It takes a lot to win my heart but this man won mine a long time ago. I suspect it is on account of the amazing woman he has as a wife.
    I have lost hope in this contraption called Nigeria a while back and feel unmoved by its joys or sorrows but out of respect to the man, I will read this piece and we shall see how it goes.

  10. Fola

    May 15, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    Nice words but I think Goodluck Jonathan does not compare much with Biblical Uriah. For God’s sake, Jonathan is part of the problem that has led Nigeria into this state. In the analogy above, Uriah was blameless; in fact, he was cheated and killed-due to no fault of his. He didn’t cause David to sin; he didn’t arrange for himself to be sent to war and be deserted-he was blameless. Regardless of who the master-minders of the insurgency are, the kind of government we have now-as aptly described by the Pastor as corrupt and inept (no be today o) cannot entirely absolve itself of blame in the mess we have found ourselves.

  11. idomagirl

    May 15, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    It’s not as if those criticising the current administration and expressing dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs are automatically Boko Haram supporters and sympathisers, we are genuinely frustrated with everything that is happening. For instance look at the government response to this Chibok disaster. 3 WHOLE weeks not a word from the authorities, a day after the girls were kidnapped, the military lied that they had rescued all but 8 of the girls
    Till today nobody has been punished, no heads have rolled for such a blatant and wicked lie. A day after the first Nyanya blast our president went on a rally and was dancing. During his last media chat it was so obvious that he is out of touch with reality.
    After the NIS disaster, was anybody punished? Are the responsible parties still not in their offices?

    So how do we rally around our president and support him when he himself doesn’t seem to understand what his job is? Prayers? After that then what?

    And I do not agree with the Uriah analogy for 2 reasons
    1) Uriah was completely innocent. Away from this Boko Haram issue, is our president innocent? Will he say he isn’t benefitting from the corruption his administration has become synonymous with?

    2) Most importantly, who sent Uriah to the battlefield? Who instructed the army commanders to place him at the hottest part of the battle? King David. Uriah was a soldier in his army, Uriah was his subject meaning King David was his superior in almost everyway, are we saying that Boko Haram is King David? And that they are superior to our President and Commander in Chief?

  12. Dare

    May 16, 2014 at 12:34 am

    Okay, I don’t see why we must over analyse the analogy tho… Simple, Uriah finds himself in the battle standing alone without support… don’t leave GEJ standing alone in a battle against our common enemy… a house divided against itself can never stand… this has been my cry all along all these clamours! A house divided against itself cannot stand… #selah

  13. haram

    May 16, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    president jonathan is seriously under pressure due to the issue of insurgency in the,for me,think this is not the right time to blame anyone.the issue of abducting over 200 girls in chibok school…

  14. haram

    May 16, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    president jonathan is seriously under pressure due to the issue of insurgency in the,for me,think this is not the right time to blame anyone.the issue of abducting over 200 girls in chibok school…

  15. three wise men

    May 17, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    While I respect the good Pastor, Tony; I beg to defer on his choice of comparison of GEJ to Uriah. Uriah’s only sin was he had a beautiful wife. Not much is said about the man in Biblical text but we can infer that he was a man willing to lay down his life for his country. His relocation to the heat of the battle was a death sentence and he knew that very well, still he didn’t desert. The walls have ears so there could have been murmurs of David’s affair with his wife, we may never know. In spite of all this he placed his county, his people before his own personal intrests.

    GEJ is NOT Uriah. He is a selfserving, weak, painfully slow, inept (bordering on the ridiculous), clueless muppet, no ,let’s say puppet. He is controlled by the powers that be. The unseen hands that funded his campaign. This is where his loyalties lie.Personal interests before his people and country. The best thing he can do for Nigeria is to step aside and put in a STRONG, WISE leader.

    Men of the calibre of Tony Rapu, Fashola, to name a few. I have no political affiliations, all I know is the people are a reflection of their leader.
    It’s been over a month and GEJ has not visited Chibok. God forbid we be passengers on a highspeed train with the driver asleep on the wheels! GEJ is not Uriah. He might be a nice guy to have a beer with in a bar somewhere on the outskirts of Portharcourt, but he is not fit to clean the boots of the President Nigeria needs.

    • idomagirl

      May 18, 2014 at 11:20 pm


  16. Nikkitosh

    May 19, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    Very interesting read. Note for me here is that we should take a stand and position against the enemies of Nigeria. Nigeria is you and Nigeria is me…we are all that we have…so really each person should take responsibility for the progress of this nation.

  17. Kemi

    May 21, 2014 at 1:21 am

    My sentiments exactly! God help us all.. May this present evil not defeat us. Amen.

  18. Ime Udo-obong

    August 29, 2014 at 8:34 am

    President Jonathan had said earlier this year that Nigeria is under “spiritual attack”. It becomes clearer with the Ebola “attack” from the Western Horn of the continent. But what should Nigerian spiritual “leaders” (and natural) do to stop this PESTILENCE and SCOURGE ?

  19. Chinedu Abraham Ememandu

    February 16, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    Pure wisdom, fantastic piece. This is alternative thinking, completely different from t he norm. If only people like Pastor Tony Rapu will create a wisdom column in our print media to air their views regularly, i am sure a lot of people will be enlightened better.

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