BY Winstanley.R.Bankole Johnson

It is amazing how events of historical and spiritual significance can easily be re-enacted  to aptly fit into contemporary situations, and in a manner that does not only  help us to relieve those events and moments, but also to help us better understand and appreciate them.

Pontius Pilate

This week, as we reflect on the true meanings of the Passion and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, more specifically on the denials of Peter –  one of His most trusted disciples –  and the washing of Pontius Pilate’s hands to  signify a public abdication of his responsibilities in a matter that was within his jurisdiction that at first appeared very simple, but which ultimately proved to be of great global impact,  nothing can be more aptly compared to those events than the deafening silence of both the “Body of Christ” (whatever that means) and the Inter-Religious Council (IRC) in the on-going Constitutional challenges facing our beloved country.

I shall restrict myself to a statement attributed to the Inter-Religious Council (comprising the two major faiths of Christianity and Islam), in Page 2 of Vol.4 No.024 of “Politico” Newspaper dated 25th March that and I quote -: “We don’t want to be involved ….……..nor talk anything about the issue about the Vice President………We don’t want to be involved in politics” Unquote.


In my humble opinion, that statement by the IRC was as serious and as comparable only to the washing of Pontius Pilate’s hands “off” the matter of Jesus Christ, over whose ministry he (Pilate) had all along been a credible witness as Governor, and therefore a moral guarantor, and at a critical time when his support and endorsement was needed most by Jesus.



By publicly reneging on such a onerous responsibility as to get directly  involved in, and provide the spiritual direction necessary to assuage a level of comfort that would help the government stabilize the ship of state on an even keel even as it sails through these tempestuous constitutional seas, the IRC have not only “washed their hands off” the matter, but have also made themselves redundant in the socio-political landscape of our beloved “Mama Salone”,  thus indirectly emerging as the group of self-seekers referred to in the Book of James 4:8 as “double-minded”.  I will justify that.


When it comes to speaking out on a critical matter such as this; it is political, and they will hate to be involved. But were the accolades, national awards and titles accompanying their names not all politically bestowed? Who in Africa and the world at large will ever receive recognition and awards from any incumbent government outwit socio-political considerations? And if each of them who have so received and gleefully accepted those accolades and awards from the establishment amidst an encompassing cloud of great witnesses – including those they invited to celebrate with them in their respective homes –  how come that they should now want to dissociate themselves from politics at this crucial time?


Can any Priest or Imam leading a congregation or Jamaat deny the fact that his very avocation is not political; that is to say; directly attuned to the management or manipulation of their followerships’ psyche for the overall advancement of communities and the country?  That by itself is politics!!


Holy Orders

Can they further deny that offering opening and closing prayers at state and civic functions (for small envelopes) to wit-: Parliamentary sessions and Local Council meetings, workshops and seminars organized by government Ministries, Departments and Agencies are not tantamount to being involved in politics? And even though they very well know that some of these MDAs could be performing so abysmally, do they not continue to pray fervently for wisdom for their CEOs until some of them get convicted?


Is the IRC or Body of Christ not the same groups of persons that took so much credit for resolving an imaginary impasse between HE the President and (Brigadier Rtd) Julius Maada Bio in the immediate post 2012 Presidential election? “We would not sit idly by and watch our country plunge into chaos without doing something” – they screamed. So what games did they imagine they were playing by getting involved at that time? Snakes and Ladders? Draughts? Or Accra?


As my late paternal Granny Diedre (De’de’), used to say, you cannot be eating the tails of rats and then claim not to be eating rats. Eating just their tails is as good as eating their whole body. So in fact yes, “you dae eat arata” – which by extension in this case means we’re all politicians, except that some, (like both the Body of Christ and The IRC) are “Politicians of Holy Orders”.



Unlike previously, recognition and the awards of Justices of the Peace (JP) and Commissioners for Oaths (CO), including the occasional appointments to sit in the lower Courts as Co-Magistrates are now less fashionable, so some Priests and Imams are now openly lobbying for postings to foreign missions upon retirement or even to sit as Directors in Para-statal Boards, yet they claim to eschew politics.  Also about this time each year, many in the IRC are hopeful that their names will at last be mentioned in the dispatches for an insignia or award of some sort on Independence Anniversary Day (April 27th).   The downside this year is that the Ebola scourge has set the bar high and even multiplied the number of hopefuls, to the extent of dampening or reducing the chances of many in the IRC. Their open dissociation from the present Constitutional imbroglio therefore will no doubt further reduce their chances for consideration because by their fruits, the President has already known them.



By their very refusal to wade into what is clearly a national affray that is exciting the minds of all and sundry (the Civil Societies, the Police and the Military, Parliament, the Judiciary, the PPRC and Educational Institutions), and provide their own much needed support to the government even if through a sustained artillery barrage of prayers to appease minds, the IRC have clearly stood out as unreliable in times of deep national crisis.



HE the President should now begin to know who his real friends are and when to watch his back because as it is by their fruits, he has known them. Nothing thereafter remains, except for the President to further identify the true fruits of charlatans posing as “loyalists” to the detriment of our great APC Party and to have them equally exorcised accordingly. I have suggested a few such names to Secretary General Amb. Osman Foday Yansanneh and will be glad to make them public if he so desires.


My prayer is that as a nation, we will be resurrected from our graves of political ignorance, anxieties, doubts, intolerance and misgivings, and continue to rise triumphantly with Christ above all future political challenges………AMEN!!!

A Blessed Easter to you all in advance

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