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Jesus could not conduct free elections in Nigeria, says Obasanjo

media Olusegun Obasanjo in 2008 AFP

Christian leaders in Nigeria have condemned former President Olusegun Obasanjo who last week said that even Jesus Christ could not conduct free and fair elections in his country. The Christian Association of Nigeria has described the former president's comment as blasphemy and asked Obasanjo to apologise. But he has refused.

“With all due respect, if Jesus Christ could come to the world and be the chairman of [the ndependent National Electoral Commission], any election he would conduct will be disputed,” Obasanjo said at a conference on democracy in Nigeria last week in Washington, DC.

The comment angered Christians back home in Nigeria.

The Primate of the country’s Anglican Church, Olu Makinde, reacted immediately, saying the former leader blasphemed Jesus Christ and Christianity.

Speaking in a similar vein, Bishop Mike Okonkwo, of the Redeemed Evangelical Mission, said the former president needs repentance and deliverance.

Obasanjo fired when he returned to the country, saying that the Bishops and journalists needed deliverance too.

Obasanjo once called a Reverend "an idiot" and the Christian Association of Nigeria "my foot". He later apologised after much criticism.

From every indication, the controversy is far from over, as more Nigerian Christians are calling on the heads of churches to take decisive action against the former president, whom they say must not link elections in Nigeria with Jesus Christ.

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