Original Research

Àwa L’ókàn: When the blood of Jesus is not thick enough to bond his body

Benson O. Igboin
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 57, No 1 | a2899 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v57i1.2899 | © 2023 Benson O. Igboin | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 August 2022 | Published: 20 January 2023

About the author(s)

Benson O. Igboin, Department of Religion and African Culture, Faculty of Arts, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Nigeria; and, Institute for Gender Studies, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa


In this article is examined the now famous political slogan particularly in the South-Western region of Nigeria: àwa l’ókàn [it is our turn] as grounded on political injustice and not resonating with competence as claimed. This has become critical, because it has generated heated debate among Christians across denominational lines. I traced the popularity of the slogan to Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who claimed that, in the 2023 elections, the office of the president of Nigeria should be zoned to the South-Western geo-political zone, and then to him personally; hence Emi l’ókàn [it is my turn]. The theoretical argument in this article is that, although Christians are saved to live differently from the world, they still have critical roles to play in political affairs in ways that are consistent with their faith. The article used both primary and secondary sources that consist of books, articles, personal interviews and the social media. It discovered that the South-Western region has had at least a 15-year stint in the Nigerian presidency since 1999, the South-Southern region, eight years and the South-Eastern region, zero years. In addition, the article found out that the slogan, Emi l’ókàn, has resulted in theological disagreements which are not healthy for Christian unity and purpose in a multi-religious society such as Nigeria. It concluded that ‘àwa l’ókàn politics is based on ethnic solidarity rather than oneness in Christ. This position has implications for the Christian body, because preference for ethnicity over justice and fairness, which are Christian principles, challenges sound Christian theo-political theory.

Contribution: This article is interdisciplinary in nature. It brings together theology, ethnicity and politics, and argues that these disciplines are dynamic. But in a situation in which conflict of interest arises, it is argued that Christian ethics should guide in taking a moral decision to abide by the principle of oneness in Christ (Eph 2:11–22).


Emi l’ókàn; Muslim-Muslim; body and blood; Christian community; ethnic nationality; Cross; Jews and Gentiles


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Crossref Citations

1. How amazing is ‘amazing grace’? A radical re-reading of Philemon from an African perspective
Benson O. Igboin
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies  vol: 79  issue: 4  year: 2023  
doi: 10.4102/hts.v79i4.8491