Boko Haram, Niger Delta militants and Biafra agitators cannot divide Nigeria —Bishop Ojigbo
Bishop Emmanuel Ojigbo is the General Overseer of St Jonah’s Church of God International. In this interview with Jon Egie he spoke on national issues relating to violence agitations across the country assured that in spite of the prevailing situation Nigeria shall be great again. The following are excerpts of the interview.
Kindly introduce yourself to us
I am Bishop Dr Emmanuel Ojigbo JP, PLE, PFI aka the miracle man of God, the General Overseer and President of St Jonah’s Church of God International.
As a prophet can you give a prophetic interpretation of what is happening in Nigeria today? The state of the nation is near anarchy, Boko Haram at one end, Niger Delta Avengers are bombing oil installations and facilities, the Biafra agitation is up again, the economy is down and Buhari is at the Aso Rock; what is happening, how will you as a prophet interpret what is going on in Nigeria?
Well, God allowed it to happen because of our sins. Generally, God has been so merciful to us despite that we fall into sins day in and day out. All the natural resources that could make a country vibrant in the world are bestowed on Nigeria by God but mismanagement, greed self-centredness have taken over everything and because there is no employment people now indulge in doing things that are not good. Right now as we speak, I believe God allowed what is going on to happen in order for us to repent in totality to serve him. Look at the Niger Delta agitators of recent they picked up again after calming them down, look at the Biafra issue they want their own republic, the Ogoni issue is on ground and the Boko Haram matter despite that it is coming down they are still bombing everywhere; but I believe that God is only allowing this to happen in other for us to repent from our sins and become true worshippers of God and not hypocrites.
Are you saying Christians have not been faithful to God and that is why these problems are on ground?
The truth is that some Christians are faithful to God and some are not faithful. Some of the Christians you see when they hold political offices they forget about God, they do things that are contrary to the will of God, the love of money takes over their focus, they want to acquire mansions but we know that Solomon said that vanity of vanity all is vanity, so what will it profit you to gain the whole world and lose your soul? We need to repent of our sins. Christians need to repent, Muslims need to repent even Traditionalists need to repent and serve God, the true God, Jehovah, Christ Jesus that is all, and by the time we repent of our sins and focus directly on God we will be liberated, we will no longer have problems because we are one. God created us to be one and gave us all these resources in the North, South, East and West to enjoy them. Nobody should take monopoly and lay superior ownership claim over the other.
Prophetically, do you see Nigeria dividing?
No, no, no! Nigeria will never divide. Nigeria will never divide. Nigeria is the pillar of Africa, Nigeria is eye of Africa and because God knows that Nigeria is the umbrella covering Africa God will not allow Nigeria to split and anything that will cause Nigeria to split will not last, God will take the life of that person so Nigeria will not divide. Anybody who prophesied that Nigeria will divide is a prophet of doom because Nigeria is one, in unity we stand; colour, race and religion we are one, believing one God-whether Jehovah God, whether it is Allah it is God, one God, so Nigeria will never split.
Does that mean that the insurrection of Boko Haram, the agitation of Biafra separatists and the clamour for the sovereignty of the Niger Delta region are all for nothing?
This is not the first time such agitations have come up. Isaac Boro did it long ago, the Ijaws did not go away. When late Aliemeseigha proclaim himself the Governor-General of the Niger Delta, Nigeria did not split. Odumegwue oJukwu of blessed memory came, he could not succeed. This agitation is only a response to the negligence of government to the welfare of the people. The government has not tried enough to set the people free from their captivity, although they are in their own country but they are in slavery because in the Niger Delta for example there is no physical development on ground that could compare to the volume of oil wealth that is being exploited from the region: no pipe borne water, no access roads no god hospitals etc but the oil which is the main economic stay of the country comes from here, so the people are fighting so that the government will look at them and do all these required things for them. Nigeria will never split.
Do you believe the foundation of Nigeria was laid on the fear of God?
Like I said earlier, God made Nigeria to be an umbrella of Africa so there is no way that God will allow Nigeria to split because the founding fathers of Nigeria had one united mind but what we have today are self-centred leaders, selfish leaders, greed has taken over. But all this will come to pass when the time of God comes the real leader God wants to rule this country will come every body will enjoy the dividends of democracy.
Now the present times are hard, how do you advice Christians to cope with the hard times?
Naturally change takes a gradual process. Rome was not built in a day. This is the first time power has transited from one political party to another in Nigeria so there must be up and down and to cross a wooden bridge you have to be very careful else the bridge might break. President Buhari is trying his own little way, God is the ultimate so He knows what to do, I am convinced that gradually all things are going to take normal shape. Leadership is not by name, God is the author of leaders so when God says this is what will be it is so. This period is a trying period and as Bishop and a man of God, I want to advice all Christians to sheath their swords and pray earnestly for this government so that Buhari can succeed when Buhari succeeds the nation succeeds and Christians have succeeded. The idea of they (Muslims) want to Islamize Nigeria is not seen, spiritually I have not seen it because Nigeria is too big for one particular religion to take over, it cannot happen. Whether they are attempting it or not it cannot happen, no one will Islamize Nigeria, Nigeria is a secular country; there are Christians, Muslims, Traditionalists and others religious groups, no one will prevail over the other.
So you are saying that it is practically impossible for Nigeria to be Islamized?
It is very impossible. I repeat, very, very impossible. Even the Sultan of Sokoto knows very well that Nigeria cannot become an Islamic nation; even the King of Saudi Arabia knows full well that Nigeria cannot become an Islamic country. They know that Nigeria is just like Israel, it is a country owned by God not by a particular group of persons or religion. So the idea of Islamizing Nigeria is not there. I did not see it spiritually. So if they make any attempt that attempt cannot stand.
What about the attempt by Fulani herdsmen encroaching everywhere and killing people?
Well, they are a sub of Boko Haram just as we have the Niger Delta Avengers—they are a sub of MEND. This people too they want recognition, at at time government will ask what is your problem say okay, let us settle and peace will reign. It is not for them to take over Nigeria as an Islamic state.
In the present circumstance, what will you advice the church to do?
The church needs prayer. Anything short of prayer is failure. The church needs to pray and be united because the problem with the church is division; A criticises B and B criticises C and so on. No this is not what the Pope said, this is not what the Cardinal, Archbishop said. That is not the matter; the matter is what did Jesus say, what did the word of God say? So whether you are Roman Catholic, Anglican Presbyterian, Methodists, African church, Cherubim and Seraphim or Celestial, any group of religion you belong to, Christ is one. And so if one begins to preach Christ then the church will move forward but if we begin to preach churches and doctrines then the church will fail. Therefore, my advice for Christians is let us be united in one mind and spirit to pray together because in one accord we will succeed.
In the face of disunity, can the church resist any attempt by Muslims to Islamize the country?
You see what is happening in the North? The unity of Christians there is very firm. If something touches one church in the North it touches all churches in the North because they believe they are fighting one cause of Christ even though they are of different churches. When the church unites we must move forward, in unity we stand divided we fall.
In that possible fall, Muslims are making converts; do you think some of people who will fall out of the Christianity faith will be converted to Islam?
Just as the Christians are converting Muslims to Christianity so also Muslims are converting Christians to Islam.
How did you earn that name, the miracle man, and how have you, as a bishop, been contributing to solving problems of Nigerians?
As a matter of fact, the miracle man that people call me is not self-made. I lay hand upon the finishing works of God, so any work God has finished doing I lay my hand upon it and testimony comes. God has used me to bless so many people, the barren have received children, the blind have received their sight, cripple have walked, dumb and deaf begin to speak. This is not fictitious, it is not by arrangement. These are practical things, impotent men have received erection, and you cannot count, not only in Delta state but across the whole country. So, the people gathered and said this man must be a miracle man of God and anytime they say miracle man of God miracle happens. On the aspect of what I have done to help Nigerians, in my little way I try to help the less privileged. I bought motorcycles, Keke, cars for people, sponsor the education of some youths who have no biological relationship with me and send others to learn a trade. I help people, I give people money to start little business, I pay hospital bills. We take food to the orphanage homes in my own little way but my prayer is that the more God enlarges my coast the more I will do for the people.
People are becoming sceptical about the behaviour of some men of God especially those involved in modern day prophecy during which they could recite the family history of an individual, disclose secrets relating to them, their house addresses, phone numbers and such others. What will you say about prophecies and miracles? Are all prophecies real and are miracles real?
The ible says time will come when there will be false prophets, false teachers and false pastors. The same Bible said at the close of age I will pour my spirit upon flesh and the young ones shall see vision. So, you can imagine the two statements, the power of God is working, there are fake and there are original. Even in the days of Jesus there were false prophets such that when the disciples told him that some people were using his name to do miracles he said those who are not against us are for us, so by their fruits we shall know them. Those who are for Christ in sincerity you know them, those that are fictitious and operate by arrangement you know them. What is prophecy? Prophecy is direct statement from the Holy Spirit, from the throne of Grace. Prophecy is for past, present and future. The Bible says though the vision may tarry but it must surely stay. So, the real prophet of God, if he prophesied to you, if what he said about you does not happen now certainly it will happen because the statement is not his own. Technology has been applied to faith just as the spirit of God is working in different dimensions. There is nothing the spirit of God cannot do, talking about prophet who can relate family history, phone numbers, bank accounts, home addresses and such other secrets. The manner and the way they use it is what people talk about. Truly there are magicians and different occult people in the system but above all, we have genuine men of God, people who hear from God, they are not photocopy. When you are a prophet of God and thee Lord speaks to you, whatever thing the Lord has said will surely come to pass.
Finally, as a prophet, shall Nigerians smile again before and at the end of the Buhari administration?
By the grace of God, God so love this country. He will not allow this country to collapse and will not allow thus country to die in the hands of any person who does not want the good of this country. So God loves this country more than us and He knows the leader more than ourselves. I believe by His grace that before the end of the tenure of Buhari all of us will smile.
Thank you very much sir.