‘ Northern Nigeria those days is different from today’
By Olayinka Ajayi
Taiye Olayemi is the Senior Pastor of Ever Increasing Anointing Ministries INT’L and president of PFN igando chapter. In an Interview with PAV correspondent in Nigeria, the Pastor blames the mass killings of Christians in the North Northern Nigeria to lack of unity among Christian Association of Nigeria CAN among other issues. Excerpts:
How will you describe your coming into the ministry?So far, my being in ministry is sweet . It’s anybody that is not called by God into the ministry that will be frustrated in life and the frustration will lead to so many things like immorality. So frustration is the major indication that you don’t have God’s backing.
What are the Challenges you encountered in your sojourn into ministry
When we came our site, the Yoruba popular deity known as ‘Oro’ comes out during the day and whenever they do, Christian worshipers would be deterred from coming to church. As a result of our prayers, the forces of darkness were forced-out and the rest is history today.
You were schooled in the North, how will you describe Northern Nigeria in 60s compared to the challenges faced with today?
The North at that time is different from the North today. Probably it was due to lack of education. Then lots of northerners don’t aspire to be learned. They prefer to be subject to those handpicked ones that are educated. So as a result of that they ware accommodating to outsiders. But now, their eyes are open to what the top class has acquired with their position. So they are more aware that if they can be educated, they can get to that position those they are looking up to are. At that point they now became more aggressive unlike before.
How can you explain the gruesome killings taking place in the North lately?
We are all humans. That is where the issue of leadership comes in. Because one life is more valuable than the whole wealth of the world. The Holy Bible affirmed it when its says ‘what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and loose his soul. In other words, the whole world wealth cannot be compared to one life. Most leadership in Africa don’t value life but they value wealth that is the reason we see that some of our policies does not appreciate life. When you look at the western world , they value life. They can because of one life do unimaginable thing. But ours , we prefer to defend material things, rather than defend human beings. That is what we are seeing in insurgence killings from Boko harram and Herdsmen attacks, kidnapping and armed rubbery. These is as a result of the policies in place does not protect human lives. How can we phantom the reports that herdsmen will enter a community and wipe out everybody! Where are the law enforcement agencies? Does it mean that we don’t have the capacity as a nation to handle them ? We do! In the world, Nigeria’s millitary men are classified as the 3rdbest in Africa yet we still have the issue of Bokoharram and herdsmen to battle with. Then something is wrong somewhere! That is why I am of the view that the leaders of this great nation don’t value lives, they even value their cows than humans. There are lots of policies that needs to be in place that will protect lives which cannot be bought anywhere. Such life can become great but we don’t value it. They said they are fighting corruption, and they are the one involved in buying votes in the recent Ekiti guber election. That is not the way to fight corruption. They are only fighting individuals using the might of the Federal government to deploy 30 thousand police men to monitor just one guber election in Ekiti. If they really want to are fight corruption, they should start from the grass root, from the family, from schools not from political angle. You cannot win the fight that way. If the fight against corruption starts from the grassroot those people at the top will be affected.
what do you foresee come 2019 general election?
The Ekiti election has open the eyes of the world to see that 2019 should be handle with care. And there is need for us to pray if we really want to remain one as a nation. Nigeria five years ago, is different from Nigeria today. The awareness people have during former President Goodluck Jonathan administration is not what they have now. The awareness of Christians in politics is more than before. Many pastors today are speaking to their members on political issues as its affect Christians nationwide. There are seven areas we need to capture as a christian. Among them is the mass media, economy, education, spiritual lifestyle . If we are practicing Christianity and all the seven aspect that affects human reasoning is under a force that is against what you are practicing such religion will be extincted. If a non Christian own a media house, either knowingly or unknowingly he or she will sensor what goes on air in such media house. Gone are the days when we use to say take the whole world and give me Jesus. Then we were not aware of how important politics, economy, education are on our faith. We were more concerned about heaven, If we die today, we go to heaven but God said the earth is our own. It is high time we let Christians know that Christianity does not end in the Church, its continue wherever you find yourselves. If you are in politics, business , education sector let them see Jesus in your way of life always .
What measures are Christian Association of Nigeria CAN taking to defend Christians that are more victims of the onslaught ?
CAN as a body is solely regulated by the government. So they have limits to what they can do. That is why during the late Abachars regime, CAN leaders fell prey to his dictatorial policies. In other words, CAN work within the confinement of the law, government once funded CAN activities and when government begin to fund an organisation, the government dictates the do and don’t . it is recently that individuals began to work towards the functioning and operation of CAN unlike before during the time of Olubunmi Okojie. He use to be a voice of Christians but was later silenced during late Abachar’s regime as a result of there policies. In other words, every organisation that is registered by the government, will work under the confinement of the government.
What then is your view of CAN leadership accused of collecting honorarium amounting to Millions from the presidency while Christians are being massacre in the North?
We are yet to have someone that will stand in the gap as a voice in Christiandom in Nigeria. During the lifetime of Benson Idahosa of blessed memory, he was a voice that gave Christians direction but today we don’t have such because everybody is busy building his own empire. If we have a father and a voice like Benson Idahosa, it won’t have detoriated to this level. When Idahosa was alive, he was a voice that the government adhere to. There are people that are more concerned about spirituality than the totality of human being. Politics affect the body, your emotion and your soul. Its makes people to become frustrated like what we are seeing today.
What is your charge for Christians across Nigeria?
There is need to look at the totality of the Bible. We should not in anyway emphasis one aspect of the word of God. Christianity is practiced in an environment that is not Utopianin. God want you to practice Christianity as a way of life wherever you find yourself.
What is PFN and CAN not speaking with one voice in order to achieve their goal in the body of Christ?
Can is made up of five blocks. We have PFN, Baptist, Roman Catholic, The white garment Churches. So to get unity which is one of the prayers that Jesus prayed but its a hard tasked. It is lack of this unity in Christianity that made Turkey a secular state tuned to a Muslim nation today. Sudan used to be a christian country , we had serious revival in Sudan than Nigeria. The issue of unity became paramount . In CAN the challenge we have is that a block always sees itself superior to another block. By so they undermine other blocks as a result of that, unity cannot be achieved. We must get to understand that one colour is not appreciated until its found in a rainbow. In other words, the beauty of Christ can only be seen when these five blocks that made up CAN come together as a body. But to attained this hight is a hard task. It was recently Churches like:Deeper life, Mountain of fire, The Lord Chosen among others are relating with other Christian bodies. Before they are on their own. So when an issue that requires one voice needs to be addressed, everybody stands by its self. For instance pentecostals believes in Tongue Speaking while other blocks don’t. When Dady fraizer raised the issue of Tithe, other blocks that does not believe in paying Tithe raised their own principle against it. So there is no unity in the aspect of Tithing in Nigeria. Also we don’t have unity in the aspect of politics in CAN . To some Christian faithful, when you join politics you become dirty. I told my members that you cannot do without politics. You can cast out devil but you cannot cast out the word of God. Pentecostal believes in Politics, while others don’t. The Bible categorically state that :’When the righteous rule the people rejoice but when the wicked rule, the people suffers.’ we don’t need a prophet to tell us that this scripture is not fulfilled in Nigeria. And somebody will be telling us that we should exercise patient when wickedness is prevailing in the land. There are thing that didn’t happen during former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration. No human being is perfect and no human being is an angel. Fayose is neither perfect or an angel but is one of the best governor Ekiti ever had. Until Nigerian Christians find a voice, our unity is very crucial, but difficult to attain.