James Akanbi, the general overseer of God’s Mercy Revival Ministries (GOMERM) Lagos, in this interview said it would take only God to deliver Nigeria from the complications of religion and politics which he said had taken the front burners of the politics of the 2023 general election. However, speaking at the GOMERM’s Zion 2022 Power Conference, which started August 15, Akanbi dismissed the fears of the country breaking up. Excerpts by SEYI JOHN SALAU:
Earlier this year you marked your 60th birthday with the launch of your biography: ‘A Seed for Generations’. How does it feel clocking this milestone?
I thank God that I was able to clock 60. It was a great joy for me. It was not about the age but the impact the Lord has enabled me to make in life at 60. Life is not about duration but donation. It is not how long you lived but how much impact you made. I thank God for the few achievements I can point at 60. It is not just looking at the numerical strength of the people around me in ministry. By the special grace of God I have some thousands of people around me in ministry in about eight countries of the world where the flag of God’s Mercy Revival Ministries is flying. I thank God for the pillars He has raised for the ministry. There is a son that will always be a source of joy to me in the ministry. The very first day we started the ministry he came in a drunkard, but today he is a regional overseer in the ministry. He is anointed and soundly mature in the Lord and still growing. I sent him to several Bible Schools. He is like a trophy I am looking at in this ministry.
At 60, one will expect you to slow down a bit. Instead, shortly after the celebration you went straight on the mission fields planting more churches and organising more outreaches. What is the drive that keeps you going stronger at 60?
If you are on the right route and you slow down other people will overtake you. When you are at the centre of the will of God you cannot slow down. Being at the centre of God’s will gives one joy to move on. Age should actually ginger you to do more. I looked at Noah when he was commissioned. I look at Papa Kumuyi; a wonderful mentor who I first met in 1981 as his student at the International Bible Training Centre (IBTC) of the Deeper Life Bible Church. Sitting down with him, I was able to see what he looks at the future to be like, and I said to myself, I want to pick a future like his. If at 80 he is saying he feels 30, what should a small boy like me say? When you are at the centre of the will of God for your life you will definitely have a great future for your life; you get going. You don’t want to slow down because you see what God called you to do.
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Can you speak to the theme of the Zion 2022 Annual Power Conference of God’s Mercy Revival Ministries (GOMERM), tagged: ‘Higher Ground Life’?
We have been on a particular level for almost 23 years now. When the Lord spoke to John, the Revelator He told him to come up! When God summons you to come up, it means He has a new agenda for you. When God summons you in that form it means He wants to raise the boundary. He wants to show you things you have never seen. He wants to restructure you and your system. He wants to do a new configuration for the system you are heading and the lives around you. Higher Ground Life, as the theme of this year’s Zion Power Conference, which I received from the Lord, is a higher level of life. It is doing things in another and different way. It is life becoming better than where we are now. It is the ministry work becoming more effective and more efficient. God is actually saying there is a better thing up there, come and see it! I will deposit it into you and you go out there to manifest it. That is what the conference is all about. At the one-week meeting God will load us with something new, higher and better than the current, and after the conference we will go into the world and manifest. When God summons you He will download some things into you and release you into your world to go manifest. That is what is going to happen.
What should the participants do or prepare to be partakers of the blessings from the conference?
When you attend any programme you need to believe that it is your set-time to receive your prayers, desires and expectations. You must prepare in your heart that you are going to that programme to meet God personally to answer your prayers, desires and expectations. Therefore, coming for the Zion 2022 Annual Power conference, the participants need to be serious throughout the one-week programme. They must also come with their faith that they want to be better and also be ready to serve God; that they want to receive a seed that they will sow back to the Lord like Hannah did. Hannah attended the Shiloh of that year with the mindset and determination that it was her set-time to receive her desire; a child, from God. She also came prepared with the mindset in the form of a vow to give the child back to the Lord. She made up her mind to receive and also to give back to the Lord. So, for the participants to partake of the blessings of Zion 2022 Annual Power Conference they should also attend the programme with the same determination and mindset of Hannah coming to Shiloh to receive and to serve the Lord, and they shall also be blessed like Hannah in Jesus name.
How will the conference impact the nation?
When God says come up higher, it means that place is a place of solution. It is where logjams are resolved. It is where the status quo is reversed. It is where the rod is changed. It is like when God took Ezekiel to the valley of dry bones and said to him, come boy, look at these bones, can we step them up higher? When Ezekiel looked at the situation on the ground, he said, Lord , I don’t know. It is only you that knows. So, when people come to God like this He will load them with some things and they will go into the world to make it better. When you make your world better, definitely the world around you will also be better. I believe God that people that will make the world better will come out of the conference
In view of the forthcoming 2023 general election; the Church is now becoming more active in the nation’s politics. What is your take on the Church involvement in active politics; which it hitherto avoided as dirty?
With the situation that is playing out now in Nigeria politics and governance, the Nigerian Church and Christians generally will be forced to get into active politics. The Labour Party’s presidential candidate for the 2023 election, Mr. Peter Obi is becoming the Christians stuff. If the Obi movement continues the way it is going and Christians continue to relate with one another, though we may not get the key positions in 2023 but we can get them in 2027. There is Christian Party in some countries. In Nigeria politics it will take a very solid calling to get there. Calling is so powerful that it makes way for itself if it is genuine and the instruction from God is clear. Calling knows how to make resources and how to open doors for itself. Calling is supernatural evidence. If you have a calling into politics, definitely you will make it. But if you are not called, you will be cursed. We had some Christians in politics in the past but they messed them up.
With the cloud of fears, agitations, uncertainties and religion suspicion like the APC Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket, over Nigeria presently, as a prophet, do you foresee the country crashing someday?
Nigeria cannot crash. I believe God has not given up on this nation. Nigeria’s present situation is not as worse as the situation in Ezekiel 37 when the people were completely hopeless but God still raised a great army out of them. Yes, at the moment Nigeria is facing a lot of problems so serious that Nigerians do not trust one another anymore. The politics of religion has never come to the front burners as it is now. Some people are saying nothing is wrong with a Muslim-Muslim ticket because we had in the past an Abiola-Kingibe Muslim-Muslim ticket. But the politics of religion had not reached the crescendo then. Al-Qaeda terrorism was at its infancy. Islamic fundamentalism had not reached its peak. There was nothing like Boko Haram. There was no serious suspicion between Christians and Muslims. But now there is a deadly suspicion between Christians and Muslims. As Christians, how can we trust a Muslim-Muslim presidency? So, when religious issues will be discussed it is the President, a Muslim and the Vice President, also a Muslim that will sit together to address matters that concern the Christians in the country; even when one of the two Muslims on the APC presidential ticket is having a heavy question mark on his name? That is no doubting the fact that Nigeria is treading the path of crisis with the APC Muslim-Muslim ticket. But I believe God knows how to have His way. I believe the numbers of the righteous people in Nigeria are more than those in Sodom and Gomorrah. I believe there are some people calling on God with a very pure heart for Nigeria. God will still help this nation. I believe Nigeria will not crash. I often say that we cannot expect the world to become better. The situations in Nigeria and in all other countries of the world will continue running like this till the End time but individuals can call on God to rectify their personal situations.