Following the unveiling of Isaac Idahosa as the running mate to the New Nigeria Peoples Party’s presidential flag bearer, Rabiu Kwankwaso, the Presiding Bishop of Kings in Christ Power Ministries, and president of the Pentecostal Ministers’ Forum (PMF), Chidi Anthony spoke with SEYI JOHN SALAU on the chances of the NNPP and what Nigerians should expect in the 2023 general election. Excerpts:
Your friend bishop Isaac Idahosa was recently unveiled as the running mate of the NNPP presidential candidate; if they win, how is he going to combine ministry and office of VP?
Based on what you said; if he wins as a pastor, Osibanjo was a pastor though not a general overseer. But, I know Bishop Isaac Idahosa; he has other pastors and branches. If eventually he becomes the vice president: it is not a big deal. Doesn’t Nigeria have a presidential jet? He can be shuttling – minister in his church once or two times in a month; I don’t think that will be a problem. Moreover, before God made David to be the king of Israel, the first thing He did was to make him a shepherd. So, maybe the reason why God is preparing Bishop Isaac Idahosa; give him the wisdom, if he can control such a crowd in the church, maybe that is part of the training; if he becomes the vice president that will not be a problem the way I see it.
But many are saying he does not have the political experience needed; do you agree?
In terms of experience, I think if he does not believe in himself he would not have accepted to be running mate to NNPP flag bearer, Kwankwaso. So, he believes he can fit very well in such office; but where I am afraid is that the timing was too wrong. This is not the actual time – that is the truth. I know where Nigeria is heading to and I know whom Nigerians is about to vote for. My spirit has never lied to me and God cannot lie. I don’t want to mention names but if maybe in your next interview you really want me to tell you who will emerge as Nigeria’s next president; I will tell you. For now, God is just nurturing Isaac Idahosa for him to gather experience on how politics is like, and at least to know one or two, three connections. I know very soon God is going to take him to his dream destiny where he wished to be; but for now, I don’t think I see NNPP winning the election in Nigeria. Am not cursing anything; I value him, he’s still my friend and am praying for him and I give him his honour; but the truth is, the timing is wrong.
Where is the melting point for Christians and politics, because many consider it to be dirty?
Alright; when you talk about politics, there is this message last time, maybe if I go through my archives, or you go through Youtube to search – the theme of that message is: ‘Our Fathers deceived Us’. You see, the Christians have this mentality before that politics is meant for unbelievers. When you want to go politics, they said, you’re a child of God and that it is not meant for believers. And we grew up with such mentality. But thank God for the church of 21st century. Our eyes as open; we now found out that politics is not what they say it is. They say politics is a dirty game: no, politics is not a dirty game. It is the people that play the politics that are dirty. I thank God for what is happening today; you can see Christians have woken up. And many ministers are preaching, urging people to go and get their PVC. Yes, I also even being the president of the Pentecostal Ministers’ Forum; there was a time in my church that I stand and told them that if you don’t have your PVC don’t even come to church. And when we went for our PMF meeting, I also made the pastors to understand and that they should also convey the message to their individual churches. Yes, Christians need to wake up, and I thank God for today, and as you can see when God want to rescue a nation, He will put confusion in the camp of their enemies. If you can remember when the lepers went into the enemies camp; they said, if you go into the town, we will die, if we stay here, we will die; we have to go. The Bible says when they were moving down, the enemies heard their sounds and thought they were chariots; and they ran away – God put confusion in the camp of the enemies, and they ran away. The lepers came there and saw food surplus, and went to the town to announce that there was surplus. Now, that was about the Syria. But that is by the way, it’s not what we are talking today. This thing that is happening; it is in a good plan. A prophecy has been given to this nation called Nigeria, that a nation that is being corrupt that will soon be a righteous nation. The nation that lack and people dying of hunger, shall be a nation that will increase in wealth. That was a prophecy given for a very long time. And I see the prophecy coming to manifestation now. Everything you see that is happening today; it is happening because God has ordained it. This is a time God is about to rescue this nation. For the first time – this thing happened during Abiola’s time and it did not work out. And since then till now; somebody woke up and say Muslim-Muslim that means they checked all the northern part of Nigeria, there is no Christian that is good and can be a running mate to APC flag bearer. If you look at it, it is not normal. It is not something somebody will do – that will show you that the finger of God is in it. Now, for them to have this Muslim-Muslim ticket, have also woken up the Christians for them to know that they don’t have a special place here in Nigeria, and they need to do something. And another one you should understand that God is about doing something here: politics is a game of number. I remember this one will say this party has structure; this party does not have structure. I said to myself, what is the structure; structure is human beings. Now, this is the first time in the history of Nigeria, I see a candidate who does not even know the people that are campaigning for him. A candidate that came out and even the poorest people will go and get their money to campaign for a candidate that they have not seen before; a candidate that they only listen to him maybe on radio or on television or whatever; I didn’t mention any name. But, I want to tell you that politics is a game of numbers. And when you talk about the numbers, the Christians, I think are more than the Muslims. But, what you found out this time is that even the Muslims are also against the Muslim-Muslim ticket. Which means we don’t talk about Muslim or Christian any longer; we don’t even talk about parties any longer – we are voting individuals; and everybody knows where the vote is going, Osun State should tell us that it is only God that has the right to give power. If God can unseat the incumbent governor and voters in Osun state can count; our votes in 2023 must surely count. So, the Muslim-Muslim ticket is nothing to write home about. I condemn it totally, and our Muslim brothers know it has not been done and it will not work the way am seeing it. And also, it has awakened the Christians that Christians need to do something.
You said Christians have woken up; how active is the Church going into the 2023 elections?
Formerly, hardly will you see a pastor going to the church and ask the members to go get PVC; I can’t remember because those days as a pastor you don’t involve yourself in politics, but allow members to vote their conscience – that’s what they told us. But, today, they have made us to understand that if we do not get involved they will turn this nation to an Islamic nation. APC is turning into an Islamic party the way am seeing it – if not, why should APC go with a Muslim-Muslim ticket? I saw the bishop that was at the unveiling of the running mate; the bishop that none of them have a name and the Bible says by their fruit we shall know them. Looking at their dressing alone will tell you that these people are nobody; they just picked them on the street. A rightful man with a rightful conscience will not do such a thing. It is high time we stood and tell these people the truth: Yes, that is why we have prophets in the land. Elijah will go Ahab – when a king messes up, a prophet will go and tell the king; that is our role in the society.
That aside; what is your view on the general insecurity in the land; considering what is happening across the country?
Based on the insecurity in the nation; the thing is increasing day-by-day, and like the popular adage that says “he who pays the piper calls the tune,” the National Assembly said ransom should not be paid for the release of anyone being kidnapped – they can say those things because they have never found themselves in such situation. When your loved ones are being kidnapped, all you will be praying is that let them take whatever they can at least for such person to be alive and come back to their loved ones. We are in a failed nation, where you and I know that the major thing any government should think of is how to safeguard lives and properties of its citizens. But, here in Nigeria is another thing whereby the military will ask you to defend yourself; governors will ask you to defend yourself. The last time, a governor in the northern state said that the entire citizen should get a gun and that government should do whatever it can to issue license. Is it everybody that can be able to buy a gun? That means our security system in this nation has failed or how can someone tell you that you should not pay any ransom: you will not pay ransom they will get your loved ones; you will not pay ransom, and watch your loved ones being killed.
So, you feel the government is wrong on this?
Assuming the government said if anybody get kidnapped they will do anything to get that person rescued unharmed – this one they say you should not pay and the government itself couldn’t do anything. You and I know the ones bandits kidnapped during the Kaduna-Abuja bound train attack – many of them are still not yet released, and somebody is saying you should not pay ransom. So, automatically the National Assembly will say something without it being implemented, so that thing they are saying is out of the point because I know it can’t help. Since the security system in Nigeria has failed and when your loved ones are kidnapped nothing will happen; so I think that law has no effect and can never have any effect. So, am praying that our loved ones will not be kidnapped, but if anybody finds himself in such a situation; the family needs to do something to ensure that such person is released – that is my opinion as a bishop and president of the Pentecostal Ministers’ Forum.
Tell us about the Church’s annual programme; Pool of Bethesda?
Talking about the ‘Pool of Bethesda’; we have already done the Pool of Bethesda for this year; it usually comes up between March or first week of April. Like this year, it was held during the first week of April; it was massive and everywhere was crowded because we usually do it at the stadium, but this year we decided to do it in our church. People around this place and Ago knew that something really happened; it was one of the church’s biggest programmes of the year. A lot of people who came here with sicknesses went back home healed. People went home smiling; going home with salvation, liberated from captivity, and they smiled home with testimonies. Even as I’m talking to you; the Pool of Bethesda 2022 in Kings in Christ is still a topic in town up till now, and I know that the church cannot recover so fast from it, because it is a programme that affects people in all kinds and parts of life. So, we’re expecting the 2023 Pool of Bethesda in March of next year.