General Overseer, Destiny Revival Church, Lagos, Pastor Chima Emenuga, speaks on issues of national interest. Excerpts:
How do you see the state of the nation?
The truth is that we know the truth but we run away from the truth or shy away from saying the truth because our leaders are selfish. We found ourselves in this present state of quagmire because of the selfishness of our leaders.
Our leaders know what is good, but they don’t do it. They only care for themselves and members of their families but when it comes to national affairs, they then pretend as if they don’t know what to do or how to do the right thing. Many of our leaders do travel abroad and they see how things work over there but when they come back to Nigeria, they do contrarily, and this is why I say our leaders are very selfish. Our leaders don’t have conscience. In Nigeria today, politicians during campaigns will promise heaven and earth, but as soon as they get elected into office they turn into another thing, they become a different set of individuals. In Nigeria, politicians, especially our political office holders, are the same. They are not people-oriented in their plans and programmes. Our leaders have turned themselves into emperors. They have become oppressors of the same people they were elected to serve. The suffering in the country today is too much, and our leaders are indifferent to the plight of the common people.
What is your take on the raging controversy over the zoning of the presidency in 2023?
I don’t think there should be controversy over 2023 if we want to be fair to ourselves. In the spirit of equity, fairness and justice, I believe it should be the turn of the Igbo. It is only a wicked northerner, wicked Yoruba man or wicked Niger-Delta man that will say that the Igbo should not have it in 2023. It is only the South-East that is yet to have the presidency since 1999. If we still believe in one Nigeria, and we believe in justice, fairness and equity, the Igbo should have it in 2023.
Will the Hausa-Fulani or Yoruba be happy if they have been sidelined the way the Igbo have been sidelined since 1999? All these talks that zoning should be scrapped in 2023 by Governor el-Rufai and some northerners are illogical. These people don’t want a united Nigeria. If they truly love Nigeria, they would not be making statements or remarks capable of threatening Nigeria’s unity. If we want Nigeria to be a strong and united nation, then our leaders should be very careful about the way they talk and the kind of remarks they make. It is also sad that those who ought to come out and say the truth, including men of God, are afraid of saying the truth. What a shame if men of God can no longer speak the truth to those in authority.
Then what is the essence of their calling?
In the biblical time, men of God were the conscience of the society. When evil is going on in the society, they speak out against kings and leaders who are not doing the right thing. Men of God like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Jonah, and Elijah, they were fearless, and were very bold to say the truth to those in power. But in Nigeria today, many men of God instead of saying the truth are fraternising with those leaders and politicians who are oppressing the masses. Today in Nigeria, many men of God have lost their voice, because they’ve compromised.
It is even the failure of leadership in Nigeria that has led to an upsurge in crime. If our leaders are diligent, and are providing dynamic leadership, the evils of kidnapping, banditry and other vices wouldn’t have arisen. Today, in Nigeria, good governance has taken a flight, we need divine intervention. The suffering is too much for the ordinary people. While our leaders are living in opulence, the masses are suffering.
There is even no unity in the country again. There is distrust among different ethnic groups. To move forward, Nigeria needs patriotic and genuine leaders. Nigeria is a nation blessed with natural resources that can make her one of the most developed nations in the world but we are not blessed with visionary leaders.
On the face off between IPoB and South-East governors and the Ohanaeze, how do you think the issue can be resolved?
The face-off is part of plans by some forces to cause confusion among the Igbo ahead of 2023.It is part of a grand plot to deny the Igbo of the presidency. The Igbo have to be united. If we are fighting ourselves, how can we speak with common voice on any issue that affect the Igbo? The Igbo should close ranks. We should not allow our enemies to divide us. The face-off between IPoB and the South-East governors will give room to Igbo enemies to work against Igbo interests. IPoB should take it easy. They should show respect to the Ohaneze leaders and South-East governors. What is the way out of insecurity and other vices confronting the nation? Some people have suggested we organize a day of national prayer and fasting.
I don’t even know how God is looking at us. Our leaders are hypocrites. Even if they organize a day of national fasting and prayer, is that fasting and prayer going to be in truth or hypocrisy? There is nothing wrong with holding such a programme if it is organized with sincerity.