BISHOP Francis Wale Oke, general overseer of Sword of the Spirit Ministries with headquarters in Ibadan and National Vice President, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), in charge of South West returned from a prolonged spiritual retreat abroad with a profound message for the nation.
He addressed newsmen including our SAM EYOBOKA in Lagos on burning national issues, especially the race to 2011 Presidency and the need for justice and equity in handling the festering Niger Delta Question.
I have been away from Nigeria for a couple of weeks. I have been on a tour of the Holy land where I had some very strange encounters with God that prolonged my stay. God told me to deliver some messages to Nigeria. First, is the call for the Nigerian Church to pray.
Nigeria is standing at a precipice—politically, economically and in every sense. We are standing on the precipice. The only thing that will save this nation is the prayer of the people of God. As a prophet of God, I must say that things are not well with Nigeria.
Our unity is very fragile; our democracy is very fragile. There are so many enemies within and without, who do not care about the progress of Nigeria. They just want to use Nigeria for their selfish end and purposes. So, we have to pray. The next one year is crucial to Nigeria.
The next one year is a make-or-break for Nigeria. It is only the finger of God that can rescue Nigeria. I am not a prophet of doom, but I can’t but deliver the message of God.
The danger stares us on the face. But if we can pray, God will step in and help us out. On our part, we are having our ZOE conference this week to pray for Nigeria and draw down the hand of God.
Appeal for South South Presidency
Based on my time with God and what He showed me, I want to make a personal appeal to Nigerians, especially our Northern brothers and sisters to give the South South a chance in 2011. I am not speaking for any pressure group, political party or person.
I am speaking as a prophet of God, that has seen the danger coming, that we should give the region a chance. No matter the candidate they give to us. The North had produced nine rulers in Nigeria. The South South that has been the economic mainstay has never produced any.
The term that is on now is the conclusion of the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua’s Presidency. For once, let’s jettison our pride and selfish interests and consider the interest of the nation.
For the sake of our collective interest, let’s just allow them. In the next four, eight years, Nigeria will still be alive and there will be chance for others to take over. If Nigeria disintegrates, we’d all be done for. Let’s give the people of the Niger Delta a sense of belonging and let them know we are not just interested in their oil.
They are an integral part of Nigeria. The feeling in the region is that the rest of the nation believes their oil is good but their men are not good for leadership. If we give the opportunity to rule come 2010 it will send a message that we appreciate their contributions and sacrifices over the years.
It would be a masterstroke to end the agitation that has engulfed the region for a long time. Then, it would give opportunity to direct development to those people. This is my appeal and I hope it would not be misinterpreted.
Why Nigeria should support South South
Well, it is all in the name of equity, fairplay, justice and fairness. If we have benefited from them in the past decades, what will it cost us to support them this time around? It is just an appeal from a prophet who has been in the presence of God. The nation can listen or reject it.
My job is to deliver the message. The other part is left for Nigerians. It doesn’t have to be President Goodluck Jonathan. There are loads of competent, viable people from the region who can pilot the affairs of the nation and manage the resources for the benefit of the generality of Nigerians.
The most important thing is to support whoever the region gives us. If we want this nation to survive and remain one, we should listen to the agitation and support them.
But if we say okay we want to go on with our selfish ambitions, so be it and we would face the consequences, but a prophet of God has spoken. America set a precedence. The man in the White House is a black man, from the despised race but he got there.
Everyone supported him and they have proven democracy is not just about the majority taking majority share every time. We should not bring unnecessary crisis into the country.
The agitation will never die until they are made to feel a sense of belonging. Look at how kidnapping has become the order of day in Nigeria. We don’t know what next will come.
Ongoing JFT operations
I don’t have the kind of security reports that President Jonathan or government has. I can’t start criticising governmental policies, but one thing is clear and that is that arms and violence will never end the agitation in the region.
Only a reasonable dialogue and genuine commitment to the region will appease frayed nerves. It was Winston Churchill that was quoted as saying “let us jaw-jaw and not war-war”. Why should we be using violence against ourselves as Nigerians? How can we use our money to buy equipment or ammunition to kill fellow Nigerians? It does not make any sense. We must embrace fairness and equity instead of violence.
Origin of looming danger
It is from our greed, our pride, our selfishness and must-grab-power politics. So, we must not only pray but also embrace justice, righteousness, equity and fairness.
On take off of Precious Cornerstone University
We have perfected plans to establish a university to be known as Precious Conerstone Univeristy. It will take off by late 2011 by the grace of God. We have had a visitation panel from the National Universities Commission, NUC and all the processes are on.
Our men are working and trust God, we would be able to give Nigeria a university of excellence that compares with any in the world. We would start small and grow to become great. We are looking at graduates who will be entrepreneurs and become nation builders and not looters.