By Bose Adelaja
History was made last Sunday at Calvary Kingdom Church, CKC, Lagos, when the presiding bishop, Joseph Imariabe Ojo, was installed as an archbishop.
The three-in-one ceremony also marked the bishop’s 64th birthday as well as his 20th anniversary as a charismatic and Pentecostal bishop.
The event which took place at the church’s Lagos-Badagry Expressway drew dignitaries like Archbishop Idem Ikon, Archbishop John Osa Oni, Bishop Bola Odeleke and the host pastor, Rev. Amos Osadolor among others. In this interview with Vanguard, the celebrant ex-rayed the state of the nation. Excerpts.
YOU have been in ministry for a while; could you mention the most memorable day in your life?
I became the head usher of Church of God Mission, Benin City in 1972 and was ordained a deacon in 1976. In 1979, I became a full time minister. I was ordained a pastor in 1982 and a bishop in 1993. I remember the day when late Archbishop Benson Idahosa gave me a letter to pastor a branch of Church of God’s Mission but I told him: ”Sir, I am a deacon and not a pastor.”
He replied: ‘God spoke to me that you are a pastor and a leader and He has instructed me not to withhold whatever He wants to do with you.
You know you are my son and I love you, physically. I would have retained you here but I don’t want to hinder what God wants to do in your life.’
I reported in the church but the members rejected me and said they wanted an ordained pastor. However, God gave me the grace to preach a message that changed their mind. I told them that day ‘I was a good shepherd, all that came before me were robbers but the good shepherd had come to lay his life and that was how God changed their mind.”
Security challenges in Nigeria
I commend President Goodluck Jonathan’s bold step to grant amnesty to Boko Haram not minding various challenges as a nation. To some extent, the step will reduce tension and within the shortest time, crises will become a thing of the past.
The gesture to call them out for amnesty is a good one; if all hands are on deck, I am sure God will help us to solve the security challenges.
Some are of the opinion that Boko Haram members do not deserve amnesty
Those are the people who want more chaos in the nation. Irrespective of what Boko Haram has done, there is no sin that cannot be forgiven.
They should be pardoned for the sake of others, so that the destruction can end. You don’t expect people to share the same opinion at all times. The best thing for Nigeria is for the president to complete the amnesty procedures and we should all rally round him to restore peace to the nation.
Some people believe Boko Haram is a religious war while others say it’s political…
Well, whatever it is, I believe there must be a solution and we should not aggravate the existing crises which will continue if the sect is not granted amnesty.
Advice to Jonathan
He should do everything possible to fix our roads, provide stable power supply and provide jobs for our youths. I have four children, three of them are Masters degree holders; one obtained Masters degree about six years ago but is jobless. Nigerians are very enterprising but they lack the enabling environment to thrive.
If we have stable power supply, poverty will be reduced to the barest minimum and this will enhance the economy.
For instance, the amount spent on fuel, repairing and purchasing of generating sets will be diverted to other ventures and our economy will thrive greatly. Nigerians are looking unto Jonathan to provide basic amenities.
What if President Goodluck Jonathan should contest the 2015 election?
That means he wants to commit political suicide. However, if he fixes the roads, provide stable power supply and create jobs for Nigerian youths, I volunteer to lead his campaign team but if he fails to do so, he should not bother about the election so that he will not be disgraced.