with Sam Eyoboka
PROPHET Solomon Alao is the supreme head of the Sacred Cherubim and Seraphim Church Worldwide. The septuagenarian and erstwhile insurance executive turned man of God in this encounter with ALBERT AKPOR took an overview of the coun-try’s political landscape including the forthcoming general elections and said the polls will, to a large extent, determine the continuity of the Nig-erian project. He also spoke about the ‘crisis’ in the Cherubim and Seraphim Church and why it is now called “unification” church; among other things. Excerpts….
Let us talk a little about the factions in Cherubim and Seraphim Church….
When you use the word factions in Cherubim and Seraphim, I think it is der-ogatory; because you cannot say there are factions of Pentecostal churches. Perhaps, what we can say is that the devil infiltrated the church and that was as far back as 1925 when it was led by Apostle Moses Orimolade of blessed memory. What we now call a church started as a club or a band outside the Anglican Church and it metamorphosed into what it is today. Apostle Orimolade was a member of Anglican Church and the Cherubim and Seraphim Church actually started in the then Western Nigeria and it was called Egbe kerubim.
During the Western conference set up by the apo-stle, it became the Sacred Cherubim and Seraphim Society. What I am trying to let you know is that, the Cherubim and Seraphim Church when it started was like one single entity; but then it was not in-corporated because the founder, Moses Orimola-de was still a member of the Anglican Church.
But of course, there was a prophesy that the society will grow into a full fledg-ed church. As a single en-tity, the church later be-came popular in Western Nigeria where it start-ed and even spread to parts of the North until it came to Lagos and met one Captain Abiodun Emmanuel.
I do not want to go into details of what happened afterwards. The truth is that both the founder and Captain Emmanuel were working together but eventually, the devil crept into their midst and the two parted ways. So, I disagree with you when you say factions in the church. What we had was rebellion, ego and of course, money. So many charlatans came into the church and the result was a rebellion. It was in 1986 that the association was a able to come together under what we now call C&S Unification Church; headed by Baba Aladura Abel Akinsanya. But you know, out of any adversity there is always a seed of equivalent benefit. But for C&S, this country would have been Islamized. What I mean is that, Nigeria would have become an Islamic nation. It was the C&S that started the evan-gelism against such move.
What is your take on the forthcoming April general elections?
I have said it at different occasions, that the fate of this country is hanging on a balance. I am not a pro-phet of doom but the April elections will determine whether this country will remain one or not. I am not a politician, I am happy that you do not have to be a child of a Major General to aspire for any political office in this country. To that extent, the emergence of President Goodluck Jonathan as the presidential candidate of PDP is a good thing for this country. Again, you can see the composition of the National Assembly; that is also good for this country. Two, the cabal in the North who feel that it is their birth-right to rule this country is fast disappearing. But if they tamper with the peo-ple’s votes and refuse to allow their votes to count, there will be problem in this country. That is why I am saying that the fate of this country is hanging on a balance.
Somebody was saying that what happened in Egypt cannot happen in Nigeria and I asked, who said so? Who told them that it can-not happen? No doubt, Nigerians are peace loving and easy going people, but that does not mean that if they are pushed to the wall, they will not react. That is why we are saying that the politicians should play according to the rule. My greatest worry is the controversy between the President of the Appeal Court and the CJN. If the crisis continues it will be a tragedy for this country. My plea is that the Judiciary should continue to maintain its neutral stand because it is only that institution that has given hope to the Nigerian people.
The Judiciary has been courageous enough to re-move governors who hitherto forced their way into government houses. They should therefore be spared the current crisis so that they ensure that any politician who rigs his way into office and is eventually removed through processes of the court.
In fact, any election rigger should be made to refund all monies including security votes, he had earned while in office. If this is in place, politicians will not have the motivation to rig elections into political off-ices. And you journalists, this is where your job comes in. When you see that something is going wrong in the country, don’t keep quiet or turn the your eyes to the other side. I know that if the Freedom of Information Bill is passed, it will help a lot.