By Yinka Ajayi
Chief Osarowese Amehor is the Owenso of Benin Kingdom. In this chat, he calls on President Muhammadu Buhari to focus on reviving Nigeria’s crashing economy among other issues. Excerpts:
It is a great experience to be among God’s people yearly, to have an encounter with God and to share my testimonies with other brethren. Although, being a chief and a Christian sometimes could be very challenging, God has always been faithful to me. People honour me more as a Christian than I expect. While other cabinet chiefs perceive me as not serious, some even confront me, accusing me of ignoring our traditional deity for church activities!
But I am convinced that there is salvation in Christianity and the benefits are so enormous. So I am not discouraged. Even in the Oba’s palace, fellow chiefs humorously refer to me as a pastor, because I put the of the Living Faith Church in my car. One of the chiefs asked me to remove it but I refused because I know the benefits of being a Christian. It is very important for somebody to know God and they all know I go to church as a chief. Even before I took over my father’s title as the Owenso of Benin Kingdom, the Oba asked me if I am a Christian and I didn’t deny my faith in Christ.
Why the annual revival ?
Christian-based revivals, trigger hope in the people despite economic challenges they face.
With the way things are presently, the average Nigerians can doubt the reality of the change mantra of the Federal Government. But the servant of God, Bishop David Oyedepo, has prophesied that a greater future awaits Nigeria. I am hopeful of a better Nigeria beginning from this administration.
With this prophecy, are you satisfied with APC Change mantra?
On a contrary, I feel that President Muhhammadu Buhari ought to have a pattern for his government in line with the foresight of the late President Nelson Mandela of South-Africa. He should forgive those that allegedly offended him during the pre-election period and forge ahead for a better Nigeria.
This is because election is a game of power, a party must lose for the other to win. He should desist from victimising the opposition like the former security adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd) and High Chief Raymond Dopeksi, the owner of Daar Communications. He should forgive them and lets move ahead because the election is over and the mandate he is enjoying is God’s gift.
There are those who insist that forgiving corrupt practices, is corruption itself?
Absolutely! There are APC leaders that are alleged to be neck-deep in corrupt practices, but are not harassed by anti-corruption agencies. If he wants to bring corrupt people to book, he should be straightforward, not tracking those who stepped on his toes during the election period. Obviously, this administration is victimising and clamping down on the opposition, out of the fear of them taking over power in 2019.
President Buhari’s focus should be on how to improve the economy, particularly now, when many state governments cannot pay N18,000 minimum wage conveniently, despite the human and mineral resources in the country. Countries like Singapore and Japan have no natural resources but are developed because the late Singapore leader, Lee Kuan Yew, came up with policies that revived their economy, not by victimising the opposition.
Nobody is against bringing to book those who are corrupt, but allow the law to take its course. Don’t influence the judiciary and anti-corruption agencies to do their work. President Muhammadu Buhari should focus more on any economic policy that will revive our nation from crashing. Leaders like Dr. Nelson Madela never victimised the opposition that ruled South-Africa for 300 years, jailed him and other freedom fighters for more than 27 years. South-Africa will never have gotten where it is today but for the single act of magnanimity that helped make Madiba an international icon.
What advice do you have for traditional rulers on their faith in God?
I will strongly urge traditional and indigenous institutions to ignore deities that have made Africa under developed for so long. They should know the true God that liberated western Europe and worship Him.
The Oba of Benin, HRM Omo n’Oba n’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo Erediauwa I, is always giving landed properties to churches and other cash donations. It may amaze you to know that his two sons are devoted Christians. Bishop David Oyedepo of the Living Faith Church Worldwide affirmed that God is the last hope for Africa to be included among world super powers. We will get there .