BY SAM EYOBOKA
REVEREND Chimaobi Aninwene is the General Overseer and Senior Pastor of Newspring Christian Redemption Church Worldwide with headquarters in Enugu. He was born into a polygamous Methodist family. In this interview he gave reasons why he is attracting Rev. (Dr.) Uma Ukpai, Emmah Isong, Zilly Aggrey, Don Odunze to Enugu for the much advertised Enugu Miracle Convention and the state of the nation. Excerpts….
What informed the ‘Enugu Miracle Convention, 2018?’
We are in a critical season, not only in our nation, but even in the church, where so many things are falling apart, so many crises and numerous errors on the pulpit. The main essence of the programme is to stir up revival in the body of Christ and in our nation, Nigeria. The bible says that ‘in the latter days the glory of God will fill the earth.’ So we are hosting the programme with the mind-set that the body of Christ will be revived, that there will be salvation, an outflow of the power of the Holy Spirit.
How do you relate Enugu Miracle Convention 2018 with the state of the Nigerian nation?
Of course, it is very simple. Looking at the state of the Nigerian nation, you will know we need a miracle. Most of our leaders have failed us. In fact, I can say we don’t have leaders; what we have are babies. We really need a miracle. And of course, you know by next year, there will be another elections to pick new leaders. We need God to give us good leaders; leaders that will shield the pain of the people.
Not corrupt leaders who are just coming to serve themselves, many of them come with a lot of promises during campaign – ‘we want to serve the nation’ – but at the end of the day, you’ll find out that it is just almost the same thing. Since I started following the politics of Nigeria, I’ve heard politicians making the same promises: “If you vote me in, I will give you good road,” “I will give you uninterupted electricity.”
They’ve been promising us electricity since 80’s. So what happened to all our leaders? We really need a miracle because we don’t know who is who. So we believe this programme will usher in a miracle in the state and in the nation at large. We need God to give us people that will take us to the Promised Land.
And you believe the Enugu Miracle Convention will be a platform for that?
Of course! In Israel, you cannot separate politics from the Church. In fact the problem of our nation is negligence of the ministers of God. So we believe in the prophetic unction and mantle. In the days of Prophets Elijah, Elisha, Moses and Samuel, to become a king, you need connection to the prophets.
So we are bringing in a prophet to Enugu State, the centre of the East, to release the Spirit of God into the air, so that God will move in search of a leader that will take us to where we belong. I believe this meeting will usher in such a revolution in Nigeria, if we actually understand the mantle and the ministry of a Prophet.
What informed the choice of ministers for that programme?
If you look at our flyers, you are going to see the ministers: Number one is Bishop Emmah Isong, an anointed and seasoned preacher from Calabar; Rev. Ntia I. Ntia, Senior Pastor, Full Life Gospel Church; Apostle Zilley Aggrey, a voice in Rivers State and our Papa, Rev. (Dr,) Uma Ukpai, a household name. Next on the list is my humble self and Rev. (Dr.) Don Odunze, another voice in the East. The reason we are bringing these men is because they are men I have sat under their ministration, I saw apostolic mantle upon them, grace of God upon them, and the Spirit of God upon and in their lives. We believe in the grace they carry and their grace will lead to revival in the church and a revolution in our nation, Nigeria.
What does Enugu Miracle Convention mean to the people of Enugu State and the entire community?
It is an answered prayer, because before this time, we have been yearning for such an opportunity. Bringing this cream of ministers to minister in a meeting is answered prayer to many people. Enugu Miracle Convention is like something everybody is yearning for. I won’t say everybody in the nation is waiting for this, given the multiplicity of religion in this country. But as a member and an indigene, I can say, this is a kind of programme we have been looking up to. So, to us, God is about to transform the nation by the force of the Word of God.
How did you come about the theme; ‘Overtaking the World with the Word’ for the programme?
The bible says, ‘so mightily grew the word of God in the city of Ephesus and prevailed.’ The reason we chose the theme for the Enugu Miracle Convention 2018 is that we have come to understand that many believers are running from the Word in search of signs and wonders. You cannot have authentic miracle outside the Word. In the gospel of St. Luke, the bible says that ‘when Jesus opened the bible to preach, the Holy Ghost was there to heal.’
The bible also says that ‘the entrance of the Word giveth light and giveth understanding to the simple.’ So we found out that the only thing that can bring a change to our nation is the Word of God. The Word has the ability to inform, and to give insight. We need information and insight from the Word of God in order to move in tune with the plan of God. We cannot have access to divine order until we have access to the Word of God.
There have been several themes, are they not slogans?
I don’t know how some people come about their themes, but this one was birthed out of divine inspiration. It is not something someone just sat somewhere to cook up, this was something that came out of the heart, because we saw by the Word of God and by the leading of the Holy Spirit that what the world needs is the Word—-the true Word of God. If you logon to your social media, you’ll hear a lot of people talk about tithe and so many arguments. The reason for the argument is the lack of information from the Word of God.
How was your childhood? Growing up, what was it like?
My late father was a railway officer. You know, in a polygamous family, it is to your tent O Israel! I was not pampered even though I was the last child of my mother and the third in the general family. I was exposed to hardship and suffering as a young child because my father didn’t train any of us. My mother was a school teacher with a meager salary. I had to go and hawk after school. I left secondary school before I had an encounter to be a minister.
When I gave my life to Christ, I devoted my time to Christ. I repented in Methodist church and I was so zealous to the point that I was a member of all the prayer groups. I was a member of the Sunday school prayer band, church, adult and youth prayer teams, later I became a bible study teacher, a member of Christ ambassadors’ prayer team. God was able to bring us to where we think we are now. It is all by grace.