•Says Nigeria needs a nationalistic figure as President
•Advises Christians to be actively involved in politics
By Ebun Sessou
Pastor Ituah Ighodalo, General Overseer of the Trinity House Ministries International in this interview speaks on some burning national issues including restructuring of the country, insecurity and disunity in the church among others.
What is your desire in life?
My initial desire in life was to be a businessman, make lots of money, live a comfortable life and help as many people as I can. But, as I grew older and traveled to other countries and I saw the environment in which we operate, I realized that if I had the opportunity to give the right kind of leadership in this country, I will transform and make things easy for people to live the good and right life. Regardless of not having that opportunity, I am using all I have to create opportunity and environment that is better for the people as much as I can.
Will you consider contesting presidential election to effect the change you want for the country?
If that opportunity arise, I will take it because it is a very good platform to make a change. And if there is anyone better than myself in that position, I will support the person with everything I have. I am not bothered about who is there and it does not have to be me. My desire is that the right thing is done not only in Nigeria but all over Africa for the benefit of the people who are genuinely going through a lot of hardship. Leading Nigeria is not rocket science.
We just have to shut out the evil and wicked people and keep them busy and tell them that they do not have to do wickedness for Nigeria to thrive. It is very bad for an individual to take what belongs to Nigerians and that is why I will fight against impunity if I am the President of Nigeria. We will match people who are serious with people who are experienced on the use of the natural resources. We will do master planing for the future. Everybody will have to eat and nobody will have more than what they need and that is the bible economy. It is important to think about those coming behind us.
People have been canvasing for restructuring of Nigeria, what is your take on this?
The short answer is that we need a Nigeria where sincere, genuine, value added economy activity can thrive. Whatever we need to do by whatever name to get that environment is what we should do. I also think that the deprivation policy is unfair and that is part of what is tightening this nation. I traveled to Kogi state three years ago for a funeral and I saw hills of granite growing out of the ground and it was affecting the road, even marbles. Those granites are wasting away, yet we are importing granites to this country. Before Dangote came, the limestone was lying fallow in Ibese, Lokoja, we were importing cement.
Nigeria was the biggest exporter of Cocoa after Ghana, Nigeria was the biggest producer of Palm Kernel but today, it is Malaysia Malaysians took the seed out of Nigeria in 1962. Nigeria rubber is one of the best in the world, Nigeria coal is one of the best in the world, Nigeria gold is one of the best in the world. We have potato from Jos, cassava everywhere, pineapple from Calabar. What do we not have in this country. I grew up on groundnut pyramids from the North. We did not have oil when I was growing up.
People were sent on free education because all our resources were working. Cocoa is still there, nobody stole it rather government stopped investing on it. The Israelite do not have 5 percent of these resources yet they export oranges. This is the problem in Nigeria. Nigerians are the second most valuable human resource in the United States. God has been partial to this country beyond measure. The biggest house owners in the United Kingdom rated third are Nigerians.
What do you think is responsible for the current security challenge in the country?
It is a failure of leadership. When the righteous rules, the people rejoice but when evil people are in power, the people lament. As blessed as Nigeria is, it has not been fortunate to have the right people in power on a consistence basis. So, they have come with wrong ideas, establishment of corruption, bastardization of the economy, wrong vision and bad economy. And when the economy is bad, it naturally encourages criminality to thrive because people must survive.
While corruption shows lots of luxury, the poor and hungry people are saying we will survive and so, they want to take from those who seem to have, so that they can have and survive but if the economy is restructured such that there is job opportunity, there is no reason for anyone to engage in criminality. Until that fundamental issue is addressed and follow it up with enforcement of the law, then, we can’t have a crime free society. There are many countries today that are almost crime free. The crime rate is low because the prosperity rate is high. If we have good leadership that knows what is doing, crime can be a thing of the past in Nigeria.
We have had a crime free Nigeria in the past before the advent of the colonial masters and British rule and corruption. Nigeria as an entity in various parts was relatively safe. There were no burglary proofs, high wired fences, no armed robbers. The society was free of evil and corruption. The only thing was ritual killing and in those days, it was not rampant. We did not have to kidnap someone’s son and kill.
But, the modernization of the society, corruption and criminal tendencies have brought about this ugly situation.
All Progressives Congress, APC produced a supposedly credible candidate, President Mohammadu Buhari who came at a time the country was in pain, yet we are still begging for solution…
We have not been blessed to have good leadership consecutively. I will not call Buhari the Messiah. He has some good points and there are also some weaknesses. He is probably one of the best because he has some features of a leader and he has the desire to rid Nigeria of corruption but you need a bit more to lead a nation.
You need a nationalistic favour, ideas and exposures, phenomenal wisdom and huge capacity to make a difference. Right now, the president seems not to understand what it means to fight corruption. The vision and the drive as to where the Nation is going is not realistic. We want to be like the people of Germany and France where people believe, fight and die for their nation and flag. Unfortunately, corruption has hampered the growth of the nation. But, Nigeria can still do a bit better.