By Sam Eyoboka

ARCHBISHOP Joseph Imariabe Ojo, former National Secretary General of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN, for a decade, is the presiding bishop of Calvary Kingdom Church, CKC, on Lagos-Badagry Expressway in Lagos.

Buhari, Ojo
Archbishop Joseph Imariabe Ojo, General Overseer, Calvary Kingdom Church

He is a product of the University of Benin, the West Africa Theological Seminary and the All Nations for Christ Bible Institute International.

Born on April 18, 1949, the fifth child in a family of of Idiaghe Ojo of Uhen, in the old Bendel Region now Ovia North-East Local Government, Edo State and was born into the family. He attended St. Patrick Primary School, Uhen.

He celebrated his 70th birthday with fanfare on Saturday, April 20 with prominent men and women of God like presiding bishop of TREM, Dr. Mike Okonkwo, Rev. (Dr.) Mercy Ezekiel and Bishop (Mrs) Chioma Grace Dauji and many others in attendance. In this interview with Bose Adelaja, he bared his mind on the state of the nation.

Growing Up

Having grew up in a cosmo-politan city like Benin, he was popularly call-ed “Bolingo”, be-ing a member of a dreaded group called “Ogbe Boys” (simply redefi-ned as “Terr-or’’).  The group activities inclu-de writing lett-ers to school authorities to put female stu-dents in the custody of the group memb-ers.

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Members of this dreaded group were known to be drunk and lovers of Indian hemp and Toba-cco as well as terrorizing the City.

His conversion

Archishop Ojo had a personal encounter with God in 1972 during an open air crusade organized by the late Archbishop Benson Idahosa in Benin City which marked a new era in the life of this fire brand man of God. He thereafter joined the Church of God Mission where his journey into the ministry began.

He was employed with the Ministry of Works on a meager salary but gradually, he became an usher at the age of 23 and began to relate with the late Archbishop one-on-one. This triggered a father-son relationship and Archbishop Ojo was mentored by the late legend and he became one of the leaders of the church.

Life after late Archbishop Idahosa

The demise of Archbishop Idahosa marked another era in Church of God Mission as Archbishop Ojo was tipped as one of those to succeed his mentor. Unfortunately he was faced with series of persecutions both from church and family members until he was shown the way out of the church.

The birth of his ministry

Having been thrown out of the Church of God Mission, he had to redesign his vision and gave himself to fasting and prayers to know the next line of action and this was what gave birth to Calvary Kingdom Church which kicked off on June 2, 2002 with the vision to equip people to make heaven, raise the people of integrity, take the gospel to the doorsteps of people and lead them to live holy lives among other things.

Family Life

In 1975, he got married to Rev. Esther Ojo through a traditional marriage and they are blessed with children both males and females.

Leadership role

He was the Secretary General of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) from 1999-2009, the current National chairman PFN Inaugural Committee and the Archbishop of the Able Ministers Association of Nigeria (AMA) a platform he is using to mentor young Christian leaders. Also, he is the archbishop of the United International Association of Pentecostal Bishops (UIAPB).

Incessant killings of innocent Nigerians by some unscrupulous element in the Nigeria Police, Customs

It is the fault of the government. I think we should begin national orientation of the officers and this should be enacted by the National Assembly so that our uniformed men will be humane and thoughtful with human face. Their welfare should be paramount because their action is a fall out Nigeria situation. When the economy is okay and the officers are well remunerated, they will not mount illegal roadblocks or force people to part with money.

The leaders and government should do something to ameliorate the sufferings of innocent Nigerians. Honestly, people are suffering and there is no doubt about this.

Criminal characters of some Nigerians abroad

There is an adage in Benin literarily means: “If a masquerade does not dance at home, then he cannot go outside for a dancing competition”. If they were well cultured at home, they wouldn’t have gone outside to misbehave. There is a culture out there that takes Nigerians to Saudi Arabia, South Africa and other places to embarrass themselves in their quest to get rich.

The governments of those countries have worked hard to make their countries worthwhile, Nigerian government can do same instead of exposing our citizens to severe punishment. Nigerians should be well behaved and stop giving the nation bad image.

On May 29 handing over

Nigerians should pray and hope in God that Buhari will be a real Buhari (I am not saying he is a Sudanese). I am saying that the Buhari that led us in the past four years did not lead on his own accord in the sense that he was surrounded by a  cabal that dictated to him what he should do or say and this has not gone down well. People are suffering and the cabals are not telling him what Nigerians are going through.

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If he turns a new leave, Nigerians will serve him better, let’s cast our minds back to the Bible when Rehoboam became a king and his people told him that ‘if you are a servant of the most High, we will serve you with the best of our hearts. They told him if he followed the path of his fathers, things may not augur well with him unfortunately he followed the advice of young men and his kingdom was divided. If Buhari does not tighten his belt and if he increases the burdens and sufferings of Nigerians, he may not understand the next line of actions from Nigerians.

I believe Buhari is good but surrounded by bad people. They are wicked people who are working for their personal gains. They refuse to tell Buhari the truth because of the huge amount of money they have stolen and they seek protection from him. I strongly believe that after Buharis’ second tenure, more interesting scenes will be noticed.

Life at 70

I feel very energetic and anointed. I have received the grace to run a new race at 70. I am not tired but waxing strong and fired up to do more for Christ.

Disclaimer

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