Says: “it’s not enough to keep quiet, pastor churches, have large congregations”
“Kumuyi, Adeboye must address World Conference to say, “Enough is Enough!”
“As pastor, Osinbajo must act too over killing of Christians”
By Osa Amadi, Arts Editor
Professor Dapo Asaju, former Vice Chancellor of Ajayi Crowther University and keynote speaker at the launch of the biography of the General Overseer of Deeper Life Church, Pastor W.F Kumuyi, titled, “W.F Kumuyi: Defender of the faith”, has challenged Pastor Kumuyi and his counterpart, Pastor A.E Adeboye of The Redeemed Christian Church of God, to speak out on the debilitating insecurity and myriads of other problems strangling Nigeria before the situation becomes irredeemable.
Copiously citing as examples, great men of God like Elijah, Samuel, Amos, Prophet Nathan and others in the bible who were not content to preach God’s word only while their countries burnt, Prof Asaju spoke directly to Kumuyi and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo who sat there in the hall at the Eko Hotels & Suites, venue of the book launch last Friday, September 17, 2021. He said: “I am challenging Pastor Dr. W.F Kumuyi and Pastor E.A Adeboye. These two men lead the largest congregation, and they are standing today because of integrity, discipline and holiness, not because of prosperity gospel. These are the two people today who have the strongest voices. I am calling upon them to please unite with other people; bring in everybody under CAN, PFN and let us address the Nigerian Question.
“Baba Kumuyi is 80 already. Baba Adeboye is 79 going to 80. God will give them long life. But at the appointed time, the Lord God will ask them to rest and retire. Where are the Kumuyis and the Adeboyes of tomorrow? Question of succession. That is what Baba needs to build up right now.”
Prof Asaju continued: “Church leaders are mandated to be watchmen over society by blowing their trumpets when problems are happening. It is not enough for us to keep quiet and pastor our churches and have large congregations. When crisis come, everybody will be a victim. All ministers of God must speak out now. As things are going upside down in Nigeria, you are comfortable here, but people are not comfortable in Benue, Southern Kaduna, etc. All our church leaders must speak out. I looking forward to Baba addressing a World Press Conference, with Baba Adeboye seated beside him. Let them call people and say, “Enough is Enough!”. They need to lead other people to convene a high-powered meeting with the President.
“The Vice President (Prof. Yemi Osinbajo) is here representing the highest authority in this country. The Federal Government is therefore here. Only Baba Kumuyi and Baba Adeboye will have the capacity to bring the Federal Government to attend the biography launch like this. Let Baba and all other leaders and primates and prelates of the church sit down with the government of this country and say, let us sit down at the roundtable and let us guide you as prophets and let us get out of this problem.”
The erudite and courageous professor further said: “There is a quagmire. People are hopeless, people cannot travel, people live in fear, people are losing faith in God, people are going to other religions. This must not be. Baba, you need to do this for us as a watchman over the society. You need to meet with them. You need to call for a meeting of the former heads of state of this country; call the former judges and let everyone sit down in the legislative arms and let us look at this country and solve the problem. We don’t know the answer, but God will reveal the answer to you, Baba, in the name of Jesus. If Baba Kumuyi says, “let everybody come, I want to meet with you,” they will listen to you sir. Your voice is what we are looking for. And God will help you to be that voice in Jesus’ name. Brethren, the Church must be the light. We must not do what others do. We must have integrity wherever we are. We are all agents of God.”
Excerpts from Prof Asaju’s keynote address
I speak on the topic, “The imperative of integrity, transparency and trust in leadership: Celebrating the life of W.F Kumuyi, the defender of the faith.”
I congratulate our father upon celebrating his 80th birthday recently and I congratulate the authors who have taken it upon themselves to document the life of one of the greatest generals the world has ever seen.
My relationship with Papa has not been very close, but I have been his son. I was a member of the Deeper Life Bible Church of 1979. We used to go to go to Ayobo, when Ayobo was using canopies, and I remained a member of the Deeper Life Church in Lagos and Ilorin. And always, his books, his tapes have formed my spirituality up till today.
You have many sons in the diaspora, Baba. We are proud to be your children.
Biographies are very important because no matter how cerebral anybody may be, people suffer from amnesia, which is the tendency to forget people and things soon after they have left the stage. The Chinese rightly wrote that the faintest ink is better than the sharpest memory. When people die, they die with all their knowledge and all their wisdom. And that is the calamity we have in Africa. Many of the great people in this country have gone and gone with them are all their knowledge and all their skills – most of them undocumented.
In this clime, not many people celebrate biographies. They help a lot. I was invited to be the speaker when the governor of Oyo State was doing thanksgiving upon his election. That sermon took place in the Church of the president of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Bishop Francis Wale Oke. And my major message to him then was: can you, your excellency, go to the bookshop and buy all the books of Chief Obafemi Awolowo. Not less than 15 of those books are available that talks about his life which stood him out as the greatest president Nigeria never had – a man who touched life everywhere, a man of excellence, a man of idea, a man who was a philosopher-king, a man who saw ahead, who had television in Ibadan, before even the North African countries ever had one. He was a man ahead of his time. This is the importance of biography; when people are gone, we are still able to learn about their lives.
What would the Bible be; what would the church be if not for the biographies of the bible heroes? We look at their lifestyles; we learn from their mistakes; we learn from their successes; we learn from their righteousness and service to God and humanity. Take your mind back to the life history of the patriarchs – Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; look at the prophets – Elijah, Elisha Jeremiah, Nahum, Zachariah, etc. Everyone of them had their stories to tell, even Jonah. Look at the life of our Lord Jesus Christ; look at the Apostles – Peter, Paul, James – we all learn from their lives and also from their teachings. What do you learn from the lives of the martyrs who stood persecution and at the risks of their lives – this is why biographies are important. It is important to join the list of these greats, hence the biography of W.F Kumuyi.
Integrity talks about reputation – good one; it talks about principles, ethical standards, strong convictions. Transparency talks about openness and accountability. Trust talks about dependability and honesty. Defender simply means one who fights in defence of the faith, do everything to be able to defend the faith which was once and for all delivered unto the Saints. And leadership here talks about ability to lead, actualize visions, manage people and the ability to have the courage to be able to exercise authority.
So, having defined these terms, integrity, transparency and trust are fundamentals for the right behavior of leaders of the people in every society. A good name is better than silver and gold. Integrity comes from wisdom, not knowledge. And wisdom comes only from the fear of God. When these virtues are lost, as they appear to be lost in contemporary Nigeria and the world at large… then it is finished for such societies, unless God intervenes.
Integrity and trust are solid principles that guide human behaviors and ethics. When engineers subject projects or products to integrity tests, what they want to confirm is the quality of the product, to see if it can withstand pressure and achieve the purpose of creating that product, like a building. Transparency makes leaders to be responsible and accountable to the public that voted them into power. Openness and accountability are essential for people to have trust in their leaders at all levels.
Today, all over the world and especially in Nigeria, most people have lost faith in their government and the political leaders at all levels because massive corruption, insecurity, kidnapping for ransom, massacre of innocent communities, impunity of terrorists who have infiltrated the security outfits and surrounded communities in various parts of the country in the name of herdsmen and bandits, failure of basic infrastructure, devaluation of the Nigerian currency – it’s shameful that the Nigeria naira is exchanging at the rate of N720 to a pound.
We had a time when the pound sterling was at par with the naira. We were stronger than the dollar. I was in this country as a young man when one Volkswagen Beatle car was sold for N1,680; Peugeot 504 sold for less than N6,000; people flew to New York with a return ticket at the cost of N30. What has happened to the good old days? We will continue to talk about the good old days. May those days come back again in the name of Jesus!
We are dealing with massive unemployment of skilled youths. As a Vice Chancellor, it was very painful (to me) that most of the students I graduated were found on the job market. It is just hopeless. There is no job anywhere. Companies are closing down and churches which ought to be establishing businesses to employ youths are buying them over and opening more places of worship – churches everywhere (and yet) impact is low, core human behavior, we are having these problems.
And most worrisome is the brain drain of our young professionals, especially the doctors and the medical experts. You train doctors today and you train them for the international market. It is an unfortunate experience for a country to train its doctors with the taxpayers’ money, only for them to emigrate to Canada, England, US, etc. – whatever they become there, they are only earning money for their own personal pockets; it has no benefit for the country.
The country that trained them cannot benefit from them – our engineers are going, doctors are going – it is the woe of our country that we allow the best of our brains to leave. We are dealing now, not just with the export of these professionals, but we are dealing with poverty, inflation, dealing with the dominance of the legislative, educational judicial arms, economic sectors of the society by one tribe in this country against the constitutional provisions of the federal character
These maladies have affected the populace in having trust in the government. Today, everyone is for himself and God is for us all. People have no confidence that they can be protected by the government. They are not even sure that they can have peace and leave in joy and harmony as it used to be.
Christians are attacked, persecuted
In summary therefore, the people are disconnected from their government. Politicians are no longer trusted to implement policies they made during electioneering campaigns. I can still remember the five cardinal principles of Unity Party of Nigeria of Obafemi Awolowo. I cannot remember any cardinal principle of any of the political parties today. They promise much, they do little. And it is very unfortunate.
This is a matter of trust. People are disconnected from their government and now, Christians are more vulnerable to experience persecution and attack more than ever before. See what is happening in Afghanistan. See how we are losing ground everywhere. And violence which has come from one part of the country against the other is so blind. Mahatma Gandhi said, “An eye for an eye will make the whole world go blind”. Martin Luther King Jr advocated non-violence resistance.
Violence is not an attractive option anywhere for any people. Why? Because violence is blind. For those that have been exporting violence, the chickens are coming home to roost. It has become so serious now that Emirs are no longer safe in their palaces. Emirs are no longer safe on the roads. Katsina, which is the home state of the president, is as restive as any other place, and people are asking: how did we get here?
When you are talking about corruption, ladies and gentlemen, Nigerians at the lower level are even more corrupt than people who are there at the top. Unless there is a general reverse and sanctification of the human heart, man is terribly wicked. God who created us said he regrated he made man. God was so frustrated with sin in the time of Noah – and our time is likened to the time of Noah. God said, “I regret I have made man because the imagination of the heart of man is continuously evil”. God was so frustrated that he opened the windows of heaven, brought down water and destroyed the entire humanity. If God could destroy the whole world and spared only a family of eight… God can do it again, and he will do it again, though not any longer with water, but with fire!
Nigerians are very corrupt. Everyone wants to cheat one another… we have to go back to the fundamentals of honesty and integrity. Integrity pays…. The prophets of Israel fought against acts of unrighteousness in the society. Amos fought against injustice and unrighteousness. He lamented against the Cows of Bashan. He condemned them for the widening gap between the rich and the poor. He said we are selling the poor for a pair of slippers. He was talking about prostitution, idolatry, injustice, violence. Amos was indirectly and futuristically talking about the state of Nigeria today.
Elijah also took on the government. He fought against the prophets of Baal upon Mount Carmel. He fought against Ahab and Jezebel when they murdered Naboth for his vineyard. This is a very big lesson, and I am glad that my governor (Baba Jide Sanwo-Olu) is here. Naboth was ready to die in defence of his family inheritance. The Yorubas are not careful enough about their future. They are selling away all their lands and people are buying them over. They take the money and they squander it. People who sell their lands don’t think about their future. Don’t think about today and forget about the future.
We squandered the money from oil
That is the same way we have squandered the money from oil. Oil is a depletable resource. It is going to dry up one day. And the people who are buying our oil are already making electric machines. When oil stops, that’s the only thing holding us together in this country, because they go to Abuja to share money. When there is no more money to share, people will come back to their senses and find a way to survive.
This is a big problem. We have to go back. God does not change the system by talking to the crowd; he looks for a man; he looks for a woman; he looks for somebody who is courageous; he looks for somebody who has the fear of God. When Idiagbon came, Nigerians queued up. Nigerians are good followers. We only need leaders who will set examples. And God will give us leaders who will set examples. Elijah was able to stand against Ahab and Jezebel. He said, how long shall you be swayed between two opinions? If it is Yahweh that is God, serve him; if it is Baal, serve him… you know the rest of the story.
The bible says one shall chase then thousands. We are not weak in the church. In this country, we are not lacking in population. Deeper Life can give us many millions. The Anglican Church to which I belong claims 18 million. The Catholic Church even claim they are more than us. How many are the Pentecostals? How many are the Aladuras? We have the population to change things, if only we will wake up, we will be able take our rightful place, because our God is the King of Kings, and he is the Lord of Lords.
Kumuyi should imitate Elijah
Politics is nothing more than opening the affairs of this world created by our God. The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. When the righteous are in power the people will rejoice. When the wicked are in power the people will mourn.
Brethren, I am calling upon us today as we celebrate our father who is a prophet to imitate Elijah. Elijah brought down fire from heaven. Look at Ezekiel, he also spoke to the church because the church was as corrupt as the society. If we are not even worse; we are supposed to be the light of the world – a city set upon the hill cannot be hidden….
Nathan could go to King David and said: This is what the Lord says. Prophets were the ones guiding the governments. It was Samuel who anointed Saul… we must go back to our prophetic heritage. Bredren, people have demonstrated integrity in the bible. Look at Joseph, for example. Brethren, integrity is a call. We must go back to the biblical standards. Integrity is even for us to go back to our African philosophy.
The gospel is asking us to evangelize. The gospel is asking us to fight against all the enemies of the cross. The nature of man is fighting against us. Persecution is fighting against us. Heresies are fighting against us. Other religions are fighting against us. Communism is fighting against us. Secularism is fighting against us. Philosophy is fighting against us. Paganism is fighting against us and all sorts of evil practices are coming up, like homosexuality, etc. The church has a lot of work to do. We need to stand, Brethren, to defend this Christian Church. There are people who stood up courageously. Moses stood up and said, “Let my people go!” Joshua said, “Today, choose whom you will serve”. Elijah challenged the prophets of the Baal. Deborah was able to lead the battle against the enemies of Israel. Amos was able to fight for righteousness. Esther was able to intervene at a point when the lives of others Jews were in danger. The Decree was already signed; they were to be killed by a secret agenda, but Esther was there. And God said to Esther, through Mordecai, who knows if it is for a time like this that God has brought you there? It is for a time like this that God has given to us a pastor as the Vice President of Nigeria. The Lord will strengthen him to be able to help us and also make the difference that is required, in the name of Jesus!
Martin Luther stood up against all the errors of the Church at that time. William Wilberforce stood up against slavery. And Mary Slessor stood up against killing of twins. Marin Luther King Jr, a man of God from the Baptist Church, stood up against black segregation in America. And the ministry of Baba Kumuyi, like Apostle Paul, he has risen up as the apostle of our time. Paul was a persecutor converted. Our dear father (W.F Kumuyi) was a man that has been called by God right from childhood. He trained at Mayflower under the reputable Tai Solarin – a man who believed in communism. From that clime, God has given us an apostle.
After the order of the missionaries and the Pentecostal generals, God has brought this man from campus evangelism in UNILAG. He started like a mustard seed, and today, he is the leader of the Pentecostal arm of the branch called The Holiness Movement of the Pentecostal Church…. He is a man of miracles. I have been a beneficiary of the miracles of this man of God. The dead had been raised, the sick had been healed, many people had been prospered, his prophesies have come to pass… He has a voice… he is indeed the apostle of our time and the prophet of our time.
I will set these challenges, and then I will close. Nigeria used to be good. Christian ethics used to guide our lives and our behaviors. When schools were good, they were good because Christian prayer and Christian discipline were there. We must return to disciplines, prayer…. Somebody asked Prof. Wole Soyinka, what is your hope for Nigeria, and he said, “hopeless”. He asked, how do you asses the leaders today? And he said “hopeless”. He asked what is the hope for tomorrow? He answered, the present generation is a wasted generation. He asked what is the way out? He said, raise another generation.
We must go back to our curriculum. We must go back to Christianity in the home, in the school, evangelism on the street. That is the way we can change the heart of men. Only Christianity can change the heart of men. When they are transformed, society will transform.
Corruption has become so endemic. We need God to intervene.