…Says it’ll continue until people turn to God
…Insecurity pervasive in Nigeria— Oke, PFN President
…Nigeria not yet at war, but… — CAN
By Dapo Akinrefon, Gabriel Olawale & Luminous Jannamike, LAGOS
The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, and President of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN, Bishop Wale Oke yesterday, expressed concern over Nigeria’s security situation, saying Nigeria is at war, with things going from bad to worse.
However, the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, thought differently, contending that despite the spate of kidnapping and terrorism in parts of the country, it is not yet at war.
Adeboye, who spoke during the First Sunday and Independence Day sermon at the headquarters of the church in Lagos yesterday, said the atrocities in the land might continue until people return to God and pray for God’s reign over the land.
He said while growing up, it was very difficult for people to go close to where kings resided but noted that things had changed as kidnappers now go to palaces and kidnap kings.
Speaking on the topic ‘Perfect Peace in the Land,’ Adeboye stated that Almighty God can do what security officers cannot.
‘Nation in a storm’
He said: “A whole nation can be in a storm. If a governor cannot go to his farm and feel safe, he has to thank God that he returned safely, despite bodyguards around him; a governor for that matter. When we talk about security, the governor should be secure. When a governor utters such a statement, then you know the situation we are in.
“As a young man, I remember a time when the king was coming, unless you are one of the very special people, you have to move out of the way. But things are different now. Kidnappers can go to the palace and kidnap the king. Don’t let anybody deceive you; we are in a war.
“He said in His word that if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and I will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
He urged Nigerians to pray for leaders of the land to experience peace.
The cleric said: “It is easier to blame our leaders, but there are certain things we need to do as good citizens because for every mistake they make, it is the people that will suffer it.
“We need to keep praying for our leaders. The hearts of kings and rulers are in the hands of God. We need to pray to God to touch their hearts, so we can enjoy ourselves. It doesn’t matter how much they are selling bread, there will always be bread in Aso Rock, and irrespective of the epileptic power supply, Aso Rock will always have power.
“Why we are not enjoying is because we refuse to do our duty. If you say the wicked are ruling, why not pray that God should touch their hearts? We need to pray that God should lead our leaders right.”
Insecurity is pervasive in Nigeria — Oke, PFN President
Also throwing his weight behind Adeboye, President of PFN, Bishop Wale Oke, in a broadcast, said insecurity is pervasive in the country like at no other time in its history.
The PFN president said Nigerians could use their Permanent Voters’ Cards, PVCs, to deliver themselves from insecurity and economic strangulation.
He said: “I am speaking in my personal capacity and as President of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN, that our nation is at the crossroads.
“Electioneering campaigns have started and politicians will begin to dish out their empty promises that they don’t intend to fulfil.
“They only want our votes, they only want power. They don’t have any clues on how to solve our problems.
“I want to say this: Nigerians, deliver yourself. Your future is not in the hands of politicians; your future is in your hands. Your voters’ card carries your power, don’t sell your votes for any amount.
“If you sell your votes, you have sold your future. If you sell your votes, you have mortgaged your future, the future of your children and children’s children. Vote your conscience. In my capacity as National President of the PFN, I am not telling you to vote for any party, that is not my duty, but please know that your future is in your hands.
“Your destiny is in your hands, represented by your voters’ card; don’t sell it for anything. If they give you N50 billion or $ 50 billion, say no and vote your conscience.
“A few months from now, we will decide and the decision we make now will determine our future. As Nigerians, you must deliver yourself from insecurity. Insecurity is pervasive in this nation like at no other time in the history of this nation.
“It used to be my pleasure to travel from Maiduguri to Ibadan, from Sokoto down to Calabar in the pursuit of my God-given agenda. I could travel round the clock without any harassment, without any guards and no police but you cannot try it now because insecurity is all over the place. Nigerians must deliver themselves from insecurity.
“Nigerians must deliver themselves from economic strangulation. Today, N700 cannot buy $1 because we are in a state of economic morass and the people in charge do not have a clue. That is the truth. I am dealing with issues and not sentiments and that is why Nigerians must deliver themselves from economic strangulation.
“With your voters’ card, you can deliver yourselves from economic strangulation.”
Speaking on religious and tribal division, he urged Nigerians to resist from such sentiments, ahead of the 2023 general elections.
‘Deliver yourselves from division’
Oke, who is the President and founder of The Sword of The Spirit Ministries International, said: “Nigerians must deliver themselves from religious division. I am close to 70 years and I have never seen Nigeria as divided as this. There is so much mistrust that there is fear that a particular tribe wants to dominate others.
Of course, they cannot dominate you without your consent. We are dealing with very serious issues here and so, your power is in your hands. Deliver yourself from the national division.
“I want an indivisible and prosperous Nigeria where I will feel free in the East, in the North and everywhere.
“Deliver yourselves from domination that one tribe wants to dominate others perpetually. You can endorse it with your votes and you can reject it with your votes.
“We are at a time we should not be thinking sentiment, whether tribal or religious sentiments. Say no to religious sentiments, say no to tribal sentiments.”
Insecurity: Nigeria is not yet at war, but… — CAN
But disagreeing with Adeboye and the PFN president, CAN’s Director of National Issues and Social Welfare, Bishop Stephen Adegbite, said though insecurity is still rife in the land, the country is not yet in a war situation.
He, however, warned that the situation might deteriorate into a state of war if nothing is done to arrest the downward spiral of the nation’s security.
He said: “If the insecurity bedevilling our nation had deteriorated to a war situation, you (our correspondent) and I won’t be discussing freely right now.
“But if we fold our hands and fail to up our game to counter the terrorists, we might reach a war situation someday.
“Our military has the capacity to crush the enemies of the state and they are doing their best, but we suspect sabotage in the counter-terrorism efforts because our troops were, in the past, deployed to Liberia and other foreign countries for peace-keeping missions and they were highly successful.
“Recently, we had to raise N50m ransom in two instalments of N35m and N15m as well as bought three motorcycles to secure the release of a church member and his family after two weeks in terrorists’ den in Kaduna.
“So, the security challenges are still rife in parts of the country, but we are optimistic the situation will improve. That is the hope we have as Christians.”