ENCOMIUM Weekly was on Saturday, November 22, 2014, at the headquarters of INRI Evangelical Spiritual Church, Oke-Afa, Isolo, Lagos, where we had an encounter with the founder and spiritual head of the church, Primate Elijah Babatunde Ayodele on a number of issues, including preparations for Christmas celebrations, new predictions and much more…
What are the activities lined up for the rest of the year and early 2015 in INRI Evangelical Spiritual Church?
We have a lot of programmes lined up before the year runs out, and also in the early part of 2015. By December this year, as usual, we’re distributing a lot of items, including rice, chicken, turkey, clothes, sandals and more to our members. We also have not less than 3,000 people from different segments of the society that are going to be catered for in the scheme. Last year, it was only about 1,000 people that benefitted from the programme but this year is larger and it’s going to involve about 3,000 beneficiaries. We will have to reach out to the police, LASTMA and FRSC and all the necessary quarters are going to be adequately taken care of. For now, I don’t know how much that will cost us. All I know is that we’re going to spend a lot of money. Celebrating Christmas alone, and executing all our programmes, I always pray to God because of the amount involved. And these are things that normally, our governments are supposed to be doing but when we don’t have the governments that care for the people, such things become the responsibilities of the people that God is interested in using. The fact that our governments are not responsible has paved way for corruption in all aspects of our lives. All concerned men of God must not sleep. We all need to play our roles in ensuring that the needy are happy at all times, not only during festive periods.
Also, we’re going to have our annual Christmas Carol and Labour Harvest. We’re going to have a convention where we will start our 42-day fasting and prayer to round off 2014 and begin 2015. And nevertheless, we are still not forgetting our annual philanthropic gesture where we put smiles on the faces of widows, the aged and less privileged. We also visit motherless babies homes, prisons, hospitals and more. We’re going to all these places to make them happy and pray for them. Then, my special thanksgiving in the early part of next year will still hold as usual. It falls within the period of our general elections.
Actually, we’re not doing it in Nigeria. It will hold in the Republic of Benin. We’re going there to identify with the people that are not well taken care of. We will reach all the hinterland to locate some of these people. We will do exactly what we have been doing for the needy in Nigeria here.
Christmas is very much around the corner, what’s your advice for Christians and non-Christians alike?
My advice is premised on our attitude towards life. We should be of good example to people wherever we are. We must let the teachings of the season reflect in our lives, Christians and non-Christians alike.
What’s the significance of Christmas in the life of a Christian?
Christmas is just the remembrance of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. His humility, sincerity and love for mankind must also be demonstrated during the season and at all times. We, as Christians must allow all these qualities for Lord Jesus Christ to rule our hearts.
How should Christmas be celebrated?
It should be celebrated with love for the needy. We should remember them in everything we do during the period. We should also remember them in our prayers. It’s also a period we should pray very well for our country. It’s the period you share with others who don’t have.
You have predicted the crisis in the National Assembly and the woeful performance of the Super Eagles in the Nations Cup qualifiers, among other issues, in this year’s edition of your popular book, Warnings to the Nations (WTN). Can you shed light on few other issues as they affect the country as a whole?
Let me start with 2015 general elections, especially the presidential election. If People’s Democratic Party (PDP) wins, there will be crisis, if All Progressives Congress (APC) wins there will also be crisis. I want to urge all Nigerians to observe special fasting and prayer beginning from January 1 and ending on January 7, 2015. This is irrespective of beliefs or tribes. We should also pray against military intervention. Even if APC or PDP picks a presidential candidate there will be crisis. And I have been saying this for so long. APC’s plan was to pick Muhammadu Buhari or Aminu Tambuwal. So, other people vying for the ticket are just wasting their time.
But Tambuwal has dropped the ambition…
Forget that, it’s a game plan. We have said it in our book, that Tambuwal will decamp to APC. There will be likelihood of him contesting for president but he won’t contest for it at the end of it all. But he will instead contest for the governorship of his state. I am quoting exactly what’s in the book. So, it’s Buhari that the APC will give the ticket. And picking Buhari will make some areas to be very tough for PDP. And if PDP doesn’t put its home in order, it will be difficult for Jonathan to emerge with landslide victory in 2015. I am not seeing any landslide victory for either Buhari or Jonathan. Whoever wins will only have it very narrow. And there is going to be crisis. Also, there is going to be a lot of speculations about INEC. No matter the efforts Professor Jega may put in place, they will still condemn him. They won’t appreciate him at all. So, we need prayers against all these.
We need to pray against the death of prominent politicians, emirs and Obas. I see political assassinations and all that. There will be crisis until the elections and after the elections. So, we need prayers for the whole country. I am not seeing Nigeria breaking after that but if Nigeria survives the next 30 years, that means it can’t break again. But I doubt it.
Let’s talk about Lagos State as regards 2015 governorship election?
If APC picks Akinwunmi Ambode, the party will lose the state. Then, there will be crisis in so many states, including Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Kano, Kaduna and few other states. A lot of politicians will be disappointed. Ogun election will be bloody but I am not seeing the opposition taking over from Ibikunle Amosun. What happened in Taraba has been predicted in one of my interviews. Now, the court has reinstated Danladi. Let’s pray against bomb explosion in the South West. Let’s all pray for peace in the land. We all need peace for us to be able to do anything successful. A lot of people will be surprised in 2015 but I have said it, and I am still saying it, Jonathan will be the last PDP president because I see a revolution. I see a new thing. I see Nigerians getting a different shepherd guarding them.
But about your home state, Ekiti, what’s your position about what’s going on there at the moment?
I have said a lot about Ekiti. I don’t need to say anything again. But the only thing is that there is going to be crisis on and on in the state. That’s all for now.