+ My relationship with ex-governor Segun Oni
Prophet Hezekiah Olubaye Oladeji of Christ Apostolic Church (CAC), Canaanland is renowned for his forthrightness and dedication to the service of God. Since he started out fully in 2000, he has not looked back. His ministry has grown in length and width, having about 18 branches across the globe.
In this interview with ENCOMIUM Weekly on Friday, September 20, 2013, at his Igando, Lagos branch, the Edun Abon, Osun State born clergy opened up on many issues, including the rumour linking him to gospel singer, Tope Alabi and her late spiritual father, Prophet Ireti Ajanaku.
How did the journey start as a prophet? How did you receive the call and all that?
I was called in 1984 to serve in the vineyard of God when I was an apprentice in an automobile mechanical workshop in Osogbo, Osun State. I received the call that same day I got to Osogbo as an apprentice. But when I got the call in 1984, I refused to heed because I loved hard work. At that time anybody who claimed to be a servant of God was lazy.
So, I had to learn that mechanical work for close to seven years. Later, I was on my own. I was no longer an apprentice. It was this same job that drove me to Olode garage, near Ile Ife, Osun State, where I established my own workshop. On this same field, I became a transporter, controlling about nine buses, in conjunction with another man.
We were doing everything together in Osogbo before we moved to Olode garage, Ile-Ife. My belief is that whatever God has destined you to be is exactly what you’re going to be. In 1997, one of the vehicles had an accident which led to the death of the driver and conductor. We now moved them to one hospital.
However, in 1992, God reminded me that I was yet to heed His call. But I said inside that I was already obeying Him after all I had started preaching His gospel while I was working as a mechanical engineer, repairing buses. But God told me to quit the job and face ministerial job full time.
At this juncture, I had to appeal to God to give me just two years more. When the two years elapsed, I still refused to quit. But in 1997 when the accident happened it was very terrific, two people died instantly. But my belief was that they’re not going to die but the doctor at the General Hospital then, a white man, had confirmed the two people dead. They said they should be taken to the mortuary if we couldn’t take them home. That was when I started crying.
As I was about leaving the hospital gate, I now told God that I was ready to answer His call, and it would start right from now. I now told God that I would be very thankfull to Him if the two people that have been certified dead could rise back to life. I now entered the hospital and touched the two corpses after which, they regained consciousness.
This was actually a confirmation of my call. It was all by the grace of God. Since that 1997, I had remained committed to the service of God. I became more dedicated to His work. I started moving from place to place with fasting and prayer constantly. In 1998, I declared to my friend whom I was working with then that he too should stop working and we decided to sell all our vehicles to establish a small company. But then, I had already started my evangelism work.
In 2000, I started fully at Olode garage in my parlour. That was where Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) Canaanland, started. The man I started with is called Akinjare Jacob. He is still very much alive. He is the Chief Executive Officer, Akinjare Nigeria Limited. We still live together till date.
A lot of people are always confused concerning this issues of call, how does it really happen?
If God wants you to serve Him, He can call you through any means. It may be in your dream or even face to face. It may be through another prophet, it may be through His word in the Bible, you may hear His voice and so on.
God can speak to you in any form, it’s only left to you to understand and heed the call. One thing that’s certain is that there is no one He chooses that He won’t direct how to deliver His message. Since I accepted Christ, the sign is always written boldly on me any where I go. You don’t need to tell people, they will see the sign in you.
In my family, everywhere and even in the Baptist church I used to attend with my father, they all knew I had started a new journey.
Why is it that there is high level of moral decadence in the society despite the fact that churches are cropping up daily?
Churches are not many yet, we’re still going to have more and more. The reason is simple, a lot of people don’t want to be on the path of discipline. The quest for independence drove some people into pastoral job. That’s why you will see some people who are talented musicians, establishing churches, calling themselves ministers of God.
Some people are teachers, yet you see them establishing churches, and that’s not their calling. But because almost everybody today wants to become a founder, general overseer and all that.
I move from place to place. I don’t stay permanently in a particular place because I am not a pastor, I am a prophet and an evangelist whose assignment is mainly to win souls from place to place. In all the churches God has used me to establish, I have never stayed for more than two or three days any time I visit any of them. I don’t go there to collect money. Instead, I spend money there. I always want to make sure that the churches grow. So, more churches will still be established as many people will also love to call themselves.
And people will find it difficult to listen to the true message of God. That’s one of the reasons immorality is on the increase, even in churches. If a pastor or prophet preaches and it affects you, you can abandon the church and establish your own, even a few poles away from your former church. That’s exactly what’s happening in Christendom today.
But one thing I want people to know is that one can build a hall and call it church. No matter how big a hall is, it only becomes a church when there is God there. But in a situation where God is not there, it’s nothing but ordinary hall.
How true is it that you’re very close to former governor of Ekiti State and that you’re his spiritual father?
We didn’t become friends through that, he has been praying before he knew me. But it’s ordained that we would meet and become friends. It’s even long ago we saw each other last. But we’re still friends.
But people’s belief was that with your spiritual backing, he shouldn’t have lost to Kayode Fayemi. What’s your reaction on this?
Human beings make mistakes on certain things because of lack of knowledge about God. Whatever will be will be. What you’re going to be has been destined by God. No one has the power to make anybody a leader except God.
But after God has done His work, it’s human being that will still be asking for more.
Finally sir, recently there was this tale that you’re Tope Alabi’s new spiritual father who fortified her against her late father in the Lord?
No, I have also never seen her, maybe through her video CD’s probably when my wife and children play her music. We never met each other. Even when we had our meeting on Erio Mountain in Ekiti in June this year, she was not there, she was not even invited. In all CAC Canaanland here in Nigeria and abroad, we have never invited Tope Alabi to any of our events.
When I saw the story in some newspaper and magazines, I just have to reason spiritually, though it pained me. A lot of people had rallied round, and the issue has been resolved. My role as an evangelist and prophet is to win souls not to kill. It’s to bless and not to curse. I learnt Tope Alabi is not around at the moment, any time she is back, I would like us to meet and know each other.
– TADE ASIFAT