APOSTLE Wole Oladiyun is the shepherd-in-charge of fast rising Pentecostal church, Christ Livingspring Apostolic Ministry, popularly known as CLAM. He has just completed a multi-million naira paediatric hospital in Ondo State allegedly worth over N50 million. A world-class general hospital which is near completion at his headquarter at Omole, Ogba, Lagos and a multi-purpose hall said to cost about N500 million alongside the equipment which have been acquired. In a chat with ENCOMIUM Weekly on Thursday, June 28, 2012, he bares his mind on the projects and sundry issues.
It’s interesting to know that you just completed a standard paediatric hospital and a general hospital and a multi-purpose hall. What informed that and when will you unveil them?
First, I give thanks to God for the grace because every good gift comes from God. I want to say my background informed that and it was a mandate from God. I came from a very poor background and I have seen and suffered poverty in its real sense. But I had an enterprising father who was a lover of God. When he died, I asked myself how I would bail my family out of poverty. Thus, I became a man at the age of 11. I was engaged in all manners of trade in other to make my young mother survive the travails of poverty with seven children. She did all manner of odd jobs like selling firewood. That was where and when I pledged that as God blesses me, I will help humanity. Thus, when I found myself in the arena of serving God, it became a platform to serve humanity and wipe away tears. My own definition of prosperity is wiping away tears. Due to my late dad’s instruction, I have always known the fact that health is wealth. He even wanted me to be a medical doctor. I have gone round a lot and discovered that people are really dying of diseases. That triggered the desire within me to bring doctors together and give people free medicare. And the response has been overwhelming. In my hometown, I discovered they didn’t have provision for children and by God’s grace I have built a world-class children hospital which I will give to the Ondo community next month. And I am setting up a foundation so that they can keep children there. And this hospital at CLAM will be dedicated this year. When I was 50, that was three years ago, I promised God I will build a hospital and a maternity that will take care of women, children and every other person. And He heard my prayers. The money that came into my hands was ploughed into the project. As people blessed me, I invested on the humanitarian business.
What is the machinery put in place to ensure the hospitals are well managed?
That’s why we are setting up a foundation called, Wole Oladiyun Foundation. And I have told my children and foundation that while I am gone the family must maintain that place. I will soon embark on an eye and teeth clinic for the community.
As an apostle, what’s your take on the socio-political problems of the country?
First, Nigeria is a blessed country. I believe in Nigeria. The problems with Nigeria dates as far back as the era of the Sardauna of Sokoto, Ahmadu Bello, who is one of our political forefathers. Our political forefathers shouldn’t have allowed the British to bring about the amalgamation of the North and the South. What the British did then was divide and rule. They saw the Upper Niger as a backward place and Southern Niger as a productive place. Per capital income of Southern Nigerians as at then was over four million pounds while in the North, it was just below 400 pounds. And on the socio-political formation then, the security apparatus of Nigeria, showed that the Northerners were very wild. And they needed to be pacified. In other to get what they wanted, they looked at their system of government and fooled them to ensure that power remained in the North. They were using the money in the South to service the North. It would have been better if the North were left alone so we could have a Northern Nigeria and Southern Nigeria. It would have been a wonderful formation. The integration now brought together two strange bedfellows. There is no way this equilibrium could be maintained in all spheres. We have different outlooks. The culture and orientation differ a lot. In reality, we need to do something, it could be a national conference, regional government and state police of which I am an advocate. When you send a Kanuri man to Ondo, there would be clash of interests. Look at America, with over 50 states, they have regional and state police and still stay together. I believe National Conference is ideal where we would air our differences and tell them that our representatives at the House of Representatives are not bringing the dividends of democracy to the grassroots. They are using the local government to commit fraud. The senators are fraudulent. I owe them no apology because they have to change.
An average politician is not interested in alleviating the pains of the people as we do. Rather, he is interested in what he can get from the people. We lack moral values. We have to go back to the basics. We have to go back to family values. I told my children that there is nothing in this world. Therefore, whatever they can do for God and humanity, they should do. Be exact and contented with what you have. You can’t sleep on three beds. We should eliminate greed. That’s how I live my life. My members can attest to it that the tithe and offering I collect are ploughed back into the ministry’s projects. That is the secret of the success of this ministry. I am very open and accountable. People queried why I do that and I tell them I am accountable. If I send you to buy Tom Tom, you have to bring a receipt or sign for it so that I can account for all the money spent. We also need a mindset revelation by changing the way we think. Our thinking is lopsided.
But it’s obvious that the clergy are some of the godfathers of these politicians, what’s your take on that and the Boko Haram issue?
God is the way out for Nigeria. Our problem surpassed Boko Haram. Where we have different men and women of God, definitely there will be divergent views about issues. Your primary value system will determine your orientation. The primary value system affects every man and woman of God. I can only speak for myself and those who are aligned with my vision.
Talking about vision, it’s interesting to know that few days to the Dana Air plane crash, you informed your church that God showed you a revelation of a plane crash in Lagos…
One thing about me is that I don’t like blowing my trumpet in the public. Visions are meant to build faith not to create fear. The only reason I announced the plane crash before the incident was because I made concerted efforts to get in touch with the airline owners and warned them of the impending doom and that they should not fly any ailing plane but was not successful. Thus, I informed the church so we can pray and see if we can get someone who has their connection. As to the vision, all I know is that God speaks to me. Over the years, I keep records. But we are very careful and that is why we don’t air such on TV because prophecies are meant to better the lot of this country and not to create fear. God has revealed to me a model on how to better the lot of this country and I have written them down. We are too reactive instead of being proactive in dealing with issues. I don’t indulge in such. I don’t agree with issues where they say the Presidency asked the clergy to come for emergency prayer of 30 seconds to change issues. I don’t do such. As a prayer priest, prayer is a serious issue. We need serious intercession in Nigeria. There are sins in this country, how can someone be stealing money and still say he/she is fasting and praying. Ask anybody here, I declare it openly that if you are a thief or fraudulent person don’t pay tithe and give offering. I have returned so many people’s cheques once I know it was gotten fraudulently. Even so called men and women of God lack the fear of God. At the Villa they sent some people here to verify if one man would become president and I said he would not and that if he should try it, he would have fractured legs. They said I should pray to change the vision and I said I can’t do such because that’s not God. The youths are angry and that’s why I empowered them because if we let them loose a great revolution would erupt. Let Nigeria go on one year leave of not stealing and it will be a paradise. We steal too much.
Have you ever had an embarrassing moment?
I make mistakes and I correct them. I make mistakes in my judgements. I am a core administrator. I mind details a lot. I have embarrassing moments in many ways in terms of temptation, women and men have tempted me and even people with money have tempted me. But God’s grace has helped me to overcome and that’s why I can say it openly that I have no skeleton in my cupboard. My members know that I don’t toy with women because God has blessed me with a good woman and we work together. And I am open. If I have challenges, I declare them open to my people so they can pray along with me. The higher you go, the higher the temptations. The greatest temptation I have ever had is people come here to tempt me with dangerous money and I have always said no. I can’t take blood money.
How do you cope with such a huge ministry like CLAM?
God has been helping us a lot. It’s a full gospel ministry where you are trained to be a total person. My area of strength is soul winning and prayer. My mentor in prayer is Dr. D. K. Olukoya of MFM. My father, Dr. Aboderin trained me and Pastors Adeboye, Ashimolowo love me as their son. We are now 14 years and will soon start a world class farm settlement in September.
The raging issue in Christendom is the separation of Rev. Okotie and wife, Stephanie, what is your reaction? Is it permissible for Christians to walk in and out of marriage?
Bob Marley sang a song that every man has the right to decide his own destiny but on judgement day, there is no partiality. I used to be a reggae DJ (laughs). I don’t want to talk about Rev. Chris Okotie, because he is a senior minister of God but I would rather be praying for him. I would only talk about the Biblical standard. The Bible does not permit nor allow divorce. No other thing. If the Bible has said that, the onus is now on you to follow the injunction of the Bible or not. I will pray for Rev. Chris because he has labored in Christendom. He is a lover of God who must make heaven. God is merciful. Nobody is perfect. We have our strength and weaknesses. Where we have not done well, God can give us another chance. However, the Bible does not support divorce.
- FEMI OYEWALE
This story was first published in Encomium Weekly edition of Tuesday, July 3, 2012