El-Rufai’s religious edict is draconian, says Pastor Onochie

Pastor Lawrence Onochie is the Senior Pastor of The King’s Heritage, a Pentecostal ministry at Ogba, Lagos. The young and brilliant preacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ, in collaboration with Bishop Mike Okonkwo of The Redeemed Evangelical Mission, will host a conference that promises to move attendees to the next level on Sunday, April 3, 2016. The conference tagged Next Dimension would hold at Aeida Hall, College Road, Ogba, Lagos.

In this interview with ENCOMIUM Weekly, Pastor Lawrence Onochie explained what informed the conference, expectations and why he tagged Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s religious edict as draconian and much more.


What is your forthcoming programme, Next Dimension all about?

The essence of the conference is to catapult people from their discontent to a better dimension. People believe where they are presently is not comfortable. Therefore, we want to take them to a better place.

Bishop Mike Okonkwo and I will be speaking and ministering. It’s going to be a massive release of the Grace of God which will be mixed with revelation. This is the maiden edition and we may likely not get feedback immediately. We are also going to empower people.

Why the choice of Bishop Mike Okonkwo?

Bishop Mike Okonkwo, for over 30 unbroken years in the ministry has never been involved in any scandal, no blemish back to back. He’s a man of character and a very faithful and obedient servant of God.

Who are those expected at the conference?

It’s for everybody. It cuts across and it’s free. The gospel of Jesus Christ for the hungry is food and for the sick is healing.

Would you say the church has been able to keep the country together considering the various economic and political upheavals in the country coupled with the fact that the vice president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo is a pastor?

Going by the title of a pastor is not all it takes to be a man of God. That’s why that title is abused everywhere. I’ve known Prof. Yemi Osinbajo for over 15 years. He has the concept and strategy to move the country forward. He has what it takes but he doesn’t have the authority to execute his plan.

What do you think about the current religious edict that was recently enacted by Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State perceived to be targeting Christians from preaching the gospel on the street and using loud speakers?

Who are those that often do open air crusade and preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. If you read the edict carefully you would understand the target. That edict has negated freedom of religion and association. That edict can’t stand and it should be nipped in the bud before it creates a bandwagon effect.

Don’t you think the state is about to curb religious fanaticism which is rampant in that region?

Christians are known to be peaceful and law abiding. We all know the source of religious bloodshed in the country. Everybody knows the edict is to silence Christians. I have every reason to believe the time has come for Christians to speak out.

The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) is working towards that. My position on that is clear. It’s obnoxious and draconian. Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere. If this is not stopped now, it will affect the fabric of the foundation of Nigeria.

What is the way forward?

Unfortunately, we have a highly opinionated President who sees his vice as a spare tyre. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo can’t function as he would want to.

What do you think about Boko Haram insurgency and corruption?

Corruption is the main reason we’re weak in fighting the Boko Haram insurgency. We’re only dealing with corruption with kid gloves. Jailing or killing corrupt people is not enough. We can’t fight corruption until we are patriotic and detribalized.

One of the things government should do is to introduce anti-corruption syllabus in our academic curriculum because corruption has eaten deep into our marrows. It’s a systematic problem which requires systematic solution. It can’t be eradicated over night. It needs a long term solution.

Back to the conference, what is your expectation?

At the end of the meeting attendees will go home with a recipe of making it happen. Bishop Mike Okonkwo will minister to the attendees one after the other and those who wish to have a better relationship with God will be shown the way.

By all indications, the church is neck deep into merchandising, commerce and industry, what is your take?

It all depends on the motive. If it’s to empower the people, it’s okay by me. But for those who make a lot of money and stash it in the bank, they are on their own.

What is the expected impact of the conference?

Attendees will be empowered by the instrumentality of the Word of God and moved to the next dimension by the special grace of God that would be abundant at the conference.

What impact would the conference have on your ministry?

As believers, we are not confined to the four walls of the church. I want to strike a balance. Hunger invokes violence. We teach the right value system, like integrity, honesty, etc and our trainings are free. We organize leadership programmes to raise a new breed of leaders who would break the jinx of leadership which is the bane of the country.

We would give the correct orientation of how much you give not how much you have.

What is your assessment of Buhari’s administration?

We should be patient with him. This is our collective responsibility and we can’t shy away from it. I hope Vice President Yemi Osinbajo would be allowed to function by unction his blue print of the way forward has not been unveiled.


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