FOUNDER and spiritual head of INRI Evangelical Spiritual Church, Oke Afa, Ejigbo, Lagos, Primate Babatunde Elijah Ayodele has warned President Muhammadu Buhari against shooting himself in the foot concerning the ongoing anti-corruption crusade.
The humble clergy said this and much more, including his multi-million naira parish in Benin Republic, reported to be almost completed when we had a phone chat with him on Tuesday, September 8, 2015.
You staged another national crusade on Friday, August 21, 2015, making second time this year instead of the usual once in a year. What informed this?
One of the reasons was what happened at the Friday, July 3, 2015 revival. Our expectation was that about 3,000 or 4,000 people would attend but to our greatest surprise, we had about 9,000 guests, despite the fact that it rained heavily that day. At the event we gave people free medical treatment. And some people requested that we organize another crusade so that more people can benefit from the blessings and charity enjoyed by those who attended the first one. So, we went to another big event centre at Liasu, in Ejigbo area here. A lot of people also came. Even, very soon, we’re planning to move the revival to Badagry because people from Badagry have also made their request in that direction. So, by October or thereabout, we’re going to Badagry for another crusade. At the Badagry episode, we will invite pastors from Benin Republic. It’s just because the turnout at the July 3 crusade was overwhelming, that’s the reason for those ones coming up in quick succession.
We learnt your Nmulti-million parish in Benin Republic will soon be completed, how much have you spent on it so far and why did you decide to build a parish there?
It’s still in the process. You’re also aware of the fact that building a house in Benin Republic is more expensive than doing so in Nigeria. We have a lot of things we’re planning to do in the process. I am still waiting, I don’t want to comment on it now. By December, I will disclose how far we have gone about it because we’re still working on our youth ministry too which is going to be computerized. That one is also going to cost us a lot of money. So, all these are capital intensive. And the impression out there is that white garment churches don’t care about youths. But we care about our youth and we don’t want any other denomination to take care of our youth for us. That’s why we’re trying to work on our youth ministry, work on so many programmes that are youth inclined. For instance, the last Sunday in August, that’s August 30, 2015, we empowered some youth. Those who got admission to higher institutions, we upheld their scholarship. And at the same time, we look after their well being. So, we have training and seminar for them by Optimal Performance, which happens to be the best trainer in this country.
You warned against air crash early this year, but eventually a plane crashed recently…
(Cuts in) I don’t like to comment on that honestly, because I don’t like it when such things that can be prevented still happen. Many things like that, including the shake up in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). I have also said it, Buhari wil perform if given a chance. He will do what Jonathan should have done in his second term if he had one. But with the emergence of Buhari, there will be a lot of political gang ups against his administration because President Buhari will step on a lot of toes. And mind you, All Progressives Congress (APC) will break up, I am seeing a Northern party coming up. And let’s pray very well not to lose any of our elder statesmen soon.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor is going, no doubt about that. And this anti-corruption of a thing, Buhari may shoot himself in the legs if he continues with it. Although, some will face the panel, some will return some of the loots. He should just watch the way he goes about it. He shouldn’t make it political. But there will be gang ups against his government on that. And concerning ministerial appointments, Buhari can’t get 100 per cent saints. And if he is insisting that until he sees 100 per cent saints, the country won’t move forward as expected. And we’re going to have up to 7,000 mega watts in power supply but it will be dropping by the early part of 2016. The present war against terrorism is not even about Boko Haram but ISIS because Boko Haram is already gone though they have succeeded in spreading their tentacles round the 36 states of the federa-tion. The present service chiefs are going to perform better than those we had before.
In terms of security, we will see the best because the right people are in charge at the moment but the point is there is a syndicate in the army. Then, we have to prepare for bomb scare in the South West. For President Buhari to succeed, he should not have a close rapport with the Senate because money will cause problem and if he’s trying to bring huge sum of money to them, they will spoil the whole thing. Then to remove Ekweremadu will cause a lot of chaos. And there is going to be a kind of misunderstanding in the Board of Trustees of APC. We should be wary of the new political parties that are going to be registered because they can give the already existing parties tough time. If Mimiko is not careful, he will lose Ondo State. And APC must be serious in picking the right candidate to win Kogi State. Kogi election will be shocking and at the same time PDP must stand firm. And the PDP must not underrate APC in Bayelsa governorship election.
In the banking sector, some banks will run into problems. Zenith Bank, First Bank and Heritage Bank must be very careful. And they’re going to lose some of their staffers. And crisis is coming to Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and Sunday Oliseh’s efforts will be truncated.
– TADE ASIFAT