… says Nigeria needs serious prayers
The Senior Pastor of REHMA Deliverance Mission Nnewi, Prophet Ejike Nwachukwu, recently granted audience to Raymond Ozoji where he enumerated several issues relating to the peace of Nigeria and the Church. He also gave an insight into how Christians should unite to rescue Nigeria from political quagmire. While calling on President Muhammad Buhari to call for a security summit to help tidy the security mess the country is confronted with, he expressed great belief in the notion that Nigeria will remain an indivisible nation no matter her setbacks and shortcomings.
Question: Sir, please can you define what Christianity is all about as there are several misconceptions about Christendom?
There is a very heavy mistake in calling Christianity a religion. Christianity is actually not a religion. It is the Nigerian government that is classifying Christianity as a religion. Christianity is a lifestyle. The word Christian came from a Hebrew word. The meaning of Christian is Christ-like, and it emanated from Acts of the Apostles, when the people saw the disciples of Christ and the followers of Christ, and how they go about doing good, ministering and blessing lives. They ended up saying these men are behaving like that Jesus that was killed, their character and everything about them was that of Jesus Christ and they began to call them Christians in Hebrew. But the actual meaning of Christianity is Christ like, or followers of Christ. So, if you are saying that one is a Christian, it’s actually the reflection of Christ in the person. Christianity is a behavior not a religion. We are known to be very peaceful, that is why despite all the provocations in the country, you discover that Christians have remained calm, as Christians are very peaceful set of people, because Christ instituted it. He is the Prince of peace, and he said follow peace with all men. That is an instruction from Christ. That is why I fault some Christians who say slaughter them, if they come to your territory slaughter them. No, Christ never told us to do that. Though, I understand that there is a heavy provocation in the country, and as Christ is a man of peace, he instructed us to pray for the leaders. What Nigeria needs at this point in time is serious prayers. If the Christian community in Nigeria can come together to be one and cry unto the Lord, with one voice, there is going to be solution in this country, but I found out that what the devil did first was to separate Christians, scatter them and make them to hate themselves, and see themselves as enemies. A particular set of Christian Church believe they are the only real church, and the other people don’t believe the others are worshipping the real Christ. Christians are not united and the enemy is messing up the country because of this.
Question: How can the issue of segregation among Christians be solved?
Remember the prayer that Jesus prayed before he ascended into heaven. He said, “Father I have done the work, I pray that they may be one.” If we are one, Christians will rule this nation. Talking about Islamization of Nigeria is a fallacy because I don’t actually believe in that. If the Muslims are working hard to Islamize Nigeria, the Christians should also work hard to Christianize Nigeria. Jesus said go ye into the world and multiple and make disciples of all nations, he commanded us, so why are we complaining that Muslims are working hard to Islamize Nigeria. The problem is that Christians are not together, we are fighting ourselves. We can’t come together under one umbrella. It’s unfortunate that the other day the Catholic church said they are no longer members of CAN. They left CAN and went to be on their own.
Question: Don’t you think the disintegration of Christians is political?
Whatever it maybe, the situation in the country is a wake-up call for Christians. I have said it before, time without number, the situation in Nigeria today is wake-up call for Christians to arise from their slumber, get up and call upon God. What Nigeria needs at this point in time is divine intervention. Apart from it, more troubles are yet to unfold. These things that are happening today, I said it in one of my interviews before the elections, that President Buhari was going to win the election, whether anybody likes it or not and I pinpointed the likelihood of certain things happening with regard to uprising in the country. What is happening today? I said after the election, people should get set to witness some crisis in Nigeria. We are yet to see more, Nigeria is yet to face massive revolution. In all let me tell you, no matter what is going to happen, Nigeria will not disintegrate. Nigeria will remain one indivisible country. What we need is for Christians to arise and conquer what is fighting us which is the devil.
Question: Sir, with recent killings in the country by supposed herdsmen, what is your take on that and what do you advise Christians to do?
What do you expect Christians to do? It’s the function of the government to protect its citizens. I think it’s time to call for a security summit in this country. It’s long overdue. The president should call for a security summit. Obasanjo in his open letter to the president called for a security summit. The president may hate Obasanjo, but he should not hate the message. You may hate the messenger but don’t hate the message, because that message is very sensitive. It is time to call for a security summit in this country. Every traditional ruler in this country has a say in what is going on. I think the president should involve the traditional rulers in the security summit because a traditional ruler knows the nooks and crannies of his village or community which is where these heinous crimes are committed.
Question: Recently, Senator Ike Ekweremadu was attacked in Germany by IPOB, what’s your take on that?
The attack was uncalled for, the truth remains that it is also a warning to our political leaders, that a time is coming, when if you refuse to perform, the people will stone you on the streets. So, I think every political leader, irrespective of your party affiliation, as long as you are in position of authority where God has placed you to serve the people, get up from your slumber and perform. If you fail to perform, I am sorry at what may happen to you. Do you know that there are some political leaders in Anambra who don’t earn the respect of the people any longer because of their bad records? They feel so insecure to walk the streets now. Every leader must make sure that he performed during his term in office. Let me take our brother Rochas Okorocha for example. What is happening to Rochas today, he never imagined and believed. With time, what the state government is doing in Imo state, you will start hearing another side of the news, because it may get messier by the day.
Question: Recently, the President banned the issuance of FX for the importation of food in the country, what do you have to say about this?
I think the president is trying to make Nigeria to be self sufficient in food production. He believes that his government has performed, but I think it’s too harsh on the economy at the moment. For me, it’s not yet ripe for it. It will cause more hardship to the masses and is going to make food items in the country to skyrocket, and when the food items in the country skyrockets, you are causing more hardship to the masses. The elites will not feel it but the masses will suffer it. Look at a bag of rice being sold for #18,000 in less than 5 years. I think he should relapse that executive order; it’s not yet time for it.
Question: How do you advise fellow pastors who are in the habit of representing Christianity in bad faith?
In every 12 there must be a Judas. This even happened in the days of old, where Elijah and the prophets of Baal had a stiff opposition, but at the end of it all, the truth was unraveled. There would always be wrong people in our midst, but the truth is, there are men who are from God. There are men who know that there is heaven and there is something the Bible said in 1st John 3. They that have this hope in him, purify themselves. They keep themselves clean. What is their hope, the hope of seeing Christ. When you have it at the back of your mind that one day, you will stand before Christ to give account of every of your actions. The Bible went ahead to say that you will even give account of your idle words. So, when you know you are a pastor, you must be careful what you say or do, because you know that a day for reward is coming. There are men who know that the day of the Lord is coming and they are carefully serving God according to the direction of the holy spirit. The level of attack on Christianity and pastors are uncalled for, there are too many attacks. The people should not always throw stones against men of God, because you can’t use because of one to judge others.
Question: Recently, the FBI brought out a list of supposed fraudsters linked to the Igbo. What do you have to say about that?
Igbo are known for trade and industry. It baffles me and pains my heart that we can be seen in that light. This is not what we Igbo are known for. Igbo are not known for Yahoo Yahoo, We are known as industrialists and traders. We make money in a genuine way. But look at what our brothers are doing? Who are we to blame? Our traditional rulers of course, because they have commercialized honor in Igbo land. They give titles without knowing the source of wealth. Our traditional rulers are to be blamed for what our Igbo youths are turning into, as they have set it as an example that every December as long as you come back with a very big jeep, and you go and give your traditional ruler a very fat envelope, he will give you a title. I thought that a title is given to a man of integrity and a man of honor, but when our young boys come back, you don’t ask them how they make their money you don’t ask them what they do, you set it as an example to other youths in the village, and what do you expect? Next year, they will all travel to Malaysia to go and kill and answer Onwa 1. This is not what Igbo are known for, this is not the Igbo of Nnamdi Azikiwe, this is not the Igbo of Michael Okpara, this is not the Igbo of Odumegwu Ojukwu (Ikemba Nnewi). They are not the Igbo of Philip Emegwali nor are they the Igbo of Kingsley Moghalu. We are known as very intelligent set of people. By the grace of God I have travelled far and wide and I know that Igbo are the most intelligent set of people you can talk about, but look at the misrepresentation we are getting from our brothers because of the new trend instituted by our traditional rulers. Look at Main Market Onitsha, it’s the biggest market in Igboland and in Africa, look at Ariaria Aba, in Abia state it’s one of the biggest market in Africa, you talk about Ogbete Market in Enugu, you talk about Nkwo Nnewi; this is what Igbo people are known for. You come to academic excellence, Igbo are topping the radar all over the world, with the likes of the late Chinua Achebe, Prof Okonjo Iweala etc. When you hear that a Nigerian is making the country proud in America, investigate it, that person is an Igbo man. You hear that a Nigerian is succeeding in London ask after him or her, he is an Igbo man. Why have we turned our youths into Yahoo Yahoo boys, using the intelligence they are supposed to use in bettering the world to do Yahoo? It is very painful what we are witnessing, and that is why if you are a Nigerian coming into America for legitimate business, they will ask you from what part of the country you come from. I am about to travel to America now I am worried, because I won’t want to be embarrassed.
Question: How do you advise the Monarchs with regard to the threat of these Yahoo Yahoo Boys?
They should encourage the youths to be educated. They should stop recognizing Yahoo boys. Stop giving them titles. When you are celebrating such people you are giving others the go ahead to emulate them. Let them celebrate good success because the Bible made us to know that there is good and bad success. Good success comes from God; good success comes from genuine hard work.
Question: What is your advice to Christendom in Nigeria?
If you are reading this paper God is talking to you. Whether a Pastor, Bishop, Catholic Bishop, Anglican Bishop, Pentecostal Bishop, Rev Father, Pastor, whoever you are, know that Jesus did not die for you alone. He died for all, and he said as many that have received me to them I give the power to become the sons of God. So, know this, you are not the only one that is going to heaven, love your neighbor as you love yourself. God spoke to me 12th of May 2019, when I was in America. He said to me, the greatest gospel one can preach is a practical love to one another, not man that spoke to me but God. If you can’t show love to one another, the gospel you are preaching is nonsense, I am not just talking about the life you feel, but practical love. There is need to respect your fellow bishop, pastor irrespective of what he preaches, don’t judge but embrace everyone and let us in unity call on God for the peace of this nation, if we unite as Christians the devil will run away.