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President Umar Yar’Adua has warned against any rush into the establishment of a Union Government in Africa. According to a statement from the office of the president’s spokesman, Yar’Adua, who spoke on-going 9th Ordinary Session of the assembly of the African Union, in Accra, Ghana, said much as Nigeria favoured the move, there was need for a "gradualist approach" to its establishment because of the critical need at the moment for African countries to focus more on the urgent task of strengthening and consolidating internal governance and growth structures.
The Prelate, Methodist Church of Nigeria, his eminence; Dr Sunday Ola Makinde, has advised Nigerians seeking miracles in high and low places to be weary of men who perform all sorts of abracadaba as some may be wolves in sheep’s clothing.
Hardly had the question on the proliferation of churches in the country been asked, his eminence swiftly reacted: "Are they churches or commercial churches? Let’s qualify them.
What has brought that is unemployment. Immediately people are unemployed, they float their own churches, claiming that God has called them. We still need to evangelize in Nigeria, but beware of false prophets using the name of God to work miracles under black magic. There are genuine pastors; by their fruits you will know them."
So how can the unsuspecting public distill false prophets from genuine ones?
Hear him: " By their fruits we shall know them. Many people believe in miracle, so many are miracle seekers not ambitious people. Some people don’t even know why they are Christians; they want to run away from the problems of life. Immediately they have problems, they run to the church. But Jesus said, "that in the world, you would have tribulations but be of good chair and overcome.
He said once you are of good courage, you will overcome. I thank the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation for banning broadcasting of miracles. Jesus healed people and asked them to go without broadcasting it. There are miracles in Methodist churches, Catholic churches, Anglican Churches, etc, not only in Pentecostal churches, but we don’t dramatize it. Jesus said, ‘go and tell no one what I have done for you.’ Go and do your private thanksgiving. Those that dramatize miracles do so to entice more and use Nigeria as Karl Max noted religion to be instrument of oppression."
The Bishop, who condemned gay marriages said,: "Gay marriage is an anatema. The National Assembly should not even talk about it. It is against our culture, it is against our religion. Why should people talk about it? It should not be debated at all. It is unbiblical and nobody can try it. It cannot even be discussed in the African traditional religion."
The religious leader advised President Umar Yar’ Adua and Vice, President GoodLuck Jonathan to improve on the weak points of the ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration.
Though Makinde gave the defunct administration an overall pass mark, he recalled that the government failed in the areas of electricity supply, employment creation, the health services and security during its eight-year duration.
Makinde who spoke in an interview with Sunday Sun also said the conduct of the last general elections was a minus for Obasanjo.
Citing foreign medical treatment by top government officials, he urged government to improve on health care delivery in the country, noting that the National Hospital, Abuja is a glorified medical center that could not pass for a medical center in Europe.
He also spoke on the crisis in Oyo Politics, the proliferation of churches in Nigeria among other issues.
What’s your advise for the new government?
I congratulate the President Umar Yar’ Adua and his Vice Jonathan and advise them to concentrate on vexing issues that Obasanjo could not conquer. Obasanjo couldn’t conquer the problem of unemployment and that is very sad. He couldn’t conquer the problem of electricity. Electricity is very important. You can never reform the economy without electricity, so let Yar’Adua, GoodLuck concentrate their energies on these problems and insecurity in the land. We need good roads; we need qualitative education, which is possible with the amount of money we generate from oil. We need medical facilities.
Look at the former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, was flown abroad as a result of knee injury. Even, when Yar’Adua fell sick, they flew him abroad. Why? The National Hospital, Abuja is a glorified medical center. It can never be ranked as a medical center in Europe. Any government functionary that falls ill is flown abroad. Why can’t our medical centers function like those they are flown to.?
Could you comment on the eight years rule of the immediate past president ?
It is not easy to be a leader in Nigeria. The man came on board after the expiration of military rule and the expectation of people was very high. They were anticipating an immediate change, which wasn’t easy. Obasanjo ruled under stress to be sincere. Stress of religious crisis, introduction of political Sharia, emergence of ethnic
Militias etc, impeachments here and then, but on the whole, I score him a pass mark because it is not easy to rule Nigerians.
What’s your comment about the April general elections?
To be sincere, the elections were full of irregularities, riggings, killings and maiming here and there. It is only somebody that is not sincere that will say that the elections were free and fair.it was full of human errors, but to me it’s not enough for us to throw the baby with the bath water.
Before Obasanjo came into power, it was well believed that M.K.O won the June 12 election of 1993 but through out the eight year-rule, the ex-president never made reference to the victory, but recently he publicly proclaimed that MKO won the election. What’s your reaction to that?
Obasanjo has never denied that MKO won the election. I don’t know why people are making hue and cry of the fact that he admitted that Abiola won the election.
How did you get into the ministry?
Through the instrumentality of the first Bishop of Ibadan, Albert Olusola Orekoya and the second president of Methodist Church Nigeria, Rev.Salako, Bishop Olaoye, he was a retired Bishop of Lagos Mainland. They brought me into the ministry and I thank God.
I got into the ministry through their calling. My father wanted me to become a pastor. I wanted to become a teacher and he said no and you know that in those days, you cannot say no to what your father wanted you to do, it is today that you have the option.
I hadn’t the option. I wanted to go for NCE and I was admitted into the College of Education, Ondo in those days, but my father said no, I want you to be a pastor. I accepted it and I thank God that I didn’t refuse my father’s advise. I thank God that I became a Bishop in his lifetime and he was very happy and he praised me for not refusing his advice. I am appealing to the young ones of today to always listen to their parents. The words of elders are words of wisdom.
Are you the first son?
No, I was not. My elder brother is a pastor. He retired as a presbyter of Methodist Church of Nigeria.
Oyo political crisis
I have said that several times. It is quite unfortunate but thank God that has become history. It does not make sense. Tuggery and violence should not be mixed with politics. Look at the number of innocent lives that have been wasted in Ibadan politics and God will ask those that have been killing and maiming people .
I am appealing to people, impeachment is no answer to political problems because people didn’t enjoy the dividends of democracy in Oyo state for eight years, Anambra, Plateau. I am appealing to the present people in Oyo State to please do not impeach anybody. They should disagree to agree. I am appealing to godfathers to please do it in a Godly way. I am appealing to them not to be money centred because if you gain the whole world and lose your soul, where do you go.