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Watch me, I値l rule this country in 2007

Posted by By Beifoh Osewelet on 2005/02/24 | Views: 1071 |

Watch me, I値l rule this country in 2007


After a long spell in political cooler, trendy preacher and founder of Household of God Church, Reverend Kris Okotie is set to revive his political agitation, ahead of 2007.

After a long spell in political cooler, trendy preacher and founder of Household of God Church, Reverend Kris Okotie is set to revive his political agitation, ahead of 2007. The campaign tagged "Take a Stand" billed for launch in Lagos today, according to Okotie, is destined to sensitise the Nigerian populace politically.

"The Nigerian people have not been that concerned about the political process, particularly the democratic philosophy. To that extent, it has been a very haphazard response because they have never really been that involved, they don稚 really care about who becomes what.

That is why in our 禅ake a Stand Campaign, we池e creating an awareness by telling Nigerians that if they don稚 stand up and consciously make a choice of leadership, they would be guilty of complicity. That is why we are saying that between now and 2007, we壇 have created enough awareness in the heart of the Nigerian people to such level that they壇 make a conscious, deliberate choice for the first time. They壇 take responsibility for their own leadership and when that is done, the people will have a leadership that is responsible.

That is the mission. So you can稚 really blame the leaders, because they were elected by the people, albeit not majority of the people, but by a society that is really not that conscious of its civil responsibility in terms of that political system."

Okotie believes the campaign which would be taken to the nooks and crannies of the nation will adequately guide the people towards making a credible political choice in 2007.
Immediately after the botched presidential bid in 2003, you just kind of faded from the scene. Was that decision borne of the fact that you were frustrated by the turn of events or what? At least, as a key player, Nigerians expected some level of outspoken opposition rather than this worrisome silence.
I said the things that I needed to say when it was necessary.
We published our dissent and our displeasure at the apparent massive rigging. There was nothing else we could do because I knew that the rigging was sophisticatedly carried out. And our party, the Justice Party in coalition with the CNPP has been providing some form of opposition. But I believe it is up to the Nigerian people to say no, enough is enough. When a thing like this happens, it is the mandate of the people that is being truncated, violated and the Nigerian people are expected to rise up in the defence of their sacred mandate but people did not do that. They accepted the brazen theft. So, one has been busy seeing to how this type of attitude could be changed, so that people will begin to assert their sovereign right.

But why have you as a person remained silent for so long?
We began a movement in Nigeria, an awareness campaign that our people received. We made it clear that a generational shift philosophy is the only solution and Nigerians stood with us. Millions of Nigerians. In my organization, the House of Nigeria FRESH, we had before the elections, over seven million people, registered. So when the mass rigging took place, we protested vehemently. Those who could recollect would recall that there were articles I published in the papers and things that I said, but it is not something I can do by myself. The Nigerian people who gave me the mandate, whose aspiration had been frustrated by not being reflected at the polls, ought to have stood up against the government of the time. But they did not and so, that government got away with it. But time has proven that we were right, that the Nigerian people did not vote for the present

administration and that they have nothing more to offer this nation. It has taken close to two years now for the Nigerian people to come to that conclusion because a democratic philosophy presupposes the participation of the people. And so, now that the people have seen clearly that there is no direction, that this government is not leading us to any land, not to talk of the promised land, that it has no solution to our problems, then when the next opportunity arises, they would vote Rev Kris Okotie again. And this time, they would make sure that their votes count and that their wishes are articulated.

Are you suggesting that you won the 2003 presidential election?
Absolutely. They may not tell you that, but all the people who were monitoring the elections throughout the country will tell you that Nigerians came in their millions to vote for Rev. Kris Okotie fathers, mothers, children, sometimes, even grandparents, they all turned out en-masse to vote Rev. Kris. Oh yes, it was as serious as that.

That is why it was necessary for them to rig it. You don稚 rig an election that you think you池e going to win. The only reason you rig an election is because you know that you cannot win. For instance, we were monitoring from Lagos what was going on in Abuja. I was already in the lead, then they manipulated the thing, it was the same process all over the nation. But I知 not even crying over spilled milk because the most important thing is that God has given us another opportunity.

The same Lord who asked me to participate in the first place is the same one who is going to see it to its logical conclusion. I am just an instrument in His hands. Nigerians know me now.

They know that there痴 nobody else that is a viable alternative in terms of the politics of this country, outside of Rev. Kris Okotie. And whenever they chose to do another election, if they chose to do so, surely I would win.

Are you still insisting that you heard from God to run in the 2003 election?
Absolutely! I am a servant of the Lord, if I don稚 hear from my Master, how can I work for Him? I have been working for Him for 18 years.

God is not a liar. If actually He spoke to you, He would have perfected the election for you. Are you sure you didn稚 substitute your personal ambition with the voice of God? If actually He gave you His words, He should have frustrated those you claimed rigged you out. The Bible tells us He is an all conquering God
Absolutely! But that is His way. The Bible says He takes the wise in their own craftiness. When He put Adam in the Garden of Eden, He told him to dominate the earth. Satan came and Adam fell. God didn稚 stop there, He brought another Adam called Jesus to make sure the job was done. The way He does His stuff is not the same way we do ours.

He gave Nigerians an opportunity and said, 鼠ook at Rev Kris Okotie, he値l help you to be everything you want to be. They said okay, went to the polls and voted. Now He expected the Nigerian people to say this is the man that we voted for, this is the change that we want, this is the man that epitomizes the hope for the new Nigeria. But they didn稚 do that. And God will not force you to accept leadership. He値l not do that. But He値l provide the alternative to you, which is what He did with me. Now, the Nigerian people have come to see for themselves that all of the names that are being touted today are birds of the same feathers and cannot help this country.

The only viable solution to the problem of Nigerians today, and I say that with abiding faith, is Rev. Kris Okotie. And everybody knows that if you want Nigeria to go forward, if you want to see change, if you want us to become a member of the comity of developed nations, in terms of being a progressive and attractive nation, you have no other choice because none of the men parading themselves now in the political arena can provide that solution.
Now that you are re-launching, did you get a fresh mandate from God?
It痴 the same.

It痴 not as if you heard any fresh call?
It痴 the same. No! no, it痴 the same because He never changes. God doesn稚 change. When He tells you to do something, you do it until you succeed. When He told Moses to go to Egypt, Pharaoh resisted him for a long while. But He kept to the same message "Let my people go." And that is the same thing that we are saying to these men let the Nigerian people go. You致e had enough. Evil has reigned for too long in this nation. It痴 time for righteousness to reign because righteousness exalts a nation.

If Nigeria is going to become great, we need someone who is a collective representative of the people; whose philosophy does not fragment this nation or balkanize our people, but who will become a source and a point of consolidation.

And that is what I epitomize. That is why people from the North, from the South, from the East and the West found expression in Rev Kris Okotie. That is why within two months, we were able to make that kind of impact, because Nigeria was ready for a change.

It is beyond me to say God did not tell you to go into that election, but then, somebody has argued that God may actually have instructed you but perhaps, you were too much in a hurry to join the fray that you didn稚 wait to hear from Him on the time or the platform upon which to actualize His commission. And so, you made a mistake.

You see, a lot of people do not understand the modus operandi of almighty God. They are laymen who try to intellectualize God. I serve Him. I work for Him. There are many examples in the Bible where God tells you to do something and an enemy stands in your way. He didn稚 tell me, Kris Okotie, go and participate in election right now, you壇 win that election. He didn稚 say that. He just told me I want you to go and salvage your nation. It痴 a process.

So, God never told you you壇 win the 2003 presidential election?
He didn稚 say that. He didn稚 tell me go and do it, this is the time. I have said you池e going to win. No! What He said to me is 選知 sending you to go and salvage your people. There痴 always a process. When He told me to become a pastor there were many obstacles in my way, but if I didn稚 stand, I won稚 be a pastor today. Doors open unto you but there are many adversaries. Satan is God痴 adversary. There are many wicked people who work with Satan against God. But at the end, victory is assured. That痴 all I can tell you.

I know if there痴 an election in this country, I will definitely win. If they decide to frustrate the will of God and the will of the people, it will be up to God to answer them because the battle is His, it痴 not mine. He値l deal with them adequately in His own time because He is a God of grace and He loves this country. He doesn稚 want to destroy this country. But I can assure you that victory is guaranteed, ultimately.

Now, you致e agreed that God痴 charge to you is to salvage this country. Isn稚 there any other way to do that without necessarily being President? Actually, a lot of people are beginning to see your quest to be president as a bit of an obsession.

Not at all! I have no reason to be. What am I looking for? Is it wealth? Is it fame? I have both already. At 20, I became the highest selling recording artiste in this country. I am 47 years old this year. What am I looking for? I am more popular than the president. So, there痴 really nothing that I am looking for. I am a pastor. I have a successful ministry. So, rationally speaking, there痴 no reason why I should waste my time in such a venture. But I am on a mission because God loves this nation. This nation wasn稚 put here by PDP or the Nigerian people. It was set up by God. He owns this country. He痴 not going to sit back and allow people to destroy this nation. That is why He has looked for a man who is courageous.

A man that He has equipped for a time like this to become the champion of the people痴 cause, to liberate the downtrodden, to relieve the oppressed, to comfort the marginalised. They can only find salvation through a man who is willing to serve almighty God. That is what Rev Kris Okotie represents because every system in the world today has been dismantled by God. Whether it is apartheid, slave trade, savagery because man is a free moral agent. The minute you begin to oppress, you antagonize God.

Let痴 look at some instances, the world has known a Martin Luther King, a man of God who used his position as a minister of God to crusade and effect changes without necessarily becoming president. In South Africa in the hey day of apartheid, we saw how Bishop Desmond Tutu used his position as a man of God to become the voice of his people, to rouse the conscience of the world. Why can稚 you just toe similar line?

Because every man has his own calling. Desmond Tutu had his own responsibility towards God. The same God who spoke to him to speak to his nation is the one who has spoken to me. But under a different mandate. My job is not to come on a platform and begin to talk to you like a preacher. I have a responsibility. The Nigerian society is a very peculiar one and God deals with you according to the peculiarity of your circumstance.

What He said to Abraham is not what He said to Isaac. Isaac痴 calling was different from his father痴. So, you need to understand that. And all I am saying here is that Nigerians know that what we need today is not a secular politician but a God-fearing leader. A man who is equipped by almighty God and loves this nation. And fears God because he recognises that all powers belong to God. That kind of man is what God has looked for and found in Rev. Kris Okotie.

But the President is a born-again Christian. He said so himself.
He is entitled to claim anything. He痴 entitled to that.

Do you find his fruit falling below the expectation of someone that is born-again?
(Loud, prolonged laughter). I do not want to judge him because I do not know him that well enough in terms of his Christian works. Even if he痴 a Christian, he痴 a young one because it takes time to grow in the things of the Lord. So we cannot expect perfection from him.

The Bible enjoins that we pray for our leaders. If our leaders have failed as you said, isn稚 that a failure on the part of the people like you who are supposed to prop them up with prayers?

Do you ever pray for this country?
I do. I pray for this nation.

Then why is it tottering and faltering?
Because even if you pray, a man still has to receive the grace of almighty God. If I ask that God be merciful to you and you continue to antagonize God, judgement will eventually come to you. So, our prayers do not restrain the judgement of God indefinitely. No. God is a God of mercy but He値l be merciful for a period of time. If you do not change, then God is bound to ask for an account, because he holds you responsible for your own acts.

If I pray that God be merciful to you, He壇 tarry until He痴 persuaded that you池e insensible, and then there will be action. We do not need to wait until Nigeria blows up. We do not have to wait for a war. People are so complacent and they are saying nothing would happen. But the evidences of war are already in our nation. As far as I am concerned, this is the last chance for Nigeria. If we don稚 get it right now, it will be a conflagration. And it would be worse than anything we致e ever seen.

So how often do you pray for Obasanjo?
As the spirit leads me.

When was the last time?
This morning.

What was your prayer for him?
That he should have courage. And that God should grant him understanding and wisdom to do what he has to do as a leader.

What were the lessons from the botched presidential bid?
I realized that the Bible is very true when it talks about the depth of man痴 corruption. I realized that out there, there is a plethora of political charlatans, each one seeking a place in the quagmire of political emporium. I realized that a lot of people do double speak. I realized that some of the people we call leaders today are empty, without any substance.

I found that nobody really cares about this country. Only very few people care about this country. There are still a few good men and women but they are an insignificant fraction. I am further compelled by this discovery to maintain my resolve to deliver this country from the hands of the oppressors. What I saw at the last election has further ignited my desire to keep faith with the Nigerian people because I realise that if I do not do it, nobody will, really.

You know, they were asking me how much money I spent and why I did that? I told them I spent that money for that little girl who has become a prostitute because there痴 no other way of survival. I spent money for that pensioner who has served this country meritoriously and there is no reward for that service. I spent that money for the young men and women who die on our streets and highways even though monies have been voted for those projects.

I spent that money for people who die daily in our hospitals because there are no drugs, even though Nigeria is a wealthy nation. I spent that money for posterity, for the market women, for the housewife whose domestic economy is totally out of control because she doesn稚 know what to expect the next time she goes to the market. These are the people who make up this country.

And I spent my money on their behalf for their future. And I壇 do it again, until they are truly and fully delivered and Nigeria becomes a nation that it痴 meant to be. So, I have no regrets. You see why it was so important for God to ask me to do this, because there has to be a man who is that determined, who loves this country and fears God to take up that challenge.

How much did you spend?
I can稚 tell you, but it was in the range of millions.

How did you raise that?
We have our resources. We have our channels.
There were talks that people made overtures to buy you off the bid?
No doubt about that. It always happens in politics. But if you know my resolve, it痴 unshakeable.

What was the offer?
(Loud laughter) millions of Naira. And positions. They wanted me to either step down or agree to be a running mate to somebody. Some came through third parties. Some came through political parties and their agents.

You could have collected the money and spent it on some worthier causes or accept the alternative offer instead of insisting to run in an election in which everybody, except perhaps, yourself knew you were not going to win.

It doesn稚 matter. Evil can thrive for a long time but good will eventually overcome it. I serve a God of power, of omniscience, omnipotent and omniscient. I have watched Satan triumph for a long time and then the power of God comes, uproots him and the place that knew him remembers him no more. If people like me sit back and say nothing and do nothing, this nation would be destroyed. When the righteous one keeps quiet, evil prevails.

You need people like Martin Luther King. You need people like Ghandi. You need people like all of those who have fought for the cause of mankind. And there are always alternatives. Mandela had an alternative, but he would not be Mandela today if he had not maintained his resolve. Today, one respects him as one of the great African leaders because he maintained his resolve. Victory was not even in sight by the time he went to jail. But he eventually became President of a free South Africa. That痴 what I知 talking about. I don稚 care how long it takes. These men who are parading themselves in the corridor of powers today have no longevity when it comes to this country. They know it. It is my generation that has that longevity to keep this nation together. It is our reasonable service. We must do it. Rev. Kris Okotie must deliver Nigeria.

Precisely, one has a feeling that you池e staging a comeback as a result of the fierce political activities and renewed agitation by the South-South leaders for power shift. You池e just being opportunistic?
I said before that the only reference point that I have is the words of God spoken to me. Those who know me know that is the way I am and I am passionate about what I do. If I have understanding and I have faith in what I am doing, I壇 do it to the end. I didn稚 know there was a South-South forum when I joined the political fray. I知 saying that the Kris Okotie philosophy has always been a pan-Nigeria spirit. I have no doubt that I empathize with my people, that their fears are genuine and that their agitations are authentic. There痴 no doubt about that. All you have to do is look at what is going on in the South-South and you壇 understand that this one is not a figment of anybody痴 imagination. These are realities. And they have a right to agitate for governance.

They do. So, if that is to my advantage, so be it. But that is not the primary reason. I知 not saying I want to be president because I come from the South-South and we致e been marginalised. It goes beyond that. I知 saying I am a representation of the Nigerian people. A generational icon.

I epitomize the aspiration and wishes of the Nigerian people in a contemporary society, I have the boldness to articulate my views. I have no connection with the past, present and future governance of these set of geriatric leadership. I see that it is only when we come to that understanding that we can make a meaningful, quantum leap in the future as a nation. We need a Nigerian who can take the Nigerian dream and interface it with the concept of globalization in a millennium where the quest for innovation for harmony knows no frontiers. It痴 a realization of a fact that we致e come to a point in the chequered history of our nation where we must make a responsible decision. And I知 not a young man. I知 47 years old and by 2007, I壇 be 49.

If, for instance, you池e offered a vice-president position, will you accept it?
No. Because within the Constitution and from my own experience, you cannot make a difference in the peoples lives. And that is the major reason why I want to run, because I want their lives to change. I don稚 want to be a minister. I don稚 want to be a vice president because I am not interested in those things. I want to be in a position where I can impact the lives of the average Nigerian in the street, in the market place, in schools, in their churches. And only that position (presidency) guarantees that. That is the primary reason.

So, do you still intend to run with the woman you ran with in 2003?
Alhaja Mairo Habib is a good woman. She痴 a friend. I知 friendly with her family. She痴 one of those people in the North that are examples to observe. I知 very proud that we got to know her. But everything is going to be dependent on whether she痴 willing to do that herself and what the political alignment will be at the time. But primarily, it would depend on her. We have informed her and her husband, Dr Habib, what our plans are. So, in time, we壇 begin to work because we are going to work with all Nigerians We expect that they will play a key role in this awareness campaign that we are planning.

Under what platform are you re-launching? Still the same Justice Party?
Before JP, we had what we called the House of Nigeria FRESH which is a non-governmental organization. It is from that platform we want to begin to talk to Nigerians. What we are saying this time is that Nigerians need to take a stand. If we don稚 take a stand for our nation, we壇 be lost. What happened in Ukraine is an eye-opener to Nigerians, that you can take a stand and maintain a position until your oppressors yield to you. And that is our slogan: "Take a stand now."
That neutrality, that non-challance, the I-don稚-care attitude, the apathy towards things is what got us to where we are today. This is a great country with men who are resourceful, brilliant, intelligent and industrious but because they have not been concerned with the domestic process, that is why we have the kind of people in government who ought not to be there. But now, we are launching the "Take your Stand Campaign", which is an awareness campaign to change the perception of Nigerians towards their country.

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