Pastor Ebenezer Agboola is the presiding pastor of the Christ Apostolic Church (Hand of God Miracle Centre), Odo-Ona Kekere, Ibadan, Oyo State. In this interview with OLAIDE SOKOYA, he speaks on national issues and responsibilities of the Church in nation building.
The country is facing many challenges, especially in the area of security. What is the way forward?
I will talk to Christians first. Christians should be prayerful. They should unite and organise prayer programmes. Our leaders in the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) are not there just for fun, but for a mission. They are to ignite the spirits of Christians to always engage in prayer and fasting so as to intercede for the nation. When we genuinely pray and fast for the nation, God answers. After a recently declared fasting and prayers for the nation, the terrorists our soldiers could not confront were conquered as they killed themselves.
It is the hand of God. As Christians, our weapons of war are not carnal, but are powerful to pull down strongholds. We don’t need to arm ourselves with guns, as any Christian who does that has become a militant and God detests that. The bible says “he who kills with the sword will die by the sword.” It might sound somehow, but God is not happy with it. No matter the sin, the law can kill, but a person must not kill. If we pray to God, He knows how to judge them.
Government also needs to be serious. It should not pardon or tolerate corrupt leaders. If the punishment is death, the judgment should passed. If 10 of such corrupt people are brought to book, others will stop. All these internet fraudsters should be also be brought to book. This will serve as deterrence to others. It is, however, unfortunate that the hands of those in government today, from top to bottom, including the judges, are not clean. That is the problem. To stop all these, we need an iron hand in this country.
You once said President Muhammadu Buhari is not Nigeria’s problem; so, who is the problem?
The leaders of government parastatals are the problem. The heads of the government at various levels from the 1960s are the problem. If companies the likes that Chief Obafemi Awolowo established back then and ones the government established still exist, our youths will have jobs. There won’t be internet fraud, kidnappings and the likes. Even if there will be, it will be so small. But look at the number of graduates we produce year in, year out with no job opportunity. How are they expected to survive? There is a saying that if a born again experiences poverty, he might consider money rituals, let alone those who are not born again. Buhari is not the problem; Obasanjo is not the problem; Jonathan is not our problem. Our problems are those heads of government parastatals. They are thieves, all of them.
Do you think Nigeria should split?
Well, separating is not the solution to our problems. The source of our problem is every single person. If we separate today, the Yoruba people will fight, Igbo will fight and Hausa will also fight, because we have not changed what is within us. We are not united, we envy each other. So, if we separate, we will still destroy everything with dispute. Those fighting for it now might be the problem later.
The church just celebrated its fifteenth anniversary, what are the challenges and plans ahead?
In 2006, God established the church, and we thank God for how far He has brought us, though it has not been easy. We have experienced many challenges; one of them is that many people believe that when God is lifting a person or a church, it is a diabolic power that is working there. That is the belief of some people. Some others say things like ‘there is more to the story of a church that has not been around for up to 10 years and is booming like this’. So, criticisms like these are being heard from fellow pastors and these make me weary that people think I have gone to do something diabolic. Why would people think that way?
Can’t God do it? It discourages me, but I have been able to hold onto God through it all. Anyone who wants to work for God must be born again; if not, such will go to hell and this is what we have been preaching. It is dangerous for a man to be a pastor without being born again. We are trusting God for more grace to keep going.
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