The prophets are here again…

Fola Ojo

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My 19-year-old son was born in Baltimore, Maryland. When he was 11, I took him visiting Nigeria and just that once. But he is as thorough-bred a Nigerian as any Nigerian can be. On his iPhone and iPad, he follows the Nigerian news. The good, the bad, and the humorous on all subject matters spark his interest. Believe me, I am not responsible for coaxing him into liking swirling stories about Nigeria.

A few weeks ago, he sent me a video featuring the Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose, in a location that appeared like the Government House. In the video image, Fayose was praying with fervor for his deputy, Kolapo Olusola-Eleka, whom he had singlehandedly chosen to succeed him. The governor laid his hands on the deputy as do pastors, commanding him in the “name of Jesus to go defeat John Kayode Fayemi and the APC.” “Receive power to succeed me, in Jesus name”, Fayose prayed. The bloviating governor then thrusted out his hand to his deputy and declared: “The Lord said I should congratulate you”. The audience of about 20 frenzied fanatics of the governor roared in applauses. Rambunctious Fayose seemed to have prayed from his heart unchoreographed. Why was the governor’s prayer for his deputy so passionate? Simple. Fayose wants a continuity of whatever efforts he began in Ekiti. Men and women in power always desire to pick stooge-successors to either continue their laudable legacies or cover their evil tracks. That’s politics.

Last December, a friend of mine close to the Ekiti governor had boasted with radiating confidence that Ekiti would remain in the Peoples Democratic Party’s kitty after the July 14 election. Fayose is beloved by many and hated also by a multitude. I thought it was possible that the state might remain under the PDP’s control for a few more years. But I wanted to hear from my friend why he thought the governor and his man would win the election. He gave many reasons from stomach infrastructure razzmatazz, to Fayose’s fiery nature, and his cuddling of the lowly and lonely who have no one showing them executive love. “God has told us we would win”, my friend said.  I didn’t ask him what god. I assumed he was alluding to the God of Heaven who rules in the affairs of men. The One who speaks and brings to pass what His mouth has spoken. The One who changes seasons and yet changes not.

My friend dropped names of some famous men of God who had streaked through the Ekiti Government House in the last four years. One after the other, I was told that they all gave assuring words to Fayose that his deputy would win the election. And in the assurance of what we now know to be false prophecies, Fayose became emboldened with the expectation of victory.

One of the praying prophets is a feisty Apostle from Delta State. The Apostle had made public statements that God said the PDP would win the Ekiti election. When the opposition party recorded a victory, the man of God claimed that God had changed his mind just like He did with the biblical Hezekiah. But why do these people make mockery of spiritual things by deliberately giving false prophecies? I watched another pastor on a video clip who claimed that he saw a young man whose name began with an “S” sitting on the presidential seat. Whether his god told him it was Sowore, Saraki or Suswam, we don’t know.  His members are now racking their brains, combing the terrain in search of a man whose name starts with “S”. He also prodded his members: “If you know Buhari, go and tell him not to run. If he makes the mistake to campaign before the election, he will die”. Buhari at 76 is already running faster than a deer for re-election. This pastor wants us to be prepping up for a funeral; not a send-forth back to Daura if Buhari loses the election, or a swearing-in if he wins.

Many of these pastors are like fallen angels. They pushed former President Goodluck Jonathan from the Presidency in 2015 prophesying lies. He became a cash cow. Pathetic peripatetic pastors hopped on hired private jets to Jerusalem today, Rome tomorrow with all expenses paid by hapless and hungry Nigerians’ commonwealth. And now, in another election season, the prophets are here again! Every election in America is always preceded by scientific polls which reveal the mood of voters. A few times, pollsters have been wrong with projected outcomes of elections. But most of the time, their projections have been accurate. Prophecies from pastors and prophets have become Nigerian polls that make immature ears tingle. Unfortunately, predictions of our men of God have been ridiculously dismal and determinedly influenced by personal feelings, hatred of candidates, and funny money donation by politicians. The predictions are straight out of flesh, and that’s why they never come to pass. Scientific poll results in America are more accurate than the prophecies of the loud-mouthed men of God in Nigeria.

When I was growing up, pastors were revered and deferred to. They spoke the mind of God and there was no ambiguity about what the mouth of God spoke. Our parents would offer them monetary gifts they often turned down. Money didn’t drive them. Milk and honey of the king’s palace didn’t appeal to them. They just wanted to work the work of He that sent them. Alas, times have changed. Pastors now compete with one another who has the latest brand of private jets and the biggest cathedral. The focus now is who has travelled the most and to how many countries of the world making dollars and pounds in honoraria. The Pentecostal fixation is not how they can help fix what ails Nigeria, but how many branches of their missions there are around the world. The god of gold is their god. It is why they cuddle politicians and prophesy lies to those who want to always remain in power stripping power off the powerless. Money, love of it, lust for it, greed about it, and the sleeplessness to have more, is destroying the beautiful spiritual bequeath from our God-loving, obedient, and praying parents.

The revered office of a pastor stirs up inspiration, not fires of desperation launching out into exploitation odysseys. Politicians should look up to clerics for spiritual leadership and direction. But con men in cassocks and turbans have polluted the water for measly pots of porridge.  Nigerians, mark these men, get your PVCs, follow your convictions, and vote. That is the smartest prophetic move.


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