Akinola: God is still interested in Nigeria
Bishop Taiwo Akinola, the Presiding Bishop of Rhema Christian Church and Towers (RCC&T) recently spoke with OMIKO AWA on the church’s forthcoming anniversary and international convention, as well as, issues bordering on the nation’s economy and security.
What is the purpose of this conference, which has been running for many years?
It’s actually not an ordinary convention. Rather, it’s a combination of a convention and the church’s 25th-anniversary celebration. This year’s convention will be quite unique and very important to us, because it coincides with the church’s silver jubilee anniversary. So, for us, it is a double celebration, and will hold from November 6 to 13. The theme is: ‘Come, All Things Are Now Ready.’
Pastor Tunde Bakare, Archbishop Olanrewaju Obembe, Archbishop John Osa-Oni, Rev. Kunle Adesina, Bishop Ed-Nelson Isibor (UK), Bishop Victor Akilla, Bishop Biodun Akinteye, Apostle Mike Tomowewo, Bishop Israel Alaya and Apostle David Rivera (USA), among others, will be on ground to minister. They will join hands with me to teach, impart and invoke God’s blessings upon the land and the people during this period.
How has the journey been this past 25 years?
A journey of 25 years is not a joke; and much water has passed under the bridge, but we have God always ahead of us. Just like the Psalmist said, ‘I will look up unto the hills from there come my help.’ This is why in the last 25 years, we have never had any occasion to fear or suffer trepidation, because we see God clearly ahead of us.
God’s said to me, “raise with Me a glorious assembly of Jesus people; a people of My power, purity and purpose, and in this place will I give peace.” This led to the inauguration of Rhema Christian Church and Towers with the International headquarters at Sango Otta, Lagos, Nigeria, on November 2, 1991. Since then, it has been our privilege to spread the good news of the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ round the world, with outstanding testimonies and results, through preaching and teaching of the Word.
What is your advice to Nigerians, with regards to the time we are in?
Clearly, these are not the very best of times for Nigeria. Officially, government has declared that this is a period of recession. We know that numerous well-trained graduates are jobless and even the employed are in fear, as their jobs are threatened. Many others are also losing their jobs. Companies are folding up, money is not flowing, as it ought to and the purchasing power is dwindling by the day. Things are simply not the way they are supposed to be. However, I would like to say that Nigerians should keep on hoping in God. The Bible says, ‘there is hope in a tree. Once the root is in place, it will spring forth again. I believe God has not finished with Nigerians. This is one country that fought a very bitter civil war and we are still together. In spite of the ups and downs, God’s grace has always helped us, which shows that He is still interested in Nigeria and so, I would want to say that Nigerians should be hopeful and patriotic. I would also want our leaders to have the fear of God. If we all do this, Nigeria will not be long on this basement.
In addition, I call on all Nigerians to be patriotic. The time has come for us all to treat the nation with pride. No matter how far we have travelled or sojourned, we will still remain Nigerians. Even if we change our nationalities, we cannot change our historical identity. It is not by accident that we are born into this great nation, and I believe that a feeling of self-pride in this nation is necessary for us to propel Nigeria to greater heights.
What advice do you have for the government?
The corruption battle must be seen to be fair to all. There must not be any sacred cow across board. And, just as the government appears to have reinvigorated the anti-corruption agencies to fight corruption, we are of the view that more energy should be channeled towards forging proactive measures, aimed at preventing crime, rather than waiting to spend scarce resources on unending investigations and prosecutions. The President should bring immediate reforms to relevant anti-corruption agencies, with a view to ensuring effective monitoring of officers and men of these agencies. This is relevant here, because of allegations being constantly levelled against them.
Government, as part of the efforts aimed at alleviating the impact of the recession, must release money into the circulation to enhance the purchasing power of the people. This can also be achieved by ensuring that workers are paid as at when due.
Government cannot afford to play politics with citizens’ lives. Thus, without excuses, government must rise and accept responsibility for enhanced security of citizens, as well as, continuously improving infrastructural development. There must also be renewed efforts towards addressing the epileptic power supply and the bad roads, both of which have significantly hampered growth and development of the nation. Furthermore, our fiscal policies must be worked upon in the direction of salvaging the Naira from its free fall against the dollar. Indeed, Nigeria can still be great again, and can still emerge as a global industrial/manufacturing hub.
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