Can we meet you sir?
I am Bishop Isaac Idahosa Odiri, the General Overseer of God First Ministries (Illumination Assembly).
I was born into the Odiri family of six children, third child in the family from Edo state.
How was your growing up like?
My growing up and upbringing was awesomely good. I was brought up in a Christian family. My parents settled in the North before the war, we were all born and brought up from the North but from Edo state. I had my early and tertiary education in the North. I graduated as a mechanical engineer from the famous Kaduna Polytechnic (KADPOLY) in 1985.
How did your journey into ministry started?
I gave my life to Christ as a born again Christian in 1979. As early as 1982, I was already working for the Lord and working under some men of God till when I was called. I started full time ministry in Minna, Niger State, In August 25, 1989 at God First Ministries and since then God has been using me mightily to do his works, we now have branches and different outreaches round the world. I went to Soul Clinic Bible Institute (SCBI), Minna in 1984.
Apart from the work of God, what else do you do?
The work of God is enough for me to do; the work of God is handful. Since the day I graduated, it is only God’s work. I am an author of several books, I also sing, I have my album. As a matter of fact, I am officially inaugurating my foundation on February 7, a day to my birthday, (Bishop Isaac Idahosa foundation (BIIF) giving structure in taking care of less privilege, orphans, widows which we have been doing but we want to officially inaugurate it this year. So is just God’s work.
What has life taught you over the years?
Life has taught me to depend on God all the time, to love God unreservedly because God is love. Life has taught me never to give up ever at the verge of giving up because there might be a time you will feel like giving up even in the ministry.
Life has taught me the job of the holy-spirit when you are into challenges he helps you and comforts you. It has taught me how to learn and absolutely rely on God because human being can always change.
Sir, let’s move into politics: Some people said that the worst of Buhari is better than the best of Jonathan; can you react to that?
Why must we keep on blaming a man who is no longer there, stop blaming people for their past mistakes, you are bound to make mistakes but not the same mistakes all the time. Though I am one of the few pastors that prophesied that Buhari was going to win the election even though I have a lot of people who attacked me but today he is there. Goodluck Jonathan accepted defeat and it made him a golden star, Nigeria would have been otherwise, now he is receiving all manners of awards not that a whole lot did not happen then but thank God Nigeria is in a good shape.
Do you think Nigerians have hope in this present administration?
Yes, we have hope, record has proved it. All the refineries you can see around; it was during his reign in 1985 that he built them, not that he will not have some weak points, everybody has their own areas of weakness and areas of strength. The joy that Buhari came in should be sustained, there must be equity to the rule of law and we must give time for hope to work.
What is the way forward?
One let us begin to have faith in the system, less criticism.
Let’s begin to see what we can contribute positively to the country, to our nation.
Let’s devoid ourselves from nepotism, tribalism, favoritism and create an atmosphere for foreign investors.
Sir who is your mentor in your Christendom?
Papa Ayo Oritsejafor is my spiritual father, he is my mentor, I take him as my mentor because he is, a man who has done what he wants to do many times.
He a man who has no prejudice, a man who lives by his word, Papa Ayo Oritsejafor is integrity personified, he is a man who loves to see upcoming ones come up without an iota of negative thought. A man who will look at you and tell you as it is in love.
Please tell us, for how long have you known Pastor Oritsejafor?
I have known him for a very long time. I have known him since 1989 that is really long. You can tell what the person can do, Pastor Ayo is not a strange person to me we eat and dine together.
How can you describe your relationship with him?
My relationship with him is very-very cordial, he is my mentor, he is a like a father to me. I look up to him for a lot of things, he is very nice to me and has been very supportive in all ramifications, and he has been a good spiritual father and a mentor.
Why was it rumoured that Goodluck Jonathan bought him the private jet?
Thank you very much for this question. The day the keys of the private jet was handed over to Pastor Ayo, the ex-President Jonathan was present at the occasion, in fact, the truth is that the ex President Jonathan, actually handed the keys of the jet to pastor Ayo.
The true story behind the emergence of the private jet, believed it was given to him by Jonathan without knowing that the jet was a gift of love from the entire Word of Life Bible Church, his well wishers and his sons and daughters all over the world. I also contributed in buying the private jet, so Jonathan never bought Papa Ayo Oritsejafor the private jet.
Did Oritsejafor requested for the private jet or you all voluntarily wish he could have one?
No, he never requested for it, he was even surprise to see it.
What do you have to say to convince Nigerians that Pastor Ayo was not aware of the money laundry his jet was used for?
I want to ask you a question: if you buy a car or a bus and you decide to give it out for it to be used to convey people and goods, would you know what the driver of the vehicle is carrying with the vehicle? Would he ever call you at any point in time to tell you who he is carrying and what route he wants to take?
The answer is no because that is not necessary. The driver acts independently, though you remain the owner of the vehicle.
The same thing applied to Pastor Ayo and the private jet. The jet was given out for commercial purpose, and you don’t expect him to know what and where the jet goes to because he is a very busy man.
The truth is that to be very realistic, nobody would give out such a thing and start monitoring it, all you should care for is your returns. He was never aware of the act that his jet was used for, until it was made known.
Pastor Ayo is a man of God and a respected one for that matter; he will never engage himself in such nefarious activity because of his personality.
He is a very simple man, he is not covetous, and so he would never do anything that would denigrate his image.
Can we meet you sir?