As the year comes to an end and the nation marches towards 2015 with expectations, Archbishop (Prof) Uriel Bade Adesunloye (JP) has predicted that the nation will not only survive 2015 but will do so in peace. He also said the nation is destined for greatness and that whoever predicts doom for the nation will suffer the same fate. He spoke with CHARLES OKOH.
Can you let us into your Background?
My name is Archbishop (Prof) Uriel Bade Adesunloye (JP). I hold Masters Degree in Political and Social Sciences and a Ph.D in Theology. I am a professor of religion. After my Cambridge, I joined Nigerian Trade Union Congress (NTUC), in the 1960s. I was assistant organizing secretary of the NTUC. I was secretary of various unions. I was called to the religious order from the NTUC in the 1960s. I was also Secretary- General of the Nigerian-Romania Friendship and Cultural Association (NRFC). In 2000, God spoke to me that I should found the International Association of Christians Clergy Men for Peace of the United Nations to complement the efforts of the United Nations (UN) at achieving lasting peace in the world, to pursue and promote peace all over the world. I am a native of Ute in Ose Local Government Area of Ondo State. I was born in 1937 to the royal family of Prince Samuel Adesunloye Arogbowa Akerogbe. I lost my beloved wife in 2010 in a plane crash in the U.S. I am blessed with two beautiful female children. I was enthroned an Archbishop in 1990 by the Call of Hope Church Missionary in Philadelphia, U.S. I retired as Archbishop in 2000. I started a new church that same year called Faith Tabernacle of Jesus and Miracle Ministry. I am also president, International Association of Christian Clergymen for Peace of the United Nations.
Any plan to remarry?
I hope to remarry in the nearest future.
The greatest problem that faces the nation today is insecurity in the north. How best do you think the situation can be handled?
We need a change of government, because the present government is handling the situation with levity. Look at the Chibok girls, it is over six months. We thank the United Nations for their support but the Federal Government has not done much. Terrorists should not be negotiated with. We have to evolve a way of checking them. We are praying to God go give us a good leader, a leader of His choice who would lead the nation successful, who will salvage the nation from corruption, terrorism, create job opportunity for the youth. Our prayer is that God makes the choice for this nation. Recently, during my pastoral tour to Ibadan, Lagos, Abeokuta, Port Harcourt, Benin Kaduna, Akure and Abuja I called on all Nigerians to be their brother’s keeper and maintain peace in the country.
In 2015 Nigeria will be electing a new president, who do you think it will be?
In 2007, I wrote a letter to General MuhammaduBuhari that I had deep interest in him over his comments in some national newspapers. I started praying for him to lead this nation for a second time. I got a reply from him thanking me. In 2012, the Lord spoke to me that my prayer for General Buhari has been heard. God told me that he would give Buhari the chance to lead this nation for a second time. I immediately informed General Buhari about this divine message and that my prayer for him has received God’s blessing to lead this nation again. I also wrote him another letter advising him toaccommodate all the defecting seven PDP governors and that they would be helpful to him. I call on every member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to cooperate with Buhari to ensure that this dream comes to be.
Some of have said that Buhari has passed his prime and that he had served this nation at the highest level in the past? What is your position?
When people say Buhari is old that is inconsequential because when God chooses someone you cannot assess him based on his age.Buhari is chosen by God and so he has a divine assignment and should be supported.
There have been some predictions that Nigerian may not survive 2015, do you agree?
You have touched a very key area of this nation. The amalgamation of the northern and southern protectorates was divine. God had a plan for Nigeria. God spoke to me that through the International Association of Christian Clergymen for Peace of United Nations, both Christians and Muslims will recognize themselves, they will also recognize every one’s religious beliefs and this new dawn will begin in 2015. We shall meet with the new government and reveal the message of God to the nation. Real peace in the world will begin from Nigeria; this is the essence of the amalgamation of this country. Recall that Libya under Col Muammar Gadhafi once predicted that Nigeria will be divided into north and south. Where is Gadhafi and where is Libya today? Whoever predicts doom for this nation will suffer the consequences. God has a plan for this nation and part of that plan is that Buhari will lead this nation to peace in 2015.Buhari represents the interest of the people .He is committed to the welfare of the common people. He loves the youths and they love him.
I have contacted 98 clergymen from across the world to pray for Buhari to become president of this nation. The election will be peaceful and Nigeria will live beyond 2015. INEC should ensure that the 2015 elections are free and fair.
What is your message for Nigeria?
Nigerians should return to the farms. States and the federal government should assist in that regards, they should set up farm settlements and recruit youths to work in the farms. The time has come to seek alternative to oil because the future of this nation does not depend on oil. Many graduates are roaming about the streets and some turning to crime and other vices as a result of idleness. In Lagos and many Nigerian cities touts have taken over the streets extorting money from people who are toiling to earn a living. These touts can be engaged and those who refuse to work should be arrested. There is a dangerous trend now in Lagos where sons of landlords are just idling and extorting money. This is unacceptable for a nation that is seeking greatness.
Our political leaders are diabolical. All they are after is their selfish interest. We can avoid revolution if our leaders take care of the masses. The leaders should think of the future of this nation and stop the current high level of looting across the nation. The gap between the poor and rich is increasingly getting wider. It is unacceptable that in a nation where millions are lacking a few are living in opulence.
What is your position on the proliferation of churches and the fact that in spite of this there are wide spread corruption in the country?
Every home is corrupt, including churches. The church today has abandoned the way of the Lord. Today, all kinds of immoral practices are going on in the church. Immorality in dressing and the youth have no respect for elders including their parents. Today, people even have car stickers claiming to be clergy while they are not.People are stealing today and are getting away with vehicles marked as clergy.
Are you in support of pastors exhibiting so much wealth?
It is the people that corrupt them. Rather than exhibit such wealth on themselves and their family, they should use it to help the poor and run schools for the less privileged. In my case I have established tertiary institution calledHabana International Staff Institution, we offer tuition-free education to students from across the nation. It is based in Ifon, Ondo State. We have similar institutions in Botswana, Burundi, Kenya, Lesotho, Ghana, Mali, Benin Republic, Senegal and Ethiopia but not all of them are functioning the way we expect because of paucity of fund.
Is your organization under the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN)?
No, we are not under CAN. We are a global organization while CAN is for Nigeria alone.