Apostle Christopher Murphy talks about his interdenominational movement and Nigeria’s politics in his interview with EMMANUEL CLEMENTSir, tell us about yourself?
I am Christopher Murphy Chukwuka Ikeotuonye from Hon. Vincent Ikeotuonye’s family of Ozubulu in Anambra State.
Can you tell us about your ministry?
Well, we do not run a ministry in the conventional meaning. Ours is a movement and the parent is The Zerubbabel Generation and we have been around to the glory of God since the 1990s
What is the focus of the movement, what is it about?
It is basically about raising an Army of Occupation, people who will truly rule their world and occupy for Christ till he comes back. We do this using the Governors’ Forum and Revelation for Revolution. The forum is a teaching gathering while the other is more to do with our literary activities. We are very active on the social media.
What else do you do apart from God’s work?
What else is there to do? I work for the greatest paymaster of all. I used to do some business. I was a contractor with some oil servicing companies in Port Harcourt and in Lagos here but had to quit when it became incompatible with this work. This is all I do, just the work of God.
What has life taught you over the years?
Life has not taught me a lesson, it is still teaching me and I do not think we have enough space to go into that. But one thing I can say is that without God you are finished.
What are your challenges in the cause of the ministry?
Well, the same as many other ministers. Loneliness. Like in most cases my lifestyle is curtailed. Your friends are limited because you need to maintain a certain kind of atmosphere, so you walk alone a lot of the time.
Then there is the ingratitude and selfishness of people. They come with their issues and as soon as they get their result, they disappear until the next problem. Many of them cannot access their pastors or do not have much faith in their capacity but want to be part of the social respect of belonging to such church.
When issues come, they find us but once they get results, they run back to their church for thanksgiving without as much as a word. This has led many to start churches even when it is not time or their calling. Very tempting. But I really do consider them as training.
Where do you see your ministry in few years to come?
This is the kind of question you ask a corporation whose growth is dependent on their own plan.
I walk with God day by day. My commitment is to go where He sends and do what He commands per time. Paul had a plan to go to a city but God restrained him and he ended up in Macedonia instead.
The point is that in the next five years you will find us doing whatever God tells us to do with all our might. While it is good to plan, based on God’s instruction and direction, the fixation on goals, projections and plans makes it difficult to respond positively to God’s direction.
We are going to find out that a lot of the mega activities we are celebrating today are just the products of man’s wisdom and desire. So in a few years to come, you will find me serving God in the mega cities or mega villages of the world depending on His command.
What is your advice to up-coming ministers?
I will start with one of the most important since this space cannot be enough for all.
Marriage: The wife or husband you choose will go a long way to help build or destroy your ministry. No matter how anointed one is, a bad marriage will mess it all up, especially for the men, do not marry a wife because she is pulpit compatible.
That means her outward appearance. If she does not respect you and what you stand for, do not. For the women, do not marry a man you do not respect and believes in who can guide you and support you.
Calling and commission: Many people think that calling is the same as commission. When you are called be patient to be commissioned. Calling is your invitation to be trained to serve. Commission is your posting after training.
Be sure of the commission. Do not go because someone prophesied but because you know that you know. That is what will save and keep you standing one day. Money and fame: Ministry is not about money and fame. Some will be famous others may not be. Focus on these may lead to putting hands in some bad places.
Make God your source: This speaks for itself. Men will come with offers and promises even the devil will come too but they will all come back for their pound of flesh.
Do you support clerics going into politics?
By clerics, I suppose you mean pastors/evangelists and so on? I believe Christians who are matured should go into politics. Matured because the political terrain is very mucky and slippery. But we need Christians and good people to clean it up. However, I do not agree with a pastor/evangelist going into politics. Being a minister is a calling and being a politician is also a calling, the former for spiritual service while the latter is for social service.
I also believe that the ministerial calling is superior to political calling. The pastor is the father of all including the president. I also believe that a pastor who has to leave his office to go contest an election has acknowledged his failure in his primary calling. It is a tacit acknowledgement that he has failed to raise people good enough to be in office hence his going there himself. That is my opinion.
How would you assess the present administration, is President Muhammadu Buhari on the right track?
I can begin to say if he is on the right track when I see him on any track. For now, after almost one year, there is no indication that the government has any plan. Even the fight against corruption can more honestly be called war against PDP or more accurately hunt for Dr Goodluck Jonathan. I do not know what they may do tomorrow but thus far, nothing. Everything they criticized Jonathan for they are doing and doing poorly and incoherently. The government is being run by one man who is hardly in the country. We are praying for the country and I know for sure that Nigeria will flourish again.
There is fear of plans to Islamize Nigeria, and now we are facing killings by Fulani herdsmen. What is your view?
There have always been plans to Islamize Nigeria so that is not a new thing. The only sad thing is that many Christians do not recognize this fact and are playing into their hands. I cannot categorically say that this president is pushing that agenda but he had said a few years back that he is committed to the spread of sharia all over the country.
So make your own deductions. The herdsmen are doing their own havoc and governors in the North, led by el Rufai are doing theirs. All these are fueled by the apparent reticence of the federal government. Hence, the fear of Islamization. Whether the fear is real or imagined, the Bible says that the gate of hell shall not prevail against the church. It is my hope that the government does something to assuage this fear before people start taking laws into their own hands.
The worst of Buhari is better than the best of Goodluck Jonathan. What is your reaction to this statement?
We do not want the worst of President Buhari. No sir, we do not. I do not wish to stir up this kind of dust but I dislike this current fashion of Jonathan bashing going on. Why is every supporter and employee of this administration thinking that the only answer they have is Jonathan.
It is as if they have all been coached that whenever the questions get tough blame Jonathan. If anything happens blame Jonathan. One year into this administration the name of Jonathan is still there. Okay, if Jonathan messed up, that is why he was voted out and this administration voted in. So his wrong doing cannot be an excuse.
So right now, what we have is a Buhari administration and people’s expectations are high but falling fast. He needs to do something to justify the hype. Much as I was a supporter of Jonathan, like him, I want what is best for Nigeria and right now Buhari is our president. I want to categorically say that I disagree with those who insult him by the language they use.
Though APC sowed the seed of that ugly tree, we must respect that office.
For the record, Jonathan revived our rail system, got Nigeria to be the largest economy in Africa and one of the foremost attraction for investment, we went from net importer to net exporter of cement, our life expectancy index was best that period so was our transparency index. The freedom of speech and press, a hallmark of democracy was at its best. So we did not fair badly and we expect an improvement.
What advice do you have for Buhari ?
There is so much to say. But I will start by telling him that there is a reason antibiotic and other drugs are taken gradually over a period of time. Not that they are too plenty to be swallowed at once but that if swallowed at once will be too poisonous and kill the person.
Some of the policies he is trying to implement, though it is supposed to curb corruption should be done in manageable capsules so as not to crash the system.
I will also tell him to ease his foot on the pedal of the so-called fight against corruption and focus also on other things. I will advise him to make the fight balanced. I will advise him to have a sit down with Jonathan and his team and grasp what they were doing to continue and then bring his strong sense of discipline to bear.
I will remind him that he is not the only one that loves neither Nigeria nor the only good man. He must learn to take advice from others, especially the ones we are paying to do so. I will advise him to make a heartfelt apology to Nigerians for the failed campaign promises, bearing in mind that a very large chunk of Nigerians did not vote for him. Many will work with him after that.