Pastor Austin Udeoha is the General Overseer of Holiness Power Bible Ministries International (Operation Tikpo), in this interview with Daily Champion; he speaks on the state of the nation and other issues.
How do you feel about the present state of our nation?
Well, we have many things to thank God for as far as this nation is concerned, even though we are still nurturing our democratic process. Our democracy has not grown to the level of other established democracies in the world but we must not fail to thank God for the journey so far.
Moreover, when we consider what other countries have gone through which led to their eventual disintegration, Nigeria has passed through such circumstances and more but the county is still intact, God is still keeping us together.
Also, when you look at some sectors like communication, Nigeria ranks high among other developed nations. In those days, people used to gather in my house in order to make use the analogue telephone to communicate with their loved ones. In those days also, if you see anyone using a handset he would appear as someone from the moon but all those things have changed with the emergency GSM in the country.
Never had it crossed the imagination of anybody that we will get to the level where telephone will be everywhere in this country, looking at that alone, we must appreciate God for that achievement.
On the other hand, when we consider the lives of our political leaders, there is little to cheer about. Apart from those days of the founding fathers like Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Sir Ahmadu Bello and others who were selfless in the task of building the nation, our present crop of political leaders are more concerned about their own welfare, they are not selfless.
Let us reflect on the state of our education, healthcare, oil roads and other infrastructures, there is nothing to write home about. Nigerian politicians seem to be the politicians of their own belly; they are not concerned about the plight of the masses of this country.
All they are saying in the mass media are all lip service. I challenge them especially the key office holders to prove me wrong. If these leaders at various levels know that they are fighting corruption from all levels of government from national to state level, let them sponsor a bill of capital punishment for corrupt officials as it is being done in China.
As a minister of God, I also challenge church leaders who are closer to the government to tell Nigerians why they are not telling these leaders the truth. They are working together with those in government and attending the same meeting with them but they have never challenged them on corruption.
Not until the leaders sincerely move against corruption by encouraging capital punishment for corruption and corrupt practices, they have something to hide. Our judiciary also has some questions to answer because some people who had been arraigned in court by government agencies like the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) Have been set free by some of our judges and legal practitioners. What you hear in our courts today is, ‘this one is not guilty, that one is not guilty.’
Are you part of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN)?
My church will not be among them, neither will I join them. Similarly, I will not join the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), the reason is that I have not seen purity, holiness and uncompromising stand among them.
I have not seen an uncompromising stand among Christian leaders in Nigeria. I know some instances in some countries where Christian leaders are against bad governments, they don’t join those in government in their meetings, they don’t encourage them, if all Christian fathers are telling the politicians the truth and warning them about the dire consequences of their actions they may change for better.
I expect Christian leaders to address them thus, ‘if you don’t change, God will be against you and we won’t support you and if you don’t change, we will pray down your government,’ they should be able to shun them whenever they invite them to their meetings, they must tell them the truth, if such is done, they will change because the voice Christians is what government must respect.
Help me to ask the CAN chairman and all the Christian fathers in Nigeria that are close to the politicians and other government officials, that the holy servant of God, Pastor Austin Udeoha wants them to tell Nigerians what they are getting from the government officials which has sealed their mouth not to tell them the truth.
As we prepare for the general elections, what have you to tell Nigerians?
I thank God for the coming general elections in Nigeria, but I want to counsel Nigerian politicians to turn from their evil ways or else there will be divine intervention from heaven and when it will happen, what the Book of Job said, ‘you have swallowed up the riches but I will force them out of your belly, you will vomit it, it will happen,’
Anybody that has defrauded Nigeria who is still alive will vomit Nigeria’s wealth that is illegally acquired, or they will pay with their blood and after that revolution, there will be divine intervention, I didn’t say a coup but after the divine cleansing that God will initiate by himself and all the riches of this nation recovered, Nigeria will be another London because God must have raised for us a new generation of leaders.
Those younger generations that are willing to make name for themselves will reposition this nation. Apart from that, democracy is the government of the people for the people and by the people. But before this country will change for better, there must be proper agreement between the electorate and the political office seekers. There must be an undertaking which must be between the candidates and the electorate. It must be mentioned that when the politicians want to represent the people through their manifestos as a governor, or lawmaker, such people should be held accountable if after six months they fail to implement what they stated on their manifestos, they should be recalled.
Nigerians should be able to hold their leaders accountable. Look at our educational sector, nothing is working, the same is applicable to other sectors, yet nobody cares. As Nigerians plan to elect people this year, let them be ready to hold them accountable to their promises. This is my advice to Nigerians as we approach this election.