Why I Don’t Vote But Encourage Any Believer Who Wants To Participate In Active Politics – Olukoya
WHY I DON’T VOTE BUT ENCOURAGE ANY BELIEVER WHO WANTS TO PARTICIPATE IN ACTIVE POLITICS
– Olukoya Daniel Olukoya
The General Overseer of the Mountain of Fire and Miracles (MFM) Ministries, Daniel Olukoya, recently hosted members of the Association of Christian Correspondents of Nigeria (ACCoN) at the church headquarters in Yaba, Lagos. In an interview with Daily Sun, the Christian minister spoke on the state of the nation, its socio-economic situation, security, and MFM’s position on Christian participation in politics. The scientist also spoke on the mystery behind Creation and other issues.
As Nigerians, we have been seeing all that has been happening, politically, economically and security-wise, what is your take on the state of the nation?
The state of the nation or the state of the world itself? The world is in a mess, everything is messed up. December last year when the Lord told me that we should pray against unnecessary and useless wars of friendly nations, I was a bit surprised. Which friendly nation will fight? Which unnecessary war? Seeing it now is surprising, what is happening between Ukraine and Russia. The Bible says righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a reproach to any people. The people are a reflection of their government. If all of us are straightforward and are doing the right thing we will not get a bad government. The reason we are getting a bad government is because we ourselves are bad. So, if we are good we get good government, it’s a magnet. The bottom line is that we need to practice more righteousness so that the name of the Lord will be exalted in the nation. The state of our nation is summed up in one sentence; we need divine intervention.
You have suggested prayers. Majority of Nigerians are not Christians. We have pagans; we have Muslims. How then do we come together to do this?
Then you do not understand the power of prayers. The power of prayer does not work with the majority. A single man can turn the whole nation upside down with his prayers. People turned nations upside down before with their prayers. The Bible says the effective prayer of the righteous avail much. It is not the number of people praying, but the righteousness in the hearts of those praying.
What is your view on the participation of Christians in politics? Also some people see the move by the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), mandating member churches to create a Directorate of Politics and Governance as a subtle way of pitching Christians against Muslims?
I do not have a view. What I have is a principle. My principle is that any believer who is in politics and approaches me I will encourage him because if all the good men run away from the political arena very soon the children of darkness will take over and detect what happens. They may even ban your association. So, that’s why I can encourage believers fully.
Some are of the opinion that when Christians go into politics there is no way they won’t get themselves smeared?
Well, that is if you want to get yourself smeared. They say they have to go into the occult and all that, so that is the reason we need good believers who will stand for the truth there. Like the Olubadan of those days, Akinyele wanted to be Olubadan and he gave them instructions that he was not going to bow down to their idols or do rituals, but to pray; they agreed and he took over. Many of those who call themselves Christian politicians are not born again. That is the problem. So, if you are asking me whether Christians should be interested in politics, I will say Christians should even take it over totally and overtake. When they say ‘this is a great man of God, this is a great pastor’, I shake my head, there is no great man of God at all in this country; nobody. If there is a great man of God in this country, we should be able to get to a situation where it is we who decide who becomes governor, who becomes president; if for example, I have a church now and 90 per cent of Nigerians are my members, I decide who becomes the president and if any bank talks rubbish, I say I will withdraw our money. That is the power of the church. Don’t say great men of God. There is none yet. I had a crusade in Calabar and as we were approaching, I noticed that all the vehicles were parking, nobody was going again. We were wondering what was happening and we kept driving and somebody told us to stop, that there was a communal fight going on and that they were very aggressive. I told the driver to keep going, he said ‘sir, if you give me N1 million I will not move from here.’ Eventually, we ran into a communal fight. I saw young men fighting with knives and cutlasses. One carried a dead goat on his neck as juju. The other one carried a tortoise on his stomach, I said ‘and there are men of God in this country and this is happening?’ If that can still be happening then we have work to do sir.
What is your advice to Nigerians particularly Christians as they move to choose their leaders in the next election?
Christians should prayerfully decide who to vote for, unfortunately, people like us cannot vote because in the church I have various political parties. In fact, in the last election, I went to the polling booth and I asked if I could press my finger on all the parties, they said ‘no, it will void the vote. As a Pastor having members that belong to many political parties, it is better for me to refrain.
If everyone decides to refrain from voting during the election, do you think it can solve the problems?
No. It is because of my role and where I stand. I am a pastor of a church whose members have multiple political interests. So, I cannot dance to one side, when there are plenty of party members under me. That is the sacrifice I make as a pastor.
How does your church encourage members’ participation in politics? Do you have the directorate of politics and governance?
MFM does not operate the way other churches operate. We do not come to the public and begin to make announcements. You won’t see us talking but we know what we are doing.
You are both a scientist and pastor, how do you marry science and faith?
There is no marriage at all. I am first a child of God, other things come second. Any scientist who wants to be true to you will tell you there is an unseen force and mysterious intelligence behind creation. Things did not happen by chance. Like the evolutionists have said that there was a big bang and everything happened by chance. It is not possible. If you look at the human body and the computer in the brain you will know that someone must have sat to make the arrangement. So, there is a mysterious intelligence. If you go to the gutter, get a drop of the water there and place it under the microscope, what you will see will shock you; you will find strange creatures. Again, there is an intelligent force behind all these.
We have read that if communities are having problems they look unto God, while the prophets look up to God to lead them in prayers and make sacrifices for the atonement of their sins. Are we doing so in Nigeria?
We do that. We can only speak for ourselves and not for others. You know that there are many prophets in Nigeria. There are political prophets; there are newspaper prophets; there are blog prophets; there are mountain prophets; there are money prophets and all kinds of prophets. There are those prophesying who will win the election, and when the prophecies do not come to pass, instead of them to keep quiet, they give more prophecies to cover up, whereas the office of the prophet is higher than that.
Why do prophecies fail?
God’s prophecies do not fail, do you understand? Any prophecy that is devoid of mercy is not from God. This is because when people start to cry He changes His mind. So, the prophetic is not a position you use to get popularity. Talking about God changing His mind, when a prophecy does not come to pass, the public may think a prophecy failed not knowing what transpired between God and the prophet. That is why a prophet must be careful before opening his mouth. Jonah in the Bible did not want to go to Nineveh where God sent him. Then God sent a fish to swallow him, and he was in the belly of the fish for three days, no food, no water, he suffered. When Jonah was eventually vomited there, he preached with anger, saying “in forty days, the Lord will destroy this city.” By the time the people heard him preaching, they decided to repent and fast, they even made their pets fast. When God saw this, He changed His mind. In that case. people may think that that prophesy failed. So, we have to be very careful.
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