Former President of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) Lagos chapter and General Superintendent of Powerline Bible Church, Ijesha, Bishop Lawrence Osagie, is saddened by the crises Nigerians are going through and expressed fears that a revolution is imminent except the leaders begin to lead with the fear of God. In this interview with VERA WISDOM-BASSEY, he said Nigerians desire a country of peace.
How do you feel about the state of affairs in Nigeria today?
There are many Zarah’s situations in Nigeria where people swagger their ways to power where everything is bought. Where they can pay INEC to corrupt an election. You can buy police in their thousands, shovel your way to leadership; you can do anything and you just become a minister in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We never put the right people in the right offices; offices are bought, positions are diverted, people are substituted, and the pain of thinking about it in Nigeria kills good dreams and good minds, because the best is not allowed to rule the rest. Kangaroos are put in places, and then the outcomes are disasters; that is why we are where we are today. We have, smart people, brilliant people, but they are not given the opportunity or allowed their place. God gave Nigerians brains but the brains are wasting away, and mediocres are the ones ruling. For example, the NLC people are striking because they need their salaries to be improved upon and that is the simplest problem they can solve. A Senator in this country, I am told, receives N26 million every month; that is just the basic salary, no allowances, leave allowance is not there and all the funny incentives they are given. Take away N20 million and give the senator N16 million, and spread that N20 million to improve the salaries of some Nigerians, calculate the number of senators we have and pay this one to everyone. NLC doesn’t need to go on strike; in the House of Representatives, each person takes N25 million. In a country where people sleep under the bridge, how do you go to bed and wake up and survive your conscience? How do you do that? So, this is the country we are in, it is not just in the political, it is also in the church. I am a Pastor of almost 30 years, how can I pastor these people I know so well. I know where they live, I visit their homes, I see the food some of them eat and I will tell them to go and bring me money they have never seen. And when they bring it, how will I use it, and then I will sleep at night and wake up. It means my conscience is dead, but in this country now, you have pastors that can do anything to people who come to them to find God. They constitute themselves to mini God before these people. And those ones don’t know anything; they just wallow in ignorance and dance to the tune of this evil man in a cassock. So, these are the things and that is why I don’t want to be a part of that rat race. I believe in heaven and I believe in hell, and I want to go to heaven, is not just the words of month; I am doing the best I know and I am asking God to help me. The temptation can be high when you have need and you come under pressure. There are times you come under pressure and the devil whispers to you to go and do what your friends do.
How can we pick the right people in the right position in 2019?
Presently, there is a big challenge, but we’ll continue to work on it until it is perfected; the perfection will happen. It will happen at a point. Nigeria is going there right now. There will be an extent the populace would not take this shameful ordeal they have taken since independence. They will come to a crop of people that will lead a revolution here, and that will be the end of all these nasty things where a clique that put themselves in the corridors of power, has been draining the resources of this blessed nation and we are using things like religion and all those nonsensical stuff, to distract people from toeing the proper line. We won’t get there if we don’t get up; we will just completely go and it will be perfected.
Particularly, what are your predictions for 2019 general elections?
The thing is, we already have an idea the character of the people in leadership presently; we also know those who were there for 16 years. So, the basic thing is that they are not different; they are all the same. Whatever story they are telling is simple because of their interest in that office and not for service. They would struggle and do anything in their powers to attain their dreams; they would want to hold on to power, get into authority, for themselves not because of Nigerians. I do not believe in making political prophecies. I don’t do it. I am not called to that office, I am a prayer warrior, and we pray every day, and our prayer is that anybody that will plunge Nigeria into deeper pain, before that day of election, he should be no more. I am not interested in that Nigerian person, but that Nigerian leader that will do Nigeria good, and take Nigeria to the next level. I don’t want any leader that will plunge this nation into shame and reproach No. I am not interested in any president who will sit down in his office and part of the people you swore to protect are slaughtered on daily basis and you do nothing about it. All you do is try to defend the killers and say they don’t carry arms. So, that is the way it is; so, we are looking to God here concerning 2019. In fact, I am about to write a prayer request for the month of October, because every month we have a prayer request for the election, which we embark on.