Okorie said: “In the Bible, there were prophets, but there were also false prophets… Any person relying on prophets to tell him whether he will win an election or not is deceiving himself.”
“POLITICS are organised by human beings. If angels come from paradise to contest elections here they will be defeated. It is just like what we do when we want to play football. The two teams pray. But which prayer does God answer? God can only answer the prayer of the team that practiced to win.”
With these words, the former Minister of Information and Culture, Prince Tony Momoh, dismissed the increasing tendency of some prophets, pastors and priests to predict winners and losers in an election well ahead of time.
It would be recalled that before the 2015 general elections, there were series of prophecies and counter-prophecies on who would win or lose the presidential election.
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The election was a straight battle between the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and now incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari and then President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Many Pentecostal pastors boldly declared before the election that God had revealed to them that Jonathan would win.
For instance, Prophet Olaniyi Odutayo of the World Prophetic Church, Ikeja, had then declared that after his 40-day fasting, that God revealed to him that the “the upcoming election will be very tough for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), but they will win the presidency.”
Also, the General Overseer of Liberation Church, Dr Chris Okafor, who predicted Jonathan’s victory, said “if Jonathan fails in 2015, then I’m not called by God.”
Also, a cleric with the Royal House of Faith Ministry, Pastor Bassey James, declared that Jonathan would win the election with huge margin.
But the founder of Adoration Ministry, Enugu, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka, prophesied that Jonathan would lose the election. Mbaka’s prophesy had come two months after Jonathan’s wife, Patience, visited the Adoration Ground where he had predicted victory for her husband.
He then claimed that the latest ‘revelation from God’ came in the form of one of the birds, which “symbolised the president” and which refused to fly when it was released during Patience’s visit to the Adoration Ground in November 2014.
“All the other birds I released flew away, but the healthiest of them, which is Jonathan’s bird, could not fly. I tried to make it fly, but it could not fly,” he had said.
When Jonathan eventually lost the election, many Nigerians gave Mbaka the sobriquet, “Prophet of our time” for correctly predicting the outcome of the election.
Today, Fr Mbaka is singing a new tune as he has again predicted that President Buhari who he had seen as a messiah for the country in 2015 would be disgraced if he comes out to contest in 2019.
There were also such prophecies during the recently concluded July 14 governorship election in Ekiti State.
The founder of Omega Fire Ministries, Apostle Johnson Suleman, predicted that the candidate of the PDP in the election, Prof Kolapo Olusola, would win the election likewise the founder of the Living Christ Gospel Church Nigeria and Overseas, Primate (Dr) Nathaniel F. Olorunsola and the Bishop of Divine Seed of God Chapel Ministries, Prophet Wale Olagunju.
But Primate Elijah Ayodele predicted that Kayode Fayemi of the APC would emerge victorious instead, which eventually came to pass.
Ahead of the 2019 general election, many prophetic pastors have been revealing ‘what God told them about the election’. But the question is: Do politicians reckon with prophecies from clerics in the build up to an election?
Speaking with Sunday Sun on the issue, Momoh maintained that prophecies have no place in politics, adding that only the gullible believe prophetical pronouncements in an electoral contest.
The former minister, who waxed extremely philosophical in his response, said: “All those who call themselves prophets, do they understand creation? Creation is the work of the creator and the rules are settled in the work itself; the networking is in the work itself. So, the Creator created creation and put into it the laws that regulate its operations.
“The spiritual is known; the material is known; laws regulate them. Laws regulate the material where solid becomes liquid only through heating and where liquid becomes gas only through heating. These are laws we know in Physics through study. Therefore, all those things are predictable. But where people sit down and say that it has been revealed to them that somebody will win an election, then they don’t know the structure of the spiritual.”
Momoh believes that the human spirit has freewill, which God does not interfere with, hence the fallacy in the claim that God reveals the winner of an election to some people ahead of time.
His words: “The freewill is the will to decide what you want to do. In other words, we sow and the things we sow will bear fruit and we reap. That is the law; anything outside that is guesswork and guesswork does not work with the spirit. So, those who are saying that God told them this or that lie; it is a lie. God has never told anybody anything outside the Bible and the Quran and other spiritual works.
“The gullible ones are those who listen and take what pastors and priests who are even ignorant say. If you say that God is speaking to you, then you are ignorant because God cannot speak to you. He spoke to you through Jesus; He brought Jesus to us, but we killed him. So, what determines what happens to us at anytime is the law of sowing and reaping. All these people who are saying that they are prophets and that God has told them, how can God tell 15 different spiritual leaders different things? God is the same, yesterday, today and tomorrow. That is what He told us; and what He says is definite. He cannot say two things. So, those who are saying that God told them are liars because God didn’t tell them anything.”
While buttressing the point that God had fulfilled all things in creation, he added: “The only answer to prayer against hunger is food. The only answer to thirst is water. All these things are fulfilled in creation. How to access everything is settled through learning. Look at what the Israelis have done with desert; they grow all kinds of crops in the desert. But look at what we are doing here; the forests are there, but we are importing rice from Thailand. So, everything is organised in creation and all we need to do is to learn how to think without hurting others. So, all those people who call themselves prophets, do they even know the structure of creation? They don’t know what they are; they don’t know where they came from; they don’t know what they are doing here and where they will go. So, only the ignorant will believe what they are saying.
“Look at the last election; they said God told them who would win. God cannot predict how a human spirit will exercise his freewill, but He knows the consequences of the exercise of that freewill. Do you think God is a secretary that will be writing down what you are going to do? All that is structured into your activity in creation. When you press a switch for light to come on and the switch you pressed is that of the fan, the fan will come on and not the light. So, everything is regulated and settled in creation; all we do here is to download. That is why we should stand the knowledge to do what we are doing consciously knowing that we are sowing with every activity and it will bear fruit for our reaping so that you don’t blame anybody for what happens to you.”
Also speaking in the same vein, former Minister of Works, Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe, said prophets who make predictions about elections do so only to sell themselves.
“We have had such prophecies in the past. Nigeria is getting more sophisticated. We have the social media now, which is very prominent. The prophets want to sell their own idea too with all these prophecies. So, they will either prophesy positively or negatively so as to sell themselves. But as far as I am concerned, it doesn’t matter; that is their own interest and everybody’s interest is important in the system. You cannot wish them away because it’s either they are right or wrong, but not the two. So, people should not worry.”
Asked if prophecies have a place in politics, Ogunlewe noted: “In anything we do and in anything in life there is an x-factor, which is not determinable by human beings. So, no matter what you do, no matter how perfect you are, no matter the number of researches you have done, there is this x-factor that is unknown to you. So, prophecies don’t bother me because I know there is an x-factor in anything one does in life, which is not predictable.”
Also speaking, the National Chairman of the United Progressive Party (UPP), Chief Chekwas Okorie, lampooned pastors that engage in predicting winners or losers in an election, saying they “are not anywhere to hear from God”.
He said: “As a matter of fact, it is a clear indication of our primitive stage; I mean we are still very primitive in that area. I am a Christian; in the Bible, there were prophets, but there were also false prophets. Here, we have prophets who say they see and hear all kinds of things from God, but when you go to all the enterprises they have as churches, you see that they are not anywhere to hear from God. Nobody judges the other, but their lifestyle is open for people to see. Any person who is relying on prophets, native doctors or diviners to tell him whether he will win an election or not is deceiving himself. The thing is that when there is a coincidence, the person will jump up and declare that his prophecy has been fulfilled. We saw it even in the recently concluded World Cup tournament. So, it is a mark of primitivism for people to think that in this time and age, somebody will sit in his house and tell you how people will cast their votes in an election and how the result will go.”