Presiding Pastor of Christ Foundation Miracle International Chapel, Lagos, Prophet Josiah Onuoha has said that the extension of the lockdown following COVID 19 will not stop the spread of the pandemic. In this interview, he said God will stop the virus and urged the people to have absolute faith in Him.
What is your reaction to the extension of lockdown following the COVID 19 pandemic?
I do not believe that the extension of the lockdown is the answer to the COVID 19 problem because we have been observing the lockdown for about four weeks now and it has not reduced the impact and spread of the virus in the country. We have rather noticed that instead of decreasing, the pandemic keeps on increasing every day. The lockdown is already having a serious negative impact on the people and the economy of the nation.
Before COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, Nigeria was already feeling the effects of the fall in the global price of oil due to the Saudi Arabia and Russia oil price war and the benchmark price for crude oil in the budget was revised downwards. The pandemic will further expose all the weaknesses in the economy and the Naira. The value of the Naira against the dollar will likely fall further, inflation will rise, unemployment will rise. The ability to perform many contractual obligations will either be frustrated or impossible to perform. The economy like that of many other countries will shrink and go into recession. Government must therefore be proactive to mitigate the effects of the pandemic. Government must come up with an effective stimulus package to gradually get the economy back on track and cushion the effects of the pandemic.
How do you feel about the deteriorating security situation since the lockdown started?
There is no doubt that our security system is not efficient enough. While the security agencies are trying to enforce the lockdown on the highways, armed robbers and hoodlums with all kinds of names like the One Million Boys, Awawa Boys and so on are busy stealing and terrorizing the citizens who have been at home without a source of income. Some of the criminals loot people’s properties, rape peoples wives and their daughters.The security situation in the country is not encouraging at all.There is anxiety and desperation, hence the need to be more humane. Instead of being humane and professional, people are harassed and even killed. On April 2, Joseph Pessu, 28, was allegedly killed by a soldier in Warri, Delta State over alleged violation of lockdown order. It was alleged that the deceased was flagged down by security operatives for proper identification but he refused to stop. The officers chased and allegedly shot him dead. That is very bad. You are trying to protect lives and at the same time, you are killing them.
What are your fears about the possible consequences of COVID 19 on the nation’s economy?
If you recall, in my last interview I had with you, I told you that this COVID 19 pandemic will bring the economy of Nigeria down if care is not taken. I also said that Nigerians should put it in mind that the economy will have problems, so I am not surprised in the collapse of the oil price. There is a global recession and most national economies are not active now because there is low or zero productivity in virtually all the countries of the world because of the pandemic. Nigeria’s oil is not selling because most of the countries that patronize us are battling for their citizens to be alive first.
But the situation is not hopeless because with God, all things are possible. I am calling out on Nigerians to have faith in God and pray for mercy. When we do that, God will deliver us. He had done it in the past and he would do it again. I am sure that God would revive the economy of Nigeria. However, I want to call on the governments at all levels to do their part. The so-called palliatives are not getting to the people. There are many Nigerians that are hungry. Some of them, if they don’t go out in a day, they would not be sure of where the next meal is coming from. They believe that it is better to go out and face COVID 19 than stay at home watching their children die of hunger.
Since the pandemic broke out, how far do you see the response of the church?
I will not say that the Churches have done their best or not because they were not even given a chance to do what they are supposed to do. But even at that, some Churches still did their best to their members and to others that are not their members. As I am talking to you, I also gave out palliatives in form of money and food stuffs to people.
Many men of God saw the danger that was coming but it was not clear to them because it was not fully spiritual; it was created by man although the Lord told me that the man is an agent of darkness. I saw it clearly; God showed it to me and I prophesied it on my prophetic night which was the last Friday of November 2019 and also at the 31 night 2019. God showed me a sickness that shook the world and I asked all the members to pray against it. God showed me so many deaths but he promised me that the children of God and those who worship Christ Jesus in truth and in spirit will be saved. That is why after we finished our 21days fasting and prayer, we brought out a programme that I titled “I will not cry with others”2020 because I saw so many deaths. I am still saying it is only God’s intervention that will turn the plan of evil men who want to bring sorrow upon the world into foolishness.