Imioms Dan-Anyiam is a church administrator and supports her husband in the call to raise a spiritual family for God.
She was born into the royal family of the Oba of Benin Kingdom and married to Nnamdi Dan-Anyian, head pastor of Keystone Anointed Church of Christ, Lagos.
Mrs. Anyiam told Daily Sun in an interview recently, that lack of values is the root of the country’s numerous problems.
What do you think of such issues as the killings, kidnapping, banditry, rape, armed robbery, and so on in the country?
We have no values. If a system, government or country does not have value for their citizens or anything at all, then it is impossible for us to pass anything (positive) on.
We cannot give want we don’t have. The first thing is for us, government, the people at the top and people at the bottom to begin to place value on ourselves and what God has given to us.
We should value our children and bring them up in the right way because kidnappers and rapists are people’s children. They didn’t just drop from heaven, but what are their parents doing? We don’t have value for our system. We don’t have value for anything. That’s why we don’t have good roads, hospitals, and educational system. Things must change. If we are not morally upright, and with the help of God, we cannot go anywhere.
About 25 years ago, Rwanda was a total mess. People died from genocide. But look at them now, the whole world wants to go to Rwanda. So, it is a question of value. Their President was a child soldier too, but there is no way that God would not have touched his life. He might not be our born-again thing that we are talking about, but God has certainly touched his life.
In Rwanda, there are rules and people adhere to them strictly. Civil servants do not indulge in alcohol drinking outside or else you would be flogged. So, if you don’t want to be disgraced, stay within the confines of your home and get drunk. The citizens abide by all these. Now, the country has adopted the use of paper bags and no more plastic bags. Everyone has keyed in. So, it is just a question of bringing value into everything.
In those days, moral instruction was part of the school curriculum; how do you think we can go back to that?
They can if they want to because, when you look at the curriculum these days, there is nothing there. And parents are even doing better. However, nowadays, parents go and talk to their children’s teachers to stop reprimanding them. That is where decadence starts from. They would warn the teachers not to flog them or talk to them anyhow and the kids grow wild and uncontrollable.
What would you say about state of education in Nigeria?
Let me give you an example with Denmark. Denmark knew they were going to have issues with education, so, what did they do? They trained all their teachers and nobody can be a teacher without obtaining a master’s degree. And in any class in Denmark, there are three teachers, two to help with instruction while the third one is to brush up those who are lagging behind to be at par with others. After finishing, every child can speak four languages. So, the children are prepared morally, psychologically, mentally and all of that. They are prepared for the world ahead. That gives them a better outlook on life. The teachers are more fulfilled because they are actually doing something to help. Now the educational system in Denmark is high, and they pride themselves in well-baked children, not half-baked. They also pride themselves in well-baked teachers, not half-baked as well. We need to learn from one another.
Nigeria should borrow a leaf from that and make sure that these things happen. It is not a difficult thing. If we truly value our children and their future, we should do that. It took them four years to get to that point but look at what it has done to them and their system.
With so much immorality in society, would you say women have failed?
Yes, some mothers have failed, but not all mothers, because the children are our treasure and our mind.
It is what you teach them from the onset and how open you are to them. Some of us portray ourselves like we don’t have a past. We were just like that, very straight. And these children go and try things that they are not supposed to do. In that aspect, we fail in bringing them up and bringing them close to us such that they can tell us exactly what is going on with them.
I have only boys and my boys are close to me. They are very close to both of us anyway but sometimes they discuss even better with me than with their father because I open up.
They are aware of my negative past and also their father’s, so they don’t even go that way, not because they cannot, but because they remember what we taught them and how their mother or father has gone this way and it didn’t pay them. I prayed specifically that they would not be defiled until they are ready to get married. Even when they have those thoughts, they come to tell us that everyone around them is having sex and doing all sorts of things, but we advise them. We shall continue to tell them that that’s not the way, even though everybody may be doing it, but not you.
Don’t you think that the church also has a role to play?
Yes, but we have a role to play, first as parents and the church, of course, has role to play.
But the church preaches more about prosperity these days?
That is it, and the prosperity is skewed to just one side, which is financial prosperity. Meanwhile, prosperity in Christ is not about money. It is about life, rich life in Christ.
The church needs to orientate their minds so that they can give out the right messages. Some churches are too screwed on the ephemeral, such as speaking against dreadlocks, short dresses and so on. That is not what the problem is.
The problem is what the child is carrying inside of him, which is basically what it is. When a lot of pastors also are misbehaving, what are you going to teach the children?
That is the crux of the matter. I think we need, as a church, as the body of Christ, to understand what Christ wants us to do and follow it.
How do you react to churches who honour people without questioning the source of their income?
You can’t give what you don’t have. If the pastor or the head of the place is not concerned about your life, then there is a problem. That is the more reason you must be guided to know where to go to church.
If the pastors themselves are not guided by Christ, they don’t even understand what Christ wants them to do, they will accept anything and everything that comes their way. They won’t be able to advice properly or speak against those things.
You have heard of how God uses pastors to speak against evil things that should not thrive in the church. If you are in that evil, you would not stay, you must leave but if you really want to be guided by Jesus Christ, you would stay and be corrected because there is nobody that is useless. You might be doing things wrongly in the first place, but we all need to be guided. So, when the word of God is guiding you, you drop that and begin to follow the way of God.
But when they are not teaching those things, the people can only thrive more in evil because the pastor or the people in charge are not speaking out or doing what God wants them to do.
What is your advice to parents in bringing up their children?
My advice to parents is that they should be totally open to their children and guide them.
To women, we must have value for who we are and Jesus Christ is the most valuable. He believes that we are valuable and that is why he came and died for us. That is why we must extend the same kind of worth to God who is Jesus Christ. Women should know the Lord. Be open. Take correction, and let God be God in your life.