We can’t take things for granted, we have to fast and pray for God to take absolute control of the elections. We in PFN in Anambra State are ready for the elections.
Aloysius Attah, Onitsha
The newly elected Chairman of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) Anambra State Chapter and Senior Pastor, Rescue House Christian Centre, Onitsha; Bishop Moses Ezedebego is also the Secretary, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the state. He spoke on his plans for PFN in the state, the impact of the church in Nigeria, his expectations in the 2019 general election and why every eligible voter in the country should come out and vote.
Onitsha in particular and Anambra in general are regarded as stronghold of the Catholics and Anglicans, so how is Pentecostalism faring?
The Pentecostal churches are doing wonderfully well in Onitsha and in every other part of Anambra State. I am not saying this because I am the PFN Chairman; I am saying so because that is exactly how it is. Beside every Catholic or Anglican Church is a Pentecostal Church in any parts of the State both in the cities and villages. We have the PFN structure in every community and every ward in Anambra State. If you want to measure the strength of the Pentecostals in Anambra you come to Awka to witness the inauguration of the new PFN administration under my humble self. On that day, we will converge at Ekwueme Square to receive the national and zonal leadership of PFN for the inauguration.
Why has Nigeria failed to overcome its developmental challenges despite the large number of churches in the country?
Let me say it that the church is one of the pillars holding Nigeria today. I wonder where or how Nigeria could be without the prayer of Christians for the wellbeing and survival of the country. Only God knows the number of jobless Nigerians that the church absorbs; shelters, feeds, trains and helps to raise businesses and families. Is there any means with which we can give account of the amount of healing and deliverance that take place in various churches we have in the country? The impact of the church cannot be overemphasized. However, when you bring the challenges of development on the table and juxtapose it with what the church is doing, you find out that there are many factors militating against the church from the Nigeria perspective in the other way round. The society is terribly corrupt and the church is a victim of that corruption. Secondly, the society still believes in religion and some churches are toeing the religious path. What I am saying is that not all the churches are genuine and don’t expect those ones to make any meaningful impact towards well-being and survival. Not all the churches are after good human upbringing, social order and nation building. Some people who call themselves men of God are just there to find a means – good, bad and ugly – to make money.
Some people predict that the 2019 election will either make or mar Nigeria. Do you agree with them?
No, I disagree with those saying the election will mar Nigeria. The election will come and go like the previous ones. It will come and go peacefully like the one of 2015. The Bible says with God all things are possible. With God on our side, the 2019 election will be a success and we shall move on in peace. However, we have to be on our knees and hand the elections over to God. We have to pray fervently so that God in his infinite mercy will see us through. We can’t take things for granted, we have to fast and pray for God to take absolute control of the elections. We in PFN in Anambra State are ready for the elections. In PFN, we have a department called Social Security Organisation (SSO) that takes care of socio-political affairs and I’m sure that the people in that department did a good job in mobilising and sensitising eligible voters in all the Pentecostal churches to get their Permanent Voters Card (PVC) ahead of the elections.
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There is fear that the election might witness massive rigging
The fear of rigging shouldn’t be an excuse for anybody to stay at home on the day of election. Rigging is not enough reason for anybody to boycott election either. If President Muhammadu Buhari was afraid of rigging in 2015 having lost elections on three occasions in 2003, 2007, and 2011; he couldn’t have contested the presidential election not to talk of winning it. People should look at the case of President Buhari over the issue of rigging. In 2003, he lost and not afraid of rigging he came out again and contested in 2007 and lost. Still not afraid of rigging he ran again in 2011 and lost. In 2015, he persistently put the issue of rigging behind and contested and won, so rigging should not be an impediment in the minds of the people towards the 2019. Pray and ask God to prevent your vote from being diverted against your wish and come and vote and leave the rest for God.
What is your vision and main target for PFN in Anambra State?
The immediate past PFN Chairman; late Archbishop David Ebelechukwu left PFN in very outstanding position and so he left a big shoe for his successors. As his successor, I will continue where he stopped and also do some other things that will definitely move PFN to a higher level in Anambra. My predecessor built a very large specialist mission hospital that is recognised by the State. He was the first PFN Chairman to execute such a project in the whole of Nigeria. Most interesting is that he ensured that PFN was gazetted by the State to receive grant for the mission hospital. So, my administration will ensure that the hospital is up and doing in serving the purpose it was meant for. We are going to ensure that the hospital has different disciplines and departments and equipment also for effective services among other lofty ideas which I cannot list them here.