Prophet Samson Ayorinde: The man that will repair, build Nigeria will come from South East

•If political leaders are serious about reducing cost of governance, they should cut their earnings by 50 per cent

Prophet Samson Ayorinde is the Founder, World Bible Church (WEBIC)with headquarters in Ojota. In this interview with Vivian Onyebukwa, the architect-turned- clergyman spoke on the state of the nation, President Tinubu’s government, economy, insecurity, and ways to make the country better. He also talked about his church at 28 and plans of setting up the place of worship as a global village.

What can the government do to tackle the high cost of living as a result of bad economic situation in the country?

We know that the situation has been very precarious for a long time, and many people did not want to take the bull by the horns. We are blessed with the present President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu. He is God’s appointed for this present hour as shown with all my previous predictions for the past 14 years. The Lord had told me about him becoming the president of this country, and it is not hidden news. This is the man appointed for this particular time. I want to appreciate all Nigerians for our resilience, tolerance and forbearance. If what has happened in these last two months had been in many parts of the world, those countries would have been on fire and on rampage, but Nigerians are resilient and tolerant and we adjust. It’s painful. A lot of people are dying. People are frustrated. What the government needs to do is to look seriously into the plight of the people, not necessarily dolling out N5,000 or N8,000 per family, even though they have made up their minds to go along with that policy. But it goes nowhere. This funding should have been used in getting amenities, infrastructure like generating more electricity, raising up modular refineries that will serve the populace. Instead of building massive refineries, they could go on for modular refineries that could not do more than 20,000, 30,000 barrels per day which can be in six geopolitical zones. There is no geo-political zone that does not have crude oil in Nigeria. The existing refineries should be made to work.  There are three already so they need to produce two or three more because one is already in Nasarawa under construction. These refineries should not be run by the government. Privatise it so that it becomes self sustained and then it would work. Then give each of them a mandate to make certain level of revenue to the government as internally generated revenue. This will help us.

Nigeria has one of the most fertile soils on earth and we are yet to cultivate 60 to 70 per cent of it. So Nigeria can feed the world. Nigeria is bigger than Ukraine. Nigeria soil is better than that of Ukraine, and you can see the volume of grains that is coming from Ukraine. Population of Ukraine is 40 million, while that of Nigeria is 200 million. We need to bring in massive machinery that will make farming easy and interesting. Once there is a greater supply, and demand remains the same, price would drop. We are blessed with solar power, we can generate enough electricity from solar as well as from gas. The volume of gas in Nigeria is enough to serve the whole of Europe and we would still have more than excess.

Now that the whole world is looking towards Nigeria, we should not allow us to be distracted by anything such as the war in Niger. It is not our business taking our troops to go and fight a war that we must avoid. It is not as if we are not concerned about what is happening in Niger, but it is diplomacy. Confrontation, argument will only end up in diplomacy. We should learn from what is happening between Russia and Ukraine. We should also look at what is happening between America and Iraq and Afghanistan when they tried to impose their government. They will end up losing at both ends, it does not make sense. So the President must be advised, and he needs to really listen to his men and to us, too. We are not ready for war. In war, everybody suffers, so we should pull the soldiers back. We have enough terrorists in the forests that they need to go and combat within the country’s territory, making our farmers to be secured to farm instead of to be kidnapped. They can map out the whole of this country within two, three, four weeks, and peace would reign in Nigeria and everybody would go about their businesses. We want the government to look at this area of what would go round all, rather than a privileged few. In two months now we have saved over a trillion naira. They should come out transparent with daily briefing from the President on how this money is being spent so that people can know where the money is going. People want to hear him speak. No matter how busy he is, he should communicate with the people.

There’re still pending court cases concerning the Presidential election. Are you saying that litigants are wasting time and resources in court fighting for what they refer to as their mandate?

It is the right of disenchanted political parties to tender their opinions, findings and whatever they have to present to the court of law and the law will take its course. There were four contestants, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Atiku Abubakar, Rabiu Kwakwaso and Peter Obi. There is no way, for balancing in the country, that a Northerner would leave the throne after eight years and power would be ceded to another Northerner.

Secondly, Kwankwaso was a member of PDP. Peter Obi was a very strong member of PDP. So PDP, Labour party, NNPP are formerly PDP. You cannot take three and divide it into one each and beat one major. Carry out this election 10 times, APC would win as long as the major players do not change. Our President that was looking very sickly is okay now. He is sound. Hands don’t shake again. Success has a way of healing someone, and who knows, it might be a political intrigue. That man is a political maverick in this country, a force to be reckoned with. He plays on the psychology of people. He knows what he is doing. For years he has been planning for this seat and he has gotten it. There is no way you would first of all handle a car steering that it would not stumble. There were some of the mistakes in his pronouncement, even though they are real and it is something that he needs to do. I believe that some of those things that happened at the few early days were just like a man trying to walk and he stumbled. Now things are getting stabilised with the appointment of the ministers. The Senate President, Goodwill Akpabio is doing a good job. You can see his control, calmness, smiles, demeanour, and body language. When everybody gets hot, he cools down the body temperature. That’s a thoroughbred politician and we are proud of him.

Power is going to come to the East but not yet now. When President Tinubu finishes his tenure of eight years, power would go back to the North for another eight years after which the power comes down to the South, and then it would go to the South East where a young man is being prepared. That is the man that would build the bridge and repair this country. I have been told about it since 1993. The man that would repair and really do the good job for Nigeria is from the South East. By that time, the Easterners would be ripe enough to produce the President, and you can be sure, Jagaban is going to breed that particular man up like what he did in Lagos State where he has already keyed several successive governments up because he knows what it is to govern and be successful. At his age, you should know that he is rich and not looking for any money to embezzle, but to build a lasting legacy so that his name can enter the Guinness Book of Record as one of the leaders in Africa. We are going to pray and give him support so that he will succeed.

What can you say about the number of ministerial nominees by the President considering the state of the nation’s economy?

When the Nigeria Labour Congress asked him about it, he said it will generate jobs because each of those ministers will have special assistants and so on. But the real fact is, there is a lot of disenchanted, disgruntled people as a result of this election. Things are really polarised and they are trying to mend fences. You just have to make that sacrifice. Building is not easy. To scatter is very easy. So he is looking at so many things to make sure that everybody is pacified. If the politicians and leadership are really interested and determined in reducing the cost of the governance, let everybody go on 50 per cent of their salaries. But you know, human beings are naturally selfish. Go to our universities – our teachers, Professors can’t afford a car, and this are people that are going to manage the destinies of our children. The government has to work harder like never before and God will intervene. A new Nigeria is being birthed.

Insecurity is one of the major problems of this country. What do you think the government can do?

Very simple. Google has the map of the whole world from the satellite. Put about five or six drones in the air and every part of this country comes under surveillance. Get the telephone to work, and get the soldiers to be alerted. Nigeria is not too big for Nigerian soldiers to map metre by metre. Within one or two weeks, everywhere would be quiet. But because a lot of people are feeding from it, that is the problem. Nigeria has enough capacity to stop these terrorists in weeks, not months. Once they match them power for power, they would all run away because most of them are being funded by foreigners. A lot of big farmers who are youths cannot sustain their business because they kidnap them in the farms. Then the local vigilantes, civil defence, state police, should all be allowed to be in operation, and they should be well-funded. Again, with the upcoming government banking system on credit facilities where you can own a car or house without necessarily having to pay all the cash, it would help. However, all these can’t be done in a day by one man. Even though we are exercising patience, time is tickling because if people should go on rampage Endsars would be a small thing. When you push a goat to the wall, it would bite like a dog. People are being pushed to the wall. Something needs to be done, and fast.

How has it been with you all these years?

God has been gracious. This year is our 28th anniversary. I grew up from a very small living room church to a church that has become a global force in the gospel. I have been all over the world taking the name of the Lord and the nation to all around the world. I am preparing for what I would call the second phase of real mass campaign, but first of all, I want to make sure that the base and all the infrastructure are well built, well developed so that we can have a healthy barrack. This is my own base and barrack so that as a field man I can go out in the field and I can come back home and rest, now that I am growing younger. God has been marvellous to us, and we thank Him as we celebrate our 28th anniversary from the 1st of November to 25 of November.

What are we looking at in years to come concerning the church?

I am setting this place up as a global village to reach the world. I am having a radio and television stations here with a life studio already designed with a structure. Once I finish setting it up, I will reach the globe from here. Then the work I am really assigned, that is, mass crusade, campaign and humanitarian work will kick off in a far better dimension.

How do you handle controversies when they come?

A prophet thrives in controversies. It is like the noise of the market; it’s normal. The final decision would be made by God, not the noisemakers.  Everything that is hot, with time would be calm and cool. I have had all manners and I don’t mind. That has been my life from childhood. They told me that I would never walk, I walked. They told me that I would never be able to talk because I stammered. But I talked. They told me that I would never be able to finish my school because of financial strength, but I cleared the record in secondary school, Cambridge, and I am the first nuclear architect that Nigeria would produce. When I started preaching, they told me that I would never be able to preach. Now I am preaching. They told me that I can’t do more than healing the deaf and dumb, I said I can do more than that. They said I can never gather a crowd, now I gather crowd. They said I can never be a pastor. Now we have 25 branches in Lagos alone, and on and on. I will be preaching until above 90 years and I would never use a walking stick.

What are your thoughts about the Russian/Ukraine war?

It is very sad. The West wants to cut Russia to size, and they are fighting this war from Ukraine. Russia is fighting the whole of the West. Russia wants to build the old USSR, but it is not possible. This war will be protracted and the essence of it is to cut Russia to size. That is why the kind of equipment they are giving to Ukraine is not for them to be able to win, but for defence so that Russia can keep on attacking, and when it is over, they will rebuild Ukraine. This war might likely outlive Putin because usually people like Putin would either die of a disease or commit suicide because it is not easy to shed blood.

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