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How Many Nigerians Have Genuine Certificates -Bishop Umunna

By GODDAY ODIDI
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Bishop (Prof.) Leonard Umunna is the Presiding Bishop of Bible Life Church Cathedral International and a renowned servant of God in Nigeria that contributes regularly on political and economic issues in the country. The only Ajegunle clergy that President Goodluck Jonathan respects and he is not afraid to air his views in Nigeria. As a movie producer, musician, author, entrepreneur, sports supporter and just mention but a few, he believes that only good leadership can eradicate poverty and corruption in Nigeria. In this interview with Bishop Umunna, he told the media why 2015 elections would be peaceful and how many Nigerians have genuine certificates in the country.

Excerpts:
What is your view on the 2015 elections?
It is so amazing that we are running on political selection than election. The office of the Presidency needed be respected in all angles. Politicians should put their energies on issues while campaigning not personalities. We don't need to be afraid of 2015 elections because it is going to be peaceful. Neither Jonathan nor Buhari is a messiah but somebody must win. It is God that installed President Goodluck Jonathan into power not man since 2011.The issue of insurgency in the Northern East States to destabilize the present government in Nigeria. Though, it is a global issue, so Baga insurgence and others could be tackled. Some people are gaining it in this insurgency in the country.

Sir, as a renowned clergy, have you collected your PVCs?

I have not collected my PVCs.My church could serve as a registration centre and nothing more. Nigerians should not be denied of voting for their choice candidates. I have asked my members to register for their voters' card. We must exercise our franchise as a Nigerian. Every servant of God is greater than any political leader in the world.

Why more emphasis on certificate than integrity in Nigeria's politics?

Sorry to say, Nigeria is practicing politrics instead of real democracy. Everybody in Nigeria is guilty of certificate forgery. How many Nigerians really have genuine certificates? The Nigerian constitution needed to be amended again. The constitution states that a person contesting election must be school certificate holder. It is just political distraction from the main issues in the country.Buhari once said he would make Nigeria ungovernable if he did not win in 2011 and it came to pass. APC is not the best political party because it has more corrupt leaders than PDP.

What is the role of religious leaders to Nigeria's politics?

My annual press conferences to send this message to all our leaders to sit tight.We don't have real leaders anymore. In the 60s, politics were played on integrity but sentiment and tribalism is now in vogue in today's politics. Nigerians must live beyond this kind of politics and allow God to take charge. I would not comment on pastors on prophecies but Pastor Chris Okotie told Nigerians that God asked him to contest and rather focused only on the youths than the elders and that was why he missed the point. So Pastor Tunde Bakare also did the same too. We must not join politics with God. Every pastor must hear clearly from God.Prof Osinbajo as the present running mate to Buhari is not a crime but must not drag Redeemed Christian Church God, General Overseer, Pastor Adeboye to the mud. I have been in the pulpit for 52 years and 61 years of age, so I know what I am talking about.

Sir, what is your take on youth violence in Nigeria?

I have said it before whether bad or good our leaders should be respected in all climes. We have allowed political propaganda to take over our politics over the years. Youth must desist from thuggery and face their future squarely than allowing one politician to use them.

Can you say the National Conference had made any political impact?

It was a total failure and waste of funds. I have said it before, all the conferences had in the past, what were the results of it? So Nigerian leaders should rethink of their political stewardship in the country.

Do you support the Electoral postponement?
Not at all! INEC is ready to conduct the elections. We should allow Prof Jega Attahiru to conduct the elections than creating unnecessary altercations in the country. Since we have used Boko Haram to silence President Goodluck Jonathan's achievements. We must amend the Nigerian constitution because the operations have changed now. We have more of degree holders than certificate holders in Nigeria. Those who forget history will repeat history that is the problem of Nigeria.

As a clergy, who do you prefer to win the presidential elections Buhari or Jonathan?

I cannot predict that but it all left in the hands of God. If Buhari wins, you will see the real leadership of this country and Jonathan is a humble leader with integrity. We have good policy makers but bad implementors.A good leader brings honour to his people.

What is your advice for politicians contesting elections in 2015?

They should campaign on issues that affect the nation not personality.