Many Of The Security Challenges Are Political—Archbishop Ojo
Archbishop Joseph Imariabe Ojo is the Presiding Bishop of Calvary Kingdom Church International. He served as the National Secretary of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) for 10-years (1999-2009) and presently the National Chairman, States Inauguration. He has in-depth knowledge of the word of God and a prolific writer with integrity.
He is one of the highly respected Archbishops installed in the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria with spiritual pedigree and served under the late great Archbishop Benson Idahosa of Church of God Mission International for 30 years (1972-2002) and was consecrated as a Bishop on 6th November 1993. In this exclusive interview with Godday Odidi, he spoke on his recent 65thbirthday bash, security challenges in Nigeria, consecration of Bishop Matthew Omodiagbe and other related issues affecting the country.
At 65, did you see yourself attaining the peak of God's calling in your life?
Actually God's calling in one's life cannot be equated with career. Career can be seen as circular calling, what I mean that when you have a career, it means, you are a medical doctor, lawyer, accountant and whatever. But you get to a stage in life when you don't see yourself as a competent person anymore but the calling of God with the anointing of the Holy Spirit, as far as God is making the grace and anointing available, you keep riding on.
At 65, God has been faithful to me and have enjoyed God's grace and still believing myself that God can still use me to do more things in life. I don't see myself as an aging minister of God, there are still much to be done as one continues to live on the planet earth. Five years from now, by His grace, I will be 70 years old and I will be strong as I am now and do more things for God. God told Joshua, you had done well; there are still mountains to be demolished.
You recently consecrated Rev Dr. Matthew Omodiagbe as a Bishop and as one of your respected sons in the lord; did you see him as a son of uprightness?
Bishop Matthew Omodiagbe had fittingly served well in the lord. Some people might be young in age but have potential experience in the service of God which Bishop Matthew Omodiagbe has exhibited over the years. Bishop Omodiagbe has a fantastic cathedral that has international standard, he has become a leader to others as a mentor.
A Bishop is a pastor of pastors while Bishop Matthew Omodiagbe has become a pastor of pastors. He has paid his dues and has branches all over the world and a benefitting office and residence to his credit which large congregation qualifies him for the Bishopric position.
What is the difference between an Archbishop and a Bishop?
An Archbishop is the bishop of bishops while bishop is the bishop of pastors.
Many young and old pastors are seeing you as their mentor, what is the secret of it?
By the grace of God, many pastors are under my tutelage and mentorship. I have a fellowship called 'Able Ministers Association (AMM)'made of pastors, we meet here every second Sunday of the month and it has been a fellowship, I have run for 8 years now. We have in our register over 70 pastors in attendance and many of them are General Overseers of their ministries.
These are people I mentored and counselled with the experience over the years in leadership position. So that the coming generation will benefit from it. We are trying to build a bridge between two generations and that what God has given us grace to do.
The kind of my leadership is that I don't look down on people because some people growing today can be formidable in the future and that is what they see in me. I believe that God can bring the best out of people if they are given the necessary encouragement in ministerial leadership. I like to encourage people to become what God wants them to be.
What is your view on the state of security challenges in the country now?
It is a very challenging situation. As an elderstateman and clergy, I must be encouraged to air my views. Many people try to tint Jonathan's government as the problem. Boko Haram was formed in 2002 in Obasanjo's government. Obasanjo is joining them to criticise Jonathan on Boko Haram menace. If Obasanjo would have stopped them in his government, Boko Haram would not have existed now.APC is seeing it as weakness and not knowing how volatile the situation is.
If Boko Haram was like Cameron, then Nigerian government would have wage a war against them but Boko Haram is an enemy within the country. It is difficult to defeat Boko Haram because it is guerrilla welfare. It was in the Bible when Abraham asked God will you destroy the righteous and the unrighteous but God said no to him. So Boko Haram has been polarised because they are gaining from it.
Rt Gen. Mohammed Buhari, the former CPC presidential candidate and APC chieftain trying to exonerate himself from Boko Haram insurgence in Nigeria. He once said after the Jonathan's victory in 2011 that he would make Nigeria ungovernable and that is what is happening now. Politicians should be mindful of their comments in the media. Nobody is immune from it.
What is the role of PFN on the security challenges in Nigeria?
We are praying and also educating our people on the need to live as one nation.
Do you support the agitation by some Nigerians to divide the country?
Not at all! Except God decides to do it for us.
Do you see the ongoing National confab making any leadership impact in Nigeria?
Well, the National confab is a welcome development. There is unity among every Nigerian representing us.
Why did you say you will lead President Goodluck Jonathan team in 2015 at your 65th birthday bash? I am too old to campaign for him, what I mean is that if Jonathan should fix three essential things like electricity, roads and jobs for the youths then I will campaign for him in 2015 The present Minister of works has creatively done well.
The government has improved on electricity and others. The media must be objective in disseminating their information to the public. We Christians and Muslims must live as one nation. If it is the will of God to divide this country fine. It was God that installed President Goodluck Jonathan not man.
So we must allow peace to reign in Nigeria. If Jonathan improves on his leadership before 2015, Nigerians will vote for him.
What is your advice for upcoming pastors in Nigeria?
They should identify their callings and be patience in life.