I Have Willed All My Property To God—Bishop Umunna
Bishop (Prof.) Leonard Nwaoma Umunna is the Senior Pastor and the Presiding Bishop of Bible Life Church Cathedral (BLCC) International. He is a man of God of many parts. In this interview with some Nigerian journalists at his palatial office, he explained why he looked younger than his actual age of 60 years and other issues affecting the country.
Sir today marked your 60 years on earth but you look younger than your age, what is the secret behind it?
God made me a promise when I was below 40 years of age. Between 30 and 40 years of age, I was feeling unhappy due to my physical condition then. At the age of 23, God has already made me a church overseer which I did not want to be. As you all know by the time I worked with the former defunct Nigeria National Supply Company (NNSC) and rose to a manger level from just a copy typist then and I was not happy with my life until God told me that when I get to 50years, he would show me new things of life. I started observing some things especially my food intakes and living style.
Since then I now discovered that I looked younger than my age.Today,if people say I am 50 or 60, I do say I am really at this age, sometimes I do challenge my people to run but If you run ahead of me and I know what to do. God told me in 2010 in London that I have entered into the evening of my life. That is, my life in the evening will be brighter than my morning and afternoon put together now. Everything has become better and brighter. I have not being hospitalized and no doctor or nurse has treated me one day. They say life begins at 40 but to me I am better now than when I was younger in age.
Sir you said that you wore a pair of suit and shoe and fasted for five years, what gave you that strength to do that?
I do not want anybody to go to hell. If I have the opportunity to carry everybody burden, I will do. I decided to do what Jesus Christ did in trekking from Jerusalem to Capernaum. Some have preached on the buses condemning people and yet these people refused to accept Christ as their personal saviour. I have travelled to interior villages, towns, hamlets cities and states like Warri, Kano, and Aba, Owerri, Onya, Benin and others. Nobody told me that one day I would be a millionaire in preaching the gospel of Christ. My uncle once told me I should postpone pleasure in my life to face Christ and I did.
I slept on unkempt places just to preach the gospel of Christ to people. I was still a manger in my former company sleeping in five star hotels with two cars and drivers and with polished apartment but God told me to work for him. I travelled a lot in my working days then. I have confronted lions and tigers, so winning souls have always be my desire in life. I saw the need to dedicate my salary for the kingdom of God as Joseph did. All these happened in 1975 and I was careful on what I eat. I eat roasted plantain and groundnut to survive my ministerial calling.
I left all the pleasure of life to pursue God's kingdom. In 1975 when I got married to my wife and the same thing happened where we managed our lives too. In 1986, July 26th, I resigned from my paid job to concentrate on God's work. My late wife interpreted my calling perfectly to ensure that we progress in the gospel. I can't blow my own trumpet but we have donated houses, cars and lands to churches and individuals. I have willed all my property to the church not my children.
Can you tell us the content of your new album?
The album title is 'God is Kind'. God has been faithful to me. A young boy born vomiting multi-colour substance and half-dead and still came alive and without attending a primary school but now a renowned Christian Professor. I am the happiest man on this earth. Nobody gave me chance to prosper in life but today I have become number one in Nigeria. I have received several awards from Nigeria and abroad. I have earned good name in my ministerial calling over the years.
In 2001, I acted a drama, some of my church members then rubbished my name, within two years, some came back to plead for forgiveness and you can see them in my birthday celebration today. I have no grudges against anyone. I have encountered several trails but God saw me through. I am over-blessed by God. I have shook hands with powerful occultist member but I did not died rather I was favoured with a plot of land.
What is your stake on the last Ekiti elections?
It is a lesson for political propagandists, manipulators and dribblers of politics in Nigeria. That shows God can take you unaware in life. People or demon can take you unaware if you are not prepared in life. We are not sophisticated enough because we claimed to be giant of Africa that shows to be ahead of other African countries.
The people felt in Ekiti State that Dr.Fayemi never cared about their stomach infrastructure than running elitist government.Ayo Fayose knew what the people of Ekiti wanted and he fought for it. Nigeria's politics is gradually growing from incumbent factor to real politics of life.
What do you think that the Federal government can do to curtain Boko Haram insurgence in the Northern East and other parts of Nigeria now?
There should be referendum to know whether to divide Nigeria or not. Boko Haram is political which everybody knows in Nigeria but we must resist these ungodly killings in Nigeria. The ongoing National conference should address this pertinent issue of security now. We can't afford to be losing innocent Nigerians to greedy leaders in this country.
Do you support churches paying taxes in Nigeria?
Taxing churches are good but it all depends on churches that run businesses outside God's works. Bible Life Church uses it tithes to help the poor in the society. I pay my tax as an entrepreneur not as a church overseer. Though, we have many fake tax offices in Nigeria. Tax matters are infringed.