by Akan Ido
As the year comes to an end, several religious leaders have started making their predictions of what to expect in the coming year known. One of them is the founder of the Evangelical Church of Yahweh, Primate Theophilus Olabayo who spoke with the Nigerian Tribune on the coming general elections; the travails of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Chairman, Bamanga Tukur; the face off between former president Olusegun Obasanjo and Major Hamza Al-Mustapha (rtd.); President Jonathan’s chances in the 2015 elections and much more.
Read excerpts from the interview below:
AT the beginning of the outgoing year, you said some governors would die, but only the death of some former governors was recorded.
An incumbent governor had a plane crash at Taraba State that almost took his life. It is God that is sustaining all of us. Whenever you hear of any prediction against you, and you begin to fast and pray, God can avert the danger.
And in the New Year, some of the old monarchs would go because they would meet their ancestors. Alhaji Usman Shehu Shagari should pray so that he can survive the New Year. Also the year will witness one of the greatest floods of our time and there will be mass killings, accidents both on the road and in the air. 2014 is a year that we need to be very prayerful because there is going to be epidemics all over the country, while there will be famine as the prices of food items would go up beyond the reach of the poor.
Governors of APC states have to be vigilant as attempts would be made to make these states, especially in the South-West ungovernable and all efforts would be made to take over Osun, Ondo, Oyo, Ogun, Edo and Ekiti states.
Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State has to be watchful so that they will not kidnap and kill him in the New Year. He has to be very careful so that he can survive the year.
What are the things to expect in 2014?
God told me that things can be only be better if our leaders would change their system of governance. But what the politicians have failed to understand is that members of the Nigeria Armed Forces cannot fight on the side of these politicians. However, we have to pray as a people so that there will be election in 2015. If the situation gets worse, there may not be election in 2015.
What should the country do to have free, fair election in 2015?
We must put things right. Before the recent governorship election in Anambra State, I predicted that APGA would win the election and that they would try to rig it in favour of another party. Similarly in 2014, they will like to take over the South-West geopolitical zone but it will not be possible. They will create troubles upon troubles. There is so much arms and ammunition piled up in the country because we are inviting trouble for ourselves. And, ironically, what is happening in the general public is happening in the religious houses as well, because the church itself is corrupt.
Do you also foresee a successful convocation of a national conference?
Political leaders of the country may like to use the conference to manipulate this country. Though I have predicted all these things in the past but the chairman has to be watchful so that he will be able to succeed where others have failed in the past. But God told me that they will make things difficult for him and it shall stall their elections. If the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) tries to rig the election in its favour in the nearest future, the country would be thrown into crisis of monumental dimension.
What will be your advice to President Jonathan so as to avert the crisis?
Well, who am I to advise him? Did he take Obasanjo’s advice? And Vice-President Namadi Sambo has to be watchful in the New Year so that they will not make him redundant or turn him against Jonathan.
How can the country get out of the malaise of corruption and the insecurity problems plaguing the body polity?
If we are serious at fighting corruption, we have to start from the top because there is massive corruption permeating the local governments, state governments and the government at the federal level.
Recently some PDP governors defeated to the All Progressives Congress in protest against some unresolved crisis in the PDP. Do you foresee the PDP still winning the confidence of the Northern states in 2015, even if there would be elections?
Come 2015, they will not allow President Goodluck Jonathan to rule because power is going to the North if at all there would be elections.
What is your reaction to the release from the Prison of Major Hamza Al-Mustapha and his face-off with former President Olusegun Obasanjo?
I think the young man cannot fight Obasanjo because the former president was his very senior colleague in the army and in fairness to the young man I think it was Obasanjo that first attacked him verbally. I think since Major Al-Mustapha came out of the prison custody, he loves Nigeria and it is doubtful if he can be training anybody to harm anyone.
Despite the daunting challenges ahead, do you foresee the country surmounting them?
Yes, a new Nigeria will be born, a great Nigeria will be born where the citizens shall sleep with their two eyes closed and no evil shall befall this country, I assure you. The President should stop the ongoing face-off with Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State so that the war will not start from Rivers State.
What is your message to Nigerians who are the worst hit in the problems bedevilling the country?
Nigerians should rejoice because tough times do not last but tough people do. They should rejoice. President Jonathan needs to repent. Even before the wife fell sick, it was in my church that we prayed for her that she would not die. But I will not go to him and say we will pray for him because we love Nigeria.
Do you foresee an end to the crisis in the PDP after five of its governors had dumped the party for APC and some members of the national assembly are said to be threatening to leave for APC?
Well, that I cannot say. Before the emergence of the present national chairman of the party, I had never met him. But he called me on phone and said he wanted to see me. I said he should come to my church by 2 p.m. appointment, in Lagos, on a Sunday. But after the church service, I left with some of my members to an eatery. I forgot that I gave him an appointment. And when I got home, I was told that the man was waiting for me. When I met him, I told him that he was going to be the next chairman of PDP but I stated further that some people would complain that he was too old for that position.
He said the President and himself would sit down with me in attendance and we would discuss but I said I was not after what I would gain for assisting him. I said he should do what was expected of him when he gets there. And when he got there things have become bad in the party.
Thereafter somebody came to me and said that Alhaji Bamanga Tukur said that some money about $250,000 belonging to him was missing. The man said that they had arrested the ADC and others on the allegation that the ADC and the rest were responsible for the theft. And one of the wives came to see me and I told her that she was the one who stole the money. She said I should not tell her husband. But when Alhaji came, I told him that it was Hajia who stole the money. Since then, she made sure that Bamanga Tukur never came back to see me.
That aside, I expected that as old as he is, he should be able to settle the crisis in the PDP. But he is going to be the sacrificial lamb in the PDP.