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African leaders should wake up to resist forces of perpetual slaves … – Tribune Online

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The president and set man, Word Communication Ministries (WOCOM), Apostle Sunday Popoola, is one of the leading crusaders for a transformed Nigerian society. In this interview with SEYI SOKOYA, the renowned cleric, speaks on the probable solution for the liberation of Africa and the steps the church has taken over the current hardship in the nation.
 
NIGERIANS have continued to face serious challenges since the onset of the new administration, especially over the removal of fuel subsidy. What is your take on the government’s decisions so far?
I think President Bola Tinubu was hasty in making that decision, even though ultimately if things are well-thought out and well-structured, it will augur well for the country, but the hasty decision without preparing the ground to lessen the negative impact on the common people is the big problem. They should have made sound palliatives to lessen the impact on the people. The decision was made without necessary preparation, and it is bringing untold suffering on the people and affecting virtually everything. The impact is so terrible on the common Nigerians. I hope the government will be hasty to cushion the situation with genuine palliatives or reverse the situation and temporarily and go back to the drawing board for a proper plan.
It is so important (subsidy removal), because it is an avenue trough which this nation is being robbed. It is something that has to happen, but it has to be prepared for because we are living in a system where it doesn’t seem our leaders think or have any plan for the common people.
We are in a system where when they wanted ‘employment’ or wanted to be voted into power, they come to the common people who are the ’employers’ and they got it by election, after which they become the Lord and master over the people that ’employed’ them and the people that employed them becomes their slaves. People are not prepared for leadership and political leadership in the modern-day Nigeria and Africa is seen as a way for people to enrich themselves. All they prepare for is winning elections and not governance and leading people aright.
 
Nigerians are indifferent about the president’s planned effort at cushioning the effects of the hardship in the land through his recent broadcast to roll out some palliative measures. How will you react to this?
We have problems with our leaders because they are very good in rhetoric and terrible in execution. This is a serious area of adjustment they need to look into. So, we are waiting, and it should not take eternity before the common man will see what they have promised. They usually promise and they will never fulfill it, even when they are campaigning during elections. Now, they have built a legacy of distrust. People don’t trust politicians again. More so, it is the same people that have been circulating themselves within the leadership of the country. So, no one can trust them anymore. Maybe people will begin to trust them if a new set of leadership comes, but if it is still same set of people that bring in their children, relatives or even proteges, Nigerians will not trust them. If President Tinubu wants Nigerians to have any respect for what he is saying, he must act quickly and he must put a system in place that will ensure these palliatives get to the people who really need them.
 
Drama and twists have followed the president’s ministerial nominees, and this has continued to generate reactions among Nigerians. What is your take on this?

As I said earlier, it is just a circulation of the same people. We have former governors and senators. People that have served as two term governors and senators are back. He is just using our lives to reward his people. It is very wrong to use our lives and fortunes to reward people or politicians. But Nigerians are very tolerant people, we are waiting to see what they will do. I hope it will not be same story of self aggrandisement, while people are left suffering. They may claim that it is for experience, but what experience? We know the track record of most of these people; they operate oppressive rule. If that is what they are bringing on the table then they are driving this nation towards disaster, and it will be too terrible for us as a nation. I am just praying that Mr President will try to do what is right and bring true change. All Progressives Congress have been promising change and for eight years of Buhari it was a terrible disappointment. He did worse than the Peoples’ Democratic Party. I hope President Tinubu has gained experience from the terrible disappointment that Nigerians suffered in the last eight years and be ready to make amendment.
 
The church has also felt the heat of the current situation of the country through lower attendance and poorer finance. Is the church doing enough to fill these gaps?
Definitely the church is feeling the impact. Depending on the capacity of the church, even our church is doing the best within available means to help members especially and of course, extend it to the public. Sincerely the church is feeling the impact. No one in the country is spared. We have the common people mostly in the church and it is a big burden for the church to see how we can keep our people afloat. We are doing the best we can to cushion the problem and I believe it is so in other churches too. We cannot look away from these people because the church is a strong family and when a member suffers, all suffer.
 
Church was more involved in the last election with the intention of running an inclusive or balanced government in the religious terms. Would you say the president has been fair enough about this?
I would say he is fair, and with respect to the issue of religion I do not envisage that President Tinubu will discriminate. Though we felt disappointed by his Muslim-Muslim ticket. We think that was unfair, but as I said earlier, all politicians always prepare to win elections. He was more concerned about winning election than being fair. I know he is not the kind that will want to discriminate against Christians.
 
How do you think the situation in Niger would end up, despite the position of the recently appointed chairman of ECOWAS, President Tinubu?
I pray that our leaders in Africa generally will wake up and know that there is still a subtle effort to colonise Africa. Africa is not yet free; our people are still being manipulated. There are world powers trying to create that war. The developed world’s are exhausted when it comes to natural resources. Africa is still loaded. They create war and confusion so that they can have easy access. The mineral recourses of this present and future is uranium. This is what they are gunning for in Niger Republic. They create the confusion, and they will be stealing from the country. This is what they have been doing in Nigeria and generally in Africa. Our leaders should wake up. President Tinubu should not just go and waste the lives of common Nigerians. They should gather together, take their stand and find a diplomatic way to solve the problem in Niger Republic. Those who took over power must have been backed up by some people or maybe they truly saw the oppression of their people by the leaders, and they wanted to put an end to it. But again, going back, no military takeover of government has brought any reasonable change to Africa. It is just the same exploitation. Unfortunately, the slave mentality the colonial masters brought to Africa is still in our leaders. I think this is a deliberate dehumanisation of our people and we need liberation. For example, John Magufuli of Tanzania turned around the country with an overwhelming development without debt. He cut off every means of stealing. This made them not to like him and tell lies about him that he is a dictator, because he is taking his stand over what he knows would lead to the exploitation of his people. He used the country’s money to develop the country and just as he started the second term in office, they said he was killed by COVID. To me, he was killed so that the liberation of the country will not continue, and this is what is happening in Africa. So, all African leaders should wake up and stand up to resist all the forces that want to keep us as perpetual slaves and object of exploitation.
 
As you prepare for the annual convention of the church, how does the programme align with the will of God for the nation?
It takes a transformed people to create a transformed society, as well as a nation. Our theme is Transformation. The greatest transformation is the discovery of self, because human philosophy has been used to dehumanise Africa especially, to make us feel inferior in so many ways. People carry about the slave mentality, so, people need to be transformed from the mind and they begin to find the revelation of who they are and discover the enormous possibility to do greater things. Look at what happened to Singapore, which was a terrible third world, but a group of people stood up transform the nation. They put self-interest aside completely, they had zero tolerance for corruption, and they engaged one another to transform the country within 10 years. The country was turned into one of the cleanest first world nation. It can also happen here; we can do it and the only way this can happen is through liberated people. Rwanda also recovered from a terrible genocide to a foremost and most beautiful country in Africa under a single leadership. So, the transformation of Nigerians and Nigeria is actually what is behind our theme. I am so confident that Nigeria will change when we have true, Godly, visionary and loving leaders.
We are up for a convention that will transform people in discovering their potentials and becoming a blessing to our nation. Essentially, we will have guest speakers who have had personal encounters with God and carry great burden to see people liberated and become agent of change. Pastor (Dr) Okey Onuzo; Bishop Elijah Bankole; Dr Christopher Kolade; Pastor Joseph Adelakun (Baba Ayewa), and of course my humble self are ministering. The convention will commence from August 16th to 20th with morning (6:30am) and evening (5:30pm) sessions and we trust God for a great transformation.
 
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