‘It’s sad that we value cows above human beings’
Rev. (Dr.) Uma Ukpai is president of the Uma Ukpai College of Theology and Uma Ukpai College of Business, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. He is also the president and Chairman, Kings of Kings Specialist Hospital, Abia State and Ukpai Evangelistic Association Inc. Uyo. He has been in the evangelistic ministry for over 52 years and has worked wonders. In his crusades, many blind have received their sight and cripple walk, as well as barren receive their own children by God’s grace. He spoke with AYOYINKA JEGEDE.
What is your view on the massacres and spate of killings in the country?
I am amazed that people are acting as though it was an accident, somebody planned it, somebody gave them the courage, and somebody gave them the guns. Before now, we had grazing of cows. It is not new. At no time did we see herdsmen armed, if they are now armed, somebody bought them the arms, somebody also gave the money and somebody gave them courage to carry the arms. People should stop acting as if it is an accident, it is not. It was well planned by somebody, it was well executed by somebody and they knew the consequences of what they were doing as if somebody wanted this country to break up and it is the easiest way to break up a nation.
It is sad that they have now placed value of cows above human beings and that is unheard of in the twenty first century that cows are being preferred to human beings. This calls for weeping, somebody should declare national mourning, and people should mourn, cry and grieve because this is not done anywhere.
Moreover, they have seen the consequences thus far and nobody is making effort to stop this rampage, can you imagine Benue State burying seventy-five people in one day and I heard that more people are still been killed that means that we have an enemy who is hiding somewhere and we are afraid to look for him. We have an enemy amongst us; armed and ready to slaughter those that they can slaughter.
The herdsmen, the present cattle rearers are terrorists of high class and should be compared with the Boko Haram and ISIS group. I called them present herdsmen because we have had cattle rearers overtime but they have never killed anybody before now. The country is sitting on a keg of gunpowder and we need every child of God to go on his/her knees because the nation may collapse on us if our leaders remain uncaring, unfeeling and dumb.It is frightening that we have an enemy within, we have seen him but we are unable to stop or query him, which shows how uncaring, unfeeling and cowardly we are. That makes us enemies of ourselves. They are terrorists to be mild.
The way out is that the rule of law should be enforced. A place where a cow is more valued than a human being shows we have broken law in this country and it should not be. The way out is for us to obey the law of the land then we should allow our conscience to speak to us individually. We should have enough courage to stop what we know to be illegal, bloody, sinful and against the law. That means we must obey the rule of law.
Threat and plan by some quarters to Islamise the country?
Everybody is free to express his/her desire and work towards his dream but only God has the final say when it comes to dream and realizing of dreams. Everybody is free to wish himself the king of Nigeria. I met a young man in United State who told me his father is the chief of Nigeria and that his father was in control and command of Nigeria and that Nigeria belongs to their family, I shook his hand and congratulated him but I asked him but I asked him which Nigeria he was talking about because the Nigeria I belong to has no Chief. We are the collective owners of the country but for one family to claim Nigeria to be their own is either they are drunk and couldn’t remember their names again or they are just being silly.
What is your view on cattle colony?
Number one, two plus two will always be four. If we have grazing colonies, we are going to have emirates along the colonies and if we have emirates along the colonies we are going to have emirs, if we have emirs then somebody has colonized us and the person who has colonized us is working very hard and he must have frightened our leaders, benumbed them, they are afraid to speak because whosoever is behind this colonization must have either frightened them or close their mouth with money, or gave them dread drinks but he is working very hard to colonize us and then give us emirates, the emirates will now choose their emirs and before we know it we are no longer what we used to be as a nation.
Will you subscribe to cattle colonies?
I don’t think the federal government said that, I think one, two or three people must have said that because that will meant the government committing suicide. I have not read the white paper that says Federal Government has authorised the establishment of grazing colonies in all the states but I have heard about it .I don’t think it is possible, but if it is possible, the meaning of what they are just saying is that every local government area should give up to 10,000 hectares of land for grazing and those who are grazing would need an emirate and if they have an emirate then they would also have an emir and that is what the ISIS are fighting for to have emirates everywhere , if it was said by the Federal Government, then it has become an arm of the other fighting force, they have achieved the goal of the other group without fighting and that should be very frightening to every normal Nigerian.
As God’s spokesman, will this country break up with all these threat?
I don’t think this country will break up. I believed God is in Nigeria. The economy of this country is a puzzle. We have broken every economic law and yet we are still eating, existing and still travel out because God is a Nigerian. He will help us. We ought to have broken up long time ago but we are still here because God is the cementing force of this nation.
War against corruption?
If there is any war against corruption people like me do not know, I have not heard anybody was jailed even it was jailed at night during day break they should tell us his name and what he stole but when people are jailed at night and we don’t hear about it to me they were never jailed. When you speak of war against corruption it is to prosecute, convict and announce the guilt. But now we have heard nobody has been jailed, nobody has been convicted; nobody has been named as having been jailed. It is all commotion without motion; to me if there is war against corruption I don’t know
Corruption is part of our system in Nigeria. Corruption is at every level of the strata of Nigeria. First let those who are fighting corruption in this country give us their names and then they will but their coffins and dig their graves because corruption is a powerful lion and those who want to fight corruption in Nigeria are afraid of Lion, small boys don’t fight Lions.
What is your view on recession, hunger, poverty and even fuel scarcity despite the change campaign in the nation?
We exist in this country against known laws of economy, our existence and survival is a miracle because we have gone against every law of economy and we are still eating and traveling out of this nation. We are still seemingly functioning but close examination shows that we are a country of dead men.
It takes a lot of effort and determination; presently what you call our educational system calls for weeping and crying. We don’t seem to be organized to neither run good schools nor to produce qualitative graduates. We need to organize ourselves. Let all the academic planners come together and ask themselves what the best for Nigeria. I feel greatly wounded that cult groups are ruling the schools and nobody is asking any questions. Students threaten schools if things are not done in their own way, in a country where that happens it means the educational system has not future. But the other painful thing is that am not even sure our leaders know how many of us live in Nigeria and if we don’t know how many of us live in Nigeria, whatever figure we have must be as a result of guess work. We need to get organized and then we need to encourage the lecturers by paying them well, appreciating and celebrating them.
As a nation, we cannot solve our problems if we are not well informed and where we don’t have good educational system. Also, the leaders of that nation cannot be informed people and that frightens people like me because the Bible says when God wants to punish a nation, he will give them babies to rule over them, not babies in age but babies in knowledge and if it is true that God has given us babies to rule over us that simply means that they don’t know what the questions are and they cannot answer the questions rightly.
It means we shall be running in a circle like blind person, which is what we have been doing over time. We have been running in circles like blind persons, we have not made any appreciable progress and what they teach in our schools do not answer our questions and does not address our needs. Unless care is taken and unless good effort is made we may continue to run in circles like blind persons without any appreciable progress. The other answer that I have is that the highest mountain in a man’s life is a mountain of ignorance. In life our problem is not our problem, our problem is our own ignorance of what can be, what ought to be, what should be, who God is and the limitless boundless possibilities of this God. When you speak of education in this country, we are in a pit where there is no water or ladder and that frightens people like me but we will not run away, we shall stay back and try to solve the problem.
What are the solutions to our educational challenges?
We should invest more money in our educational system and then we should ensure that no teacher is employed who is not qualified. Also, we should try and encourage teachers who are doing well. Moreover, we should set up research centers in all our schools.
2019 is electioneering year in this country, how will it be?
2019 will come and go nobody can stop the hand of God. All these effort to confuse us, stampede and kill us are just the effort of a man who does not think and whoever is the leader behind this it does not think, he only rearrange his prejudices because when the whole nation would realized what is being planned they are going to fight back but fighting back will not destroy Nigeria, we will still fight back and still remain one.
What does 2018 hold?
2018 holds good promises for us, it holds great hope and prophesies for us. Nobody can destroy Nigeria. Effort shall be made but we shall still be together.
Despite many churches in this country we have many problems, what is the impact of the church, also what has been the impact of Uma Ukpai Evangelistic Association Inc.?
But for prayers of the saints this country would have continued not to be in existence. I know there are believers who pray every day and night crying that God should sustain this nation and their prayers has kept this nation alive. As an Evangelistic Ministry, I will not like to sing my praises; by God’s grace we have about three colleges. We have 127 students on our scholarships scheme that we pay their school fees in different universities.
We also have a college that is an affiliate of a college in Chicago. We have the school of wealth creation where we teach the youths on how to create wealth and we are planning to turn it into a university. We are also working on the possibilities of having a Research center in our present colleges and we hope to turn the college into a university in two years’ time.
We are doing our best enough to reach the youths but really, training of the youths is not the school responsibility but the responsibility and obligations of parents. Every father and mother must know that it is not good enough to have children; they must be accountable to God.
The Bible teaches that a father must sit down and teach the children the word of God before they enter into the house; there should be a portion of the Bible at the door. The Bible teaches that parents must hold prayer meetings every day and teach their children how to live and serve God and human begins as well as how to make their own positive contributions to the development of the nation.But many parents do not have time; others believe it is not their responsibilities. I hold crusades in villages across the nation where God impacted across the nation and the truth is that many people what they are through our Ministry.
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