Wale Oke: The South should produce a Christian president in 2023
Bishop Wale Oke, president, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), president, Sword of the Spirit Ministries and Chancellor, Precious Corner Stone University, Ibadan, Oyo State, was recently in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State for the Uyo Miracle Convention. The event was organised by Uma Ukpai Evangelistic Ministry International. He Spoke with AYOYINKA JEGEDE on the 2023 election and why the next president should come from the South; predictions for 2022; solution to banditry, killings, and sectionalism among other issues.
There have been arguments on where the next Nigerian president should come from in the forthcoming 2023 general elections, what’s your take?
Without any doubt, if we are interested in the country’s stability, the South should produce the next president and by the South, I’m talking of South- East, South-West or South-South. Not only should the South produce the next President, the next president ought to be a Christian, not a Muslim. This is very important.
If we are to face it, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo handed over to the late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. Yar’Adua handed over to Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. Jonathan handed over to President Muhammadu Buhari. So, Buhari shouldn’t handover to a Muslim. Let’s bury our personal ego and our unbridled ambition. Let’s work for the unity, stability and peaceful co-existence of this country. In that regards, the next President in 2023 should be a Southerner and a Christian.
Taking about elections, what are the qualities we should look out for before voting for any leader?
We need a leader that is God-fearing. We need a leader that is intelligent enough to grasp the complexities of the governance, as Nigeria is a very complex nation. In a situation where we have over 500 ethnic nationalities and everybody claiming attention, we need somebody, who is able to manage the situation. We need somebody who has integrity, who has been tested in one high-level office. We need somebody who is not corrupt, not somebody who will sell Nigeria to the highest bidder. With the fear of God, a person can make a good leader.
Every Nigerian should vote according to his conscience. Nobody should allow his or her vote to be bought.
Killings, banditry and other crimes seem unabated, in your own opinion, how do we proffer a lasting solution to all these issues?
We should pray. There is nothing God cannot do. Things that are impossible with men are possible with God. We should pray that God should end the kidnappings, Boko Haram, killings, banditry, Fulani/ herdsmen crisis. Above all, we should pray that God should raise a leader that can deal decisively with these challenges. Meanwhile, lack of political will is one of the major issues the country is facing.
We need a leader who will apply the law, no matter whose ox is gored. Let’s pray concerning 2023 and that God would give us somebody brilliant enough, who will be used by God to deliver Nigeria from these insecurity crises, because if these matters extend beyond the current administration, then Nigeria is in real trouble. Let’s pray that God will raise a leader that will deal with it decisively, come 2023.
What do you think is responsible for these challenges we are currently facing as a nation?
The root cause is our godlessness. We have forsaken God. Nigerians prefer materialism and money. Corruption is rife in the political system, in the military and in every sector, everywhere. Corruption has become endemic in our system, and we need to turn to God in genuine repentance. It is not only about our leaders. The people also get the type of leaders that they deserve.
We, as a nation, need to come out of our evil ways and change our value system from materialism. We should value human lives. With that, prayers will work and God will give us good leaders. Whosoever is going to be our leader will come from our midst, so we have to be good and responsible citizens.
We should turn to God in genuine repentance. Let’s change our orientation and our value system. We should become Godly and less materialistic. Let’s deal with corruption. Let’s pray that God should raise a leader who is bold and courageous, who will apply the law without any sacred cow. There are too many sacred cows in this country, and it is part of the corruption in the system. We should ask God to deal with that.
Some people say bad leadership, corruption and the Constitution are sources of our problem, what’s your view on this?
All of the above. The current 1999 Constitution is a fraud. As long as we continue to work by that Constitution, we will not come out of these problems. That 1999 Constitution was crafted by the military. We should scrap the current Constitution and a new Constitution should be drafted by representatives of the people from all geopolitical zones. A Constitution that will truly represent Nigerians and not the one that was imposed by the military should be drafted
Number two, it’s not just leadership, it’s also the people. Our value system needs to change. Leadership comes out of our midst. There’s need for a reorientation within. Every family must rise to the occasion. Charity begins at home. With parents/guardians teaching their children and also modelling the value system we want, every schoolteacher should give right orientation and modelling. Every religious house must turn to God. Godly leaders will emerge from good people. May God help us.
Corruption must be dealt with. Corruption is hydra-headed. We need to deal with it decisively. There should be real crackdown on corruption.
What’s your view on the electoral process?
When we scrap this Constitution, which is complete fraud, it will affect so many things positively, including our electoral system and process. When your premises are wrong, your conclusion will be wrong. There is law of cause and effect in operation; if the Constitution is wrong, everything that’s derived from it will be wrong.
We need to scrap the 1999 Constitution and have a new one that will represent the people’s will. That will, in turn, begin to right lot of wrongs in the nation.
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