Head and founder of Inri Evangelical Spiritual Church with headquarters in Lagos, Primate Babatunde Elijah Ayodele has spoken with Tribune about what should be expected in Nigeria and in the world.
A short while ago, the Federal Government said that the country was out of recession. How true is this?
I said it in 2014 that Nigeria would be hit by recession. If the Federal Government is trying to score political points by saying that the nation is out of recession, then it should try something else. We are still in recession. Until the government is ready to do the right thing, we are not likely to come out of this.
The government must get the best economic team to handle this. There is hunger in the land. People are hungry and frustrated. They are angry. There is bitterness and pain in the land. The government cannot come out to say that all is well. All is not well. We are in recession.
What do you think should be done so that we can come out of this situation?
A lot of things must be done. The government must do something more rewarding about the issue of agriculture. We should not be sending food out when it is obvious that many people are hungry. The agriculture sector must be taken seriously and strengthened. Churches with many parishes should invest in agriculture. Many young churches are struggling. Mega churches should be encouraged to go into agriculture. Churches are to help people. That is what we are doing. Churches must get involved in mechanised farming.
There should be changes in the Central Bank of Nigeria. The same thing should be done to the NNPC. Nigeria’s oil will not exist in 10 years time. The quality of our oil will drop.
There are agitations today in the country, particularly in the South-East.
You predicted some years ago that a time would come when the country as a whole would be no more. What can be done?
Nnamdi Kanu has taken the wrong step in his fight for Biafra. He cannot actualise it. But the government must dialogue with him because his agitation will cause pandemonium. There will be a lot of factions within the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB). Some people would penetrate the group in order to cause issues. Besides, I see a major referendum in the nearest future; it is not now. No government can stop the disintegration of Nigeria. Only God can stop it. Note my words: only God can stop Nigeria’s disintegration, but it is not yet time. By 2035, Nigeria will be no more. Five nations will come out of the country. Two will be greater than three.
As we approach the 2019 general election, so many happenings in the country have been attributed to the election year. What should be expected?
Neither the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) nor the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) can take Nigeria to the next level. I have five names of people who can take Nigeria to the next level, but it is not yet time to announce them. You know the way we are in this country. Should I announce those names, they would tell me that I have been bribed.
Unfortunately, President Muhammadu Buhari cannot take Nigeria anywhere. Atiku Abubakar cannot take Nigeria anywhere. He should consult God before stepping in. When Dr Goodluck Jonathan wanted to re-contest in 2015, I told him to consult God. Atiku should consult God so that his ambition will not ruin his image or personality. He must watch out. Buhari’s second term is not the best for Nigeria. He knows that. He should leave in 2019 and pick someone else from his party. A northerner will still rule in 2019. No South-West governor will rule in 2019.
The Supreme Court appears to have solved the leadership crisis in the PDP. What is your take on this?
The Supreme Court did not solve anything. It only pointed to the right person to be the leader of the party. PDP is under duress. They are being manipulated. They should first carry out a cleansing of the party. After that, they should carry out consultation about how they can do better than they have been doing before now. If not, PDP will lose it in 2019.
In all of these, where does the South-West stand?
That region is a divine region. It should just calm down. When things go awry, South-West has been the one always settling them. There are so many factors that will come out from the South-West before 2019. In order not to cause chaos, you must give it to a northerner – the right person. Even in Oyo State, the next person to rule the state will be announced at the right time. A small fish will swallow a big fish in Oyo State, even in Osun. In Anambra, if Obiano is focused and takes the right steps, he will retain that seat but not PDP. PDP cannot take over that state. There is even more hope for APC than PDP. The broom which is the symbol of the APC is very spiritual; you should not see it as just ordinary. Very soon, you will see more people decamping to the PDP.
What about the recall process of Senator Dino Melaye?
Look at the travails of Dino Melaye. It is a big fight. He is getting it wrong. He would have been the best person to confront the governor of his state but he is getting it wrong. He is taking it out of proportion.
Will the world become a better place?
The world will continue with the troubles that afflict it. There is no peace in Nigeria. There won’t be peace in the world. More calamities and criminalities will go on. I told you in 2015 that kidnapping would take another dimension in Nigeria and beyond. When I said so, many people laughed. I also predicted that Ebola, Lassa Fever had not gone, people also laughed. Is that not what we are witnessing today?