Prophet Emmanuel Ade Ajayi is the overseer of Christ Apostolic Church, Oke Iselogo headquarters, Felele, Ibadan, Oyo State. In this interview with OLAIDE SOKOYA, he speaks on religious and national issues. Excerpts:
YOU received your calling 50 years ago and established your church twenty-one years after. How would you compare the Christianity then with this present time?
All I can say is that it’s been God. Comparing the church now with the time we started, there is a clear difference. In the past, people had much time for God; Christians worshipped God with all their hearts without any compromise. But now, civilisation has turned everything upside down. The more civilised people become, the further they move away from God. In fact, people respected clerics so much at the time; they honoured and respected them. But now, we have false clerics and it has contributed to the disrespectful way clerics are addressed. In the past, when a pastor or a prophet said: “Thus says the Lord,” people believed that truly, God had spoken. But the case is different now.
What ware the challenges you faced in the course of your calling?
I was very young when God called me; I was 20 years old. I could remember in 1966, God instructed me not to sleep throughout the night because I was to receive a visitor. So I kept praying, while at the same time, thinking of the kind of visitor that would visit in the middle of the night. At, exactly 1:00a.m., I heard loud banging on my door. I stood up from where I was praying and asked: “Who are you? What do you want?” The person kept quiet and later left. As the person was leaving, the footsteps sounded heavy as if there was an earthquake. Immediately, I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, the visitor was a devil but He (God) had made me triumph, and that something great would happen soon. At 7:00 a.m. the following day, something great happened indeed. So, I have faced so many challenges in this ministry, but I thank God for this grace.
We have so many churches in Nigeria, as well as a seeming increase in crime rates. What do you think is the problem?
By the time I came to Ibadan, the churches then were numbered. But now, we have so many churches and what I have observed is that many pastors want to be independent. They don’t want to be controlled by anybody. The more churches we have, the more crimes. We are in the end time. What is happening in our country today should tell us that we are approaching the end of the world. All the horrible happenings like bomb blasts, ritual killings and gay relationships are pointers to this fact. They are sins against God. These are perilous times.
How would you assess President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration’ performance so far?
He is trying but what I can say is that people expect immediate results which is not possible. Let’s just exercise patience with the president. I can only advise him to invite some experts in the country who can lead him right.
What is your advice to Nigerians in these hard times?
I implore Nigerians to be more patient with the government: we should not say because things are tough, we should engage ourselves in acts that are uncalled for. Also, let our government be considerate; they should feel and understand what Nigerians are going through. Let us all come together as one to move this nation forward. Finally, we should not relent in prayers; prayer is the answer to all the problems we are facing. The only thing we need in this country is the mercy of God. There is time for everything. We must learn to wait for God’s time.