Reverend Bayode Olubo is the Senior Pastor of Housefavour Church, Akowonjo, Egbeda Lagos State. In this interview with SEYI SOKOYA, he speaks on national and religious issues. Excerpts:
With the current state of the nation, do you think the coast is getting clearer?
We thank God for everything and how far He has been showing His mercy on Nigeria. No one needs to be told that the country is facing a lot of challenges and that people, mostly the masses, are suffering. In my last interview with the TribuneChurch, I said it clear that Buhari was not the solution to Nigeria’s problems. The country is in a state of confusion. A lot of people have been castigating him. However, as for me, even if I am not his fan, I don’t need to castigate him. The president is surrounded by some people that will not make him achieve good results. These are people with hidden agenda and selfish interests. But I know that God will eventually have His way concerning this nation. Aside the spiritual aspect, I think President Buhari should invite professional economists to proffer solutions to the economic problems of the nation. The president needs to realise that problems can’t be defended, but solved. Buhari and all political office holders must put their houses in order and also embrace the younger generation who are technology driven. In fact, Nigeria is not in recession, it is the politicians that is creating recession. What we are experiencing is artificial recession created by some politicians. They have forgotten that they are stealing the future of their children by stealing from the nation’s treasury. They will pay for it because God hates oppression. I am confident that God is in charge in the affairs of the nation.
It seems you have something against certain politicians?
No, I am a prophet of God and I must say the truth and fear no one except God. Part of our responsibilities is to speak the truth and ensure things are going on well as a people and as a nation. It is not about having grouse with politicians or government. We need to reveal what God has deposited in us and teach people the way of the Lord. I am not a hungry prophet. People have forgotten that one cannot reign forever. For example, I now have people that are taking over from me. In fact, I hardly preach on Sundays now. I have stepped aside for others, especially those that are under me. We cannot remain in a position for eternity. Also, our government should make diversification a priority and realise that selling national assets is not the solution. Above all, our greatest problem as a country is that we don’t have plans.
How would you say Nigeria’s economic situation has affected the church?
I think the church has been overrated because competition has come into the church. Now, the church is living larger than life. I have said it once and I am saying it again that churches’ accounts must be audited. There are some churches that can pay Nigeria’s debt. As a result of the recession, they also claim to be affected, especially when they have little drop in their income. But what happened to the prophets of the old? There was recession in the days of Elijah and Abraham. There was even recession in the days of Adam when they committed sin. We will always experience this kind of thing when greed sets in. The church should go back to restructuring. How can a church organise a programme for 30 days? Won’t the members go out to look for money? Most churches are not transparent. There is so much money in the hands of some men of God and some of them don’t know what to do with it, yet some are complaining that attendance is dropping. It will drop because people are not fools. People are becoming wiser every day. Some clerics are not empowering people. Jesus himself empowered Peter based on his skills before he became a Christian. Today’s pastors must also take a cue from Jesus Christ. Though we have some ministers of God already doing that, it is not enough. Everything doesn’t have to do with prayers. How could a pastor preach for hours and thousands of people still wait after the service for counseling? Personally, through the grace of God I have been able to empower my members as well as build a networking team and the feedback has been awesome. A genuine man of God will not spend or depend on church’s money.
You give back to the underprivileged, especially widows, every year. What is the plan for this year?
The secret is that I am not doing this for fun. It is God’s mandate and has become a routine to put smiles on the faces of widows and the underprivileged. The target is to donate to 5,000 underprivileged people for this year’s edition. I just felt that in this season, I have to increase the number compared to previous years. This is the vision God has given to me. I have a strong passion for widows and my wife is also planning for an orphanage. So, while she takes care of the orphans, I focus on the widows. This exercise is tagged “Samaritan Purse Project” and it will hold on the first Sunday of December, precisely December 4.