Veteran gospel musician-cum-cleric, Pastor Joseph Adelakun, popularly known as Ayewa, in this interview by SEYI SOKOYA, speaks about what Nigerian clerics must do in the current COVID-19 pandemic, among other issues.
It is obvious that you are really concerned about the situation of the country, is this why you came up with two singles to express your feelings?
The current situation in the country is not peculiar to one person; virtually the entire world is currently feeling the heat. I was led by the Holy Spirit to do the work. I only did them within two days in my house. God gave me the inspiration and also told me that the current happenings are great signs of His second coming. God came to me twice and His fingers on me were like an ice block. He instructed me to do the song, which I entitled ‘Biji Ba nja’ and ‘Gbogbo Ibi’ as one of the main assignments. He gave to me to preach His second coming. The pandemic is a strong warning from God and it started from the high and mighty. He directed me to read Matthew 24 vs 1-7. The Bible passage depicts the current situation of the world and the terrible happenings that have happened and would still occur. This is where I drew the two singles from.
How do you feel about the attitude of Christians as a result of the pandemic?
We have seen and heard a lot of things about the reactions of people in Christendom. This event has exposed us more, especially those that are condemning government’s directives. Christianity is one of the problems of the country because of diverse doctrines. Christians believe they are too wise and this is what is affecting us negatively. We are particular about large followership and we tend to criticise as well as accuse one another of possessing diabolical powers to run the Church. Personally, I don’t condemn people, except those I share same ideology with because sharing pieces of advice would yield positive result. Such also applies to the gospel music fold.
Are you saying you don’t do music without being led by God?
Definitely. There was a time I tried to do another record on Abacha without God’s instruction, but He cautioned me strongly that He didn’t send me. He was still alive then. He told me that the only one He asked me to do was the one I did in proverbs and truly God picked him out without any war according to the song that ‘Eja ti ohun da orileede ru Baba fi iwon gbe’. God told me that he deliberately told me to use hook in the song not knowing that He had a plan to pick Abacha out alone without any hullabaloo. I remember I got that message from God at Ido Ajinanre Mountain and I did the record and the word of God came to pass. This is why I have refused to take the latest instruction from God with levity. I have not only rested on my oars on the audio; the video of the songs is almost completed. I don’t joke with God’s errands because I know the implications. I have been into music for many years and I am not doing all these to make money, but to deliver God’s message to the entire world, especially at these trying times.
Don’t you think this coronavirus pandemic will affect a lot of faithful and create doubts in people on the power of God’s miracle?
I want to draw the attention of people to the scripture where God stated that He created darkness and the light. God in heaven does things in the way that pleases Him. We cannot query Him. The scripture also confirmed that the spirit of God left Saul and the evil spirit from heaven descended on him. That means the two are from God. God now transferred that spirit of God to David. That means God replaced Saul because he was no longer relevant. I cannot blame a many Christians because they have been misled and brainwashed by some clerics. I laugh at a lot of things people have said as a result of COVID-19. I marvel me that some people lack clear understanding of the Bible. Everything that has happened and currently happening around and about the world are already written in the Bible. We should not be ignorant of God’s words. Instead we should be steadfast and stay in tune to God’s ordinance. In fact, God already gave us warning, especially members of the Christ Apostolic Church, our 2020 watchword is Isaiah 45 vs 22.
Would you say that the revelation God gave you to wax your evergreen song ‘Amona’ is what we are experiencing today?
God has foresight of the future of anything in human’s life. This is why He raises each prophet to establish his work. This is why I am conversant with the Bible every year, presently, I am currently at the Book of 1 Samuel since the beginning of the year. God sends his anointed to do different things at separate times. I still tell people that I am not the brains behind Amona, because my style of music from onset was hostile. I like to attack people, especially people deviating from the will of God and condemning women that engage in an ungodly acts. I was so aggressive because I was soldier then. Amona was my volume 9 work and that song brought me into limelight and made me face a lot of challenges, but God made me to overcome. The song is a watchword for all and sundry. I also believe that all my works have won souls and keeping people on their toes to live a righteous life and heavenly-minded. Personally, I still wonder how I come about all the songs. The only thing I do is to roll on the floor and thank God for the exceeding grace, because I never envisaged I would enjoy this kind of grace looking back at my background. I am a son of Alhaji. My father even had a mosque. They never had idea that I would become a popular gospel musician. Though I lost him when I was 16, he had five wives and 16 children. We were like sheep without a shepherd when our father died. Afterwards, I went to Ibadan to learn mechanical engineering and it was there I joined bad gangs; we were smoking Indian hemp. My friend with whom I was smoking facilitated my recruitment into the army. I was 19 years-old and the required age was 20 and 21 years. He ensured I was picked by all means, unknown to me that God had a plan for me. It was in the army that God located me and made my vision into gospel music real.
How has it been running the church since the ban on religious gatherings?
The development made us take a drastic step to take the Church online. Though we only do recorded programmes because we could not get the full needed gadgets because of the lockdown and we broadcast our programmes on due date. This is done by about 15 people, including me. I am not against government’s directive since it is one of the measures they know can curb the spread of the virus. I want to urge fellow clerics to adhere to government’s instructions and continue to pray for total restoration as well as plead to God to let His will be done.
Has this affected you in anyway, especially with the disconnection from your members even as a cleric?
It has not really affected me. Instead it has made me to use the opportunity to move closer to God and discover so many things. I have also had time for myself. I also see the need to rest well and meditate on the word of God more. One of the major things I discovered through the pandemic is that there is serious poverty in the land and that many wealthy people are not ready to help, maybe because of the source of their money or the consequence they might experience if they help. Meanwhile, I have been able to do my own part. I have embarked on three- phase giveback initiatives. We gave different kinds of foodstuffs to people irrespective of their religions. We also sent money to those that cannot make it to our location. I pray we can also do the fourth phase.
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