A South Africa-based Nigerian missionary evangelist and church planter, Apostle David K. Livingstone-Agannano has described as painful a situation where over 200 million Nigerian people are allegedly being subdued by a few cabal. He also condemns the recent killings of scores of worshippers at Saint Francis Catholic Church Owo, in Ondo state by suspected Islamic terrorists. Agannano fears that, with the latest Owo church attack among other attacks on Christians in Nigeria in recent times, the Nigerian Church has been pushed to the wall to act in self-defense, and therefore personally confesses “If I have to run a church in Nigeria now, I will go and preach with gun” in the below interview with Christian Benefits. Excepts.
Please, can we meet you sir?
I am Apostle David K Livingstone-Agannano; a missionary evangelist, church planter and Senior Pastor of Reigning In Christ Arena Ministries, originally from Nigeria but based in South Africa.
Briefly share with us your background and upbringing?
I am from Badagry in Lagos State. I was born into a Christian family of which my dad was a teacher by a profession while my mom was a trader. I gave my life to Christ in 1987 in a Deeper life Church where my mom and my late elder sister were members. Unfortunately, about one or two years thereafter I succumbed to teenage pressures and became notoriously troublesome until I had some encounters with the Lord around 1995 after moving to the city, Mushin, Lagos, precisely. The account of the encounter will be a topic for another day. It was this encounter that led me into locating Mountain of Fire &Miracle Ministries (MFM) through a cousin, and rededicated my life to the Lord that year around the middle of 1995.
Share with us parts of your journey in the faith from 1995 till now?
In 1997 I answered the call of God into the ministry when I joined the Mission Outreach Ministry Department of Mountain of Fire & Miracles Ministries. Since then I have been waxing stronger in the Lord. I am a direct product of Dr D.K Olukoya though had also drank from the ministries of some other men and women of God around the globe. Te MFM took me around few places like Osogbo, Osun state, Owo, Ondo state, Benin, Edo state and Warri and Asaba, Delta state in Nigeria. I had also traveled across few countries as a missionary like Ghana, Cote d’ivoire and Liberia between 1997 and 2004. I started out an independent ministry in 2005 in Lagos until I left Nigeria for South Africa in 2011.
What do you have to tell us about your church in South Africa?
Firstly, when it comes to ministry for me, the impact is beyond “my church” even though I don’t feel comfortable using that phrase or when someone refers to “your church “. Nevertheless, in the context of the question, I can say up till the time of the last epidemic that struck the world at large, the church was one of the ministry making a notable impact in the city where we are located and around some few numbers of suburbs and locations and townships as it is called here in South Africa; a sort of rural and developing settlement areas. We were still operating even in the middle of the lock down before we finally shut down church ministry in the middle of last year during the second phase of the lock down in South Africa. Nevertheless, our ministry has been bringing healing and deliverance to many sick people, transforming lives and restoring dignity back to men and women in the land. Numbers of countless healing miracles has been recorded, numbers of addicted have been delivered and helped, numbers of broken marriages have been restored, and numbers of miraculous employment have also been recorded. We don’t make noise about charity deeds though. For now, we are engaged in strengthening local churches, organizing Ministers/Church Leadership conferences and retreat that is blessing numbers of ministers and so on. Apart from all these and other testimonies that time will not permit me to mention, great is the joy of seeing countless numbers of souls been added to God’s kingdom through the impact of the ministry.
Since when have you been in South Africa and how would you describe your church in South Africa?
As I said earlier, I came to S.A.(South Africa) in 2011; about 11 years now. I already explained few things about the ministry, as 85% of the members are South Africans. God has used, and is still using the ministry to touch lives and win souls. We focus on rural settings and suburbs much more than cities. The ministry also involves in community development agendas as we also organize prayer meetings for the community at large. We travel on invitations to other towns for family deliverance and prayers beside other outreach meetings in collaboration with other churches and ministries. We have recorded countless numbers of healing miracles, and many lives have been added value to through the church. We are trusting God for an Evangelistic outreach truck and trailer as we are working on landed property as well.
Back home in Nigeria, how will you describe the recent attack by suspected terrorists on a Catholic church in Owo, Ondo state, leading to the killings of scores of worshipers in that church?
I made a post on my Facebook page recently on the incident. You can Google David Livingstone Agannano to read it. Nevertheless, let me describe it as barbaric and lawlessness in the highest order. It is so painful that a whole country of about 200 million of people are being subdued by less than 3 million tribal group or terrorist as you called them. Nigeria has failed us. The present administration will go down in history as a mouse biting its victims and at the same time applying incentives. How on earth did we get to that point in Nigeria? And our politicians go about as if nothing has happened? A country where evil, wickedness, injustice, and self centeredness have become the order of the day and anyone who stands for the truth or right things is seen as a stupid fellow. Armed men opened fire on armed-less and harmless worshippers comprising of women and kids in the church and killed them? If the Church begins buying guns and shooting what would they call us? We have been pushed to the wall to act in self-defence, and as I said on my Facebook post, if I have to run a church in Nigeria now, I will go and preach with gun. On my Facebook page, I made reference to my predictions in 2009 at a prayer gathering of some pastors recounting my burden concerning the killings of Christians in the north saying, if we don’t do anything, the killings will spread to other parts of the country and it would affect everyone and by then it might be too late. It is painful to state that we are on the edge now because it has reached our doorsteps. We as Christian community also contributed to the challenge. We saw the “red flags” despite all the warnings through prophecies from different angles but ignored it and even misled people. As I stated in my post, some ministers of God need to apologize to Nigerians, especially church leaders, for misleading us.
How do Nigerians based in South Africa view the state of insecurity challenges back home in Nigeria?
Sir, to tell you the truth, majority of Nigerian that I have been privileged to interact with don’t want to come back to Nigeria, some who want to come back just want to come on a visit. Majority prefers travel to the U.S. or Europe. Honestly speaking too on my side, except for a direct divine instruction, if anything will take me back to West Africa, I will prefer to stay in Ghana than in Nigeria.
To what extent are the Nigerians in South Africa in support or against the regional agitation of some ethic groups like Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Oodua Nation agitators for self determination or independence from in Nigeria?
Out of few Nigerians I have interviewed on this subject, majority are indifferent to the matter. Some are in support while the majority of those who appear not to be in support are of the opinion that what we need is just to get a good government. Some believe breaking will make things worse than it is. Some are practically involved to the point of flying flags. … (smiles) You know what I mean. ..
Generally, how does an average South African see Nigeria and her people as a nation in Africa?
Thank God things are changing for the better now. Before now, whenever South Africans see Nigerians or hear the name, it is always a picture of cruelty, drugs pushers and you know what? Africa Magic movies didn’t help the matter (smiles). As a matter of fact, there was time not too long ago that all foreign black nationals are all seen as a Nigerians, to the point that when anyone commits any crime, as long as the person in question is a black, everybody assumes it is a Nigerian or blame it on Nigerians. But things are changing now gradually though.
As a Nigerian, how is it like living in South Africa compared to Nigeria?
Sir, to be honest, no place like home and out of few other countries I have been to within Africa, Nigeria is still the most free and very accommodating country. In S.A. for example, majority are suffering to get legitimacy. I mean legal stay. The way S.A. treats the issue of legal documentation is so bad that you can be in S.A. for 10 years or more without papers. Another issue is the discrimination against foreigners that cut across every aspects of South Africa, to the extent that in some of part of S.A., whenever there is a tension or any kind of protest on any issue for that matter, the foreigners are advised to stay home because the masses oftentimes transfer aggression on the foreigners, blaming all their plights on foreigners. Besides these until lately when electricity issue came up, we don’t suffer power problems. Despite the fact that S.A. too has began to have power supply challenge, it is still 85% better than Nigeria. Food is available to all in South Africa. The South Africa economy at least is better than here at home. If you make little money in South Africa it is a lot of money in Nigeria. Nevertheless, we really pray that our Nigeria should get better so that many could return home.
What is South Africa as a nation doing differently that Nigeria can emulate to improve on its economy, security and social infrastructure?
I will respond to this in general terms. For instance, during the COVID-19 epidemic, the South Africa government gave what it called COVID-19 grant to unemployed citizens that are not on any social grant at all. And that program is still on. Do you know that many foreigners including Nigerians that have National ID and other valid permit are also beneficiaries of that? Every old person and every child that belongs to a family that is not employed is entitled to a monthly welfare social grant. These we don’t see in Nigeria. Every SA citizen, especially those who are not a civil servant, is entitled to what they called RDP houses free of charges. Of course, there is corruption everywhere but still the SA government offers these services free. Health services are free to the public. Things we suffer and die for in Nigeria when it relates to health services are free here, whether you a foreigner or citizen. The S.A government is empowering the local businesses, and there is always an infrastructural project every time. Roads are being repaired every time; even when there is no sign of big potholes on the roads as we see in Nigeria. During the epidemic, the S.A government helped many business owners by supporting them financially. When the masses protest on anything, the government responds promptly. The police or security services are prompt. I can go on and on. Education for example is affordable and accessible. And another thing is the data system of all the citizens and the documentation of immigrants. At least I believe it has helped to a large extent. I am not painting the picture of a perfect country. As a matter of fact, they have their own defects but these are few out of many areas that Nigeria can learn from.