Shortly after his prophetic declaration, drawing the curtains on the recent hugely successful 24th annual Power Conference of God’s Mercy Revival Ministries (GOMERM), Dr. James Akanbi, the general overseer of the church, granted what maybe tagged a blunt press interview in which he addressed the state of the nation and warned Nigerians and the world at large that the present global economic hardship and crises would never get any better except by the blueprint of the Unlimited God; which is the theme of the 24th Power Conference. Below are the excerpts of the interview with a selected media outfits including Christian Benefits magazine.
Sir, with the conclusion of this year’s 24th GOMERM Power Conference, what is your take on the state of the nation and the world at large in relation to the theme of the conference, The Unlimited God?
As I have earlier said, the world is not going to get any better. It won’t. For us to expect any government in any part of this world to be better is a lost case. What is important is for everyone to connect to God so that whoever comes on the throne God may use that person for us. Democracy is a game of numbers. If you don’t have the number, you are not going to get the votes into power. God can use the person on the throne for us. Jesus foretold us when he was leaving that things would get worse. Nation will rise against nations. There shall be tribulations after tribulations. If we say or think the world will get better, then Jesus will not come back. He said immediately after the tribulations the son of man will appear. So, the world will keep getting worse until the son of man appears. But if you know God, you will do exploits; no matter how terrible the situations in the world become. It doesn’t matter who is on the throne of any government.How can people live or survive with the world situations not going to get any better till Jesus appears?
As a person, I have linked my economy with the economy of heaven. My destiny is linked with the destiny of heaven. It is linked with the blueprint of God. There is nothing the devil can do about it. Even if Satan be the president of this nation, he will do me good. Generally, the most important factor of any nation is leadership. When the leadership is wrong everything is wrong. When the leadership is in shambles everything is in trouble, and this has nothing to do with who is on throne of the government of any nation of the world.
What is the role of religious leaders in the progress of this country, Nigeria?
You are touching a very delicate point because we (the religious leaders) have lost it. We have not been able to put our house in order. Under a normal situation we; the religious leaders should be able to speak the truth to the powers. That is what God has given us but we have not put our house in order. On the part of the Christian leaders in this country, both the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) leadership have not been able to put their houses in order. There are internal turmoils. We have not been able to put the right people in the position of leadership of these two mainstream Christian bodies. That is the reason the government is taking us for a ride. We should be able to put our feet on the ground telling the government what we want, instead of the government dictating to us.
The Building the Builders International Ministers Conference at this year’s meeting was a massive success. Won’t it be a good idea you replicate this conference on either the CAN or the PFN platform?
Of course, the PFN leadership has spoken to me on this line of thought. They were actually impressed at the huge turn out of ministers of God across denominations at the Building the Builders International Ministers Conference. They want us to network with the PFN to organize the conference on a larger scale. By the grace of God, I will meet with them to see how we will take it up from there.
What were the distractions you have faced in these 24 years of this ministry?
Distractions are bound to surface in any ministry but you have to make yourself un-distracted. I have had all manners of distraction in the ministry. When a ministry is a moving ministry you will have challenges. There will always be one thing or the other you want to put in place. But one thing I have decided in life is that no challenge will take me out of the confine of spirituality and scripturality.
How will you describe the big strides of the ministry (GOMERM) in these 24 years?
We gratefully thank God who has actually been there with, and for us these past 24 years. I can’t lay claims to any credit for any of the great things that has happened in the ministry thus far. It has been God and God alone. We have the ministry in about eight nations of the world, and with about 102 branches across these about eight nations. This achievement is not by my principle, policy or whatever. God has been the one driving the ministry these 24 years. He actually told me that 1999 that He was going to embrace me with an amazing grace. So, it is that amazing grace we have been enjoying till today; steadily moving from one level to greater levels year in and year out these past 24 years of the ministry.
By the grace of God, GOMERM will celebrate its silver jubilee next year 2024. If Christ tarries, what are the expectations of the silver jubilee celebration of the ministry come 2024?
That is going to be a fantastic time. We are looking forward to a greater harvest of souls. I am already preparing for this. It is not just for anything but for the souls that will be harvested. I thank God for the good number of souls that we harvested into His kingdom in this year’s 24th anniversary celebration. I am praying, by this time next year 2024 the harvested souls will be multiplied by four. So, I am looking forward to a bigger, larger and greater harvests of souls into God’s kingdom by this time next year 2024.
Please, share with us your lifestyle that keeps you fit, healthy and going strong in the ministry
I thank God for keeping me fit and healthy. When your motivation is from God you get enough strength to keep going. There is a spiritual strength that permeates man’s physiology. There is a particular statement I have held onto for years that if you don’t eat your food like medicine, you will eat your medicine like food. So, I ensure I eat my food like medicine. What goes into my system are specific, deliberate, measured and intentional. I know the purpose of every food I take. The size of food I eat is measured. I try as much as possible to watch whatever I consume because anything you consume will have effects on your look. Whatever goes inside will be revealed on the external later on and this is very critical.
What is your take on on the ECOWAS stance on Niger Republic coup
Nobody will support the coup in Niger Republic because of its possibility of bringing the whole of the West African nations under the military dominance. We know the military thrives on no accountability and no responsibility. Whatever they want to do, they do it to the worst. How will you challenge someone with a gun? I don’t want the junta to hold onto power in Niger Republic, but the ECOWAS should not eject them by the forces of war because war blows no one any good wind. You can only know the beginning of war. You can not the end. If Niger Republict junta resists the six Nigeria’s northern states close to her borders, the war may escalate into Nigeria. So, instead of by war, the ECOWAS should ease out the Niger Republic junta by dialogue.
Let us have a look at the leadership system of God’s Mercy Revival Ministries (GOMERM)
I believe God speaks to men for me. He sends his chosen men to me just like he sent Aaron to Moses in the wilderness. I am grateful I enjoy that grace from Him. I believe in system and structure. Any setting without a clear-cut system and structure will create problems. God himself has system and structure in heaven. While Jesus was on earth he had system and structure in place. People must understand what is called Emotional Intelligence. I did a detailed study on Emotional Intelligence. One has to put himself in the people’s shoes; feel the way they feel to know the impact or the effect of his actions and in-actions. That was exactly what Jesus did; he looked into the minds of his followers. At the Passover when he said they would eat his flesh and drink his blood, he knew they were going to think about it.
What is the reason for the yearly awards presentation to outstanding workers in the ministry?
It’s a natural coronary of relationship. Whatever one does is prophetic for his life. I know God rewards me. I see him do things in my life. Some years ago when I began complaining He told me ‘more labour, more favour.’ I discovered that the favour I get is more than the labour I put in. This is what translated to the awards presentation to outstanding GOMERM workers. When a person does something in the system; he should be rewarded. The system must have a way of rewarding people who have put in their best in that system.
What is your assessment of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s government so far?
We must not be too quick to assess. We must not take the bubble for the wine, if we do, we will miss the taste of the wine. When the bubble goes off, we can then determine the quality of the wine. Some people are already concluding that the security situation in the country is better now but I am of the view that they (the security threats in the country) are probably taking their time to strategise. They need to understand the body language of the new president and the new service chiefs. The new president is still waiting for confirmation of his election by the tribunal, so he must at least do things to appeal to the satisfaction of the Nigerian citizenry.
Also, what is your view about the fuel subsidy removal that the President announced on his inauguration day as the 16th president of the country?
One can see clearly that the removal of the fuel subsidy was not on a good template. It was done hastily. The government had not studied it well before they removed it. Now that they have discovered the consequences on that unplanned action, they now try to rationalize.
How can Nigerians survive the present economic hardship in the land?
Nigerians are resilient people. I believe it is that resilience that will take us through. We should be resilient and patient because we will surely see the end of this. Let us look out for what will happen in the next two to three months. I often tell people not to believe in any president or politician because they are all the same. They all speak equivocally. All that Nigerians need to do is to get hold unto God because He is the one that can make the worst president better for us. There is no president that will come there to do any miracle. One’s life with God matters because He can control the worst to give us the best. It is not about the president but about God. There is no uncontrollable with God. He controls all things. The scripture says when a man’s ways pleases the Lord; even his enemies will be at peace with him.
As a prophet to the nation, if you were to set an agenda for the president, what are the areas you will advise him to focus on as a matter of priority?
The real agenda should first start from honesty of leadership which is very critical. Things that actually corrupt the system are nepotism and other vices. The leaders at times hide under a supposed project for the masses but use it to amass wealth for themselves. Core leadership is also very critical. I am glad we have been able to see a little bit of a speaking presidency, and that should be encouraged so that we will know we are not dealing with a dormant president. The economic agenda is very critical. We also need electricity supply without which the technology aspect of the nation will be in shackles. We also need good security. So far it seems the rate of the criminal activities in the country has reduced. It will be much appreciated if it can be maintained. Any country without good security is at the verge of failure.
What should be the role of the Church in enduring the government succeeds?
Like the word of Samuel, “Let it not be known that I will sin against God by not praying for you.” The Church should be praying for the government. We believe our God is the controller of politics. The Bible says “the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.” The church should also be committed to creating political awareness within the body.
Did you envisage the level of the growth of your ministry today when you started 24 years ago?
Any ministry that starts without a vision of the future will not be able to enter into the future. I am yet to see the fullness of the glory God showed to me in 1999. In every covenant, there is a contract; there should be a discussion between the covenant partners. He will definitely show you something. In the human mind, it can be terrifying. We started with 12 people. We became about 46 when the 12 invited their friends. Later, we became 174. At our first anniversary, we were about 220. The current reality is not up to what He showed to me. I keep pursuing. I am forever grateful to God for the grounds that we have covered thus far.
How much are you fulfilled at this present level of the ministry at 24 years old?
I am fulfilled in God. I am excited that He is able to fulfill His own word. For any minister on the covenant basis, it is the fulfillment of the word of God that makes him fulfilled. Without the fulfillment of His word, I can’t be fulfilled. By God’s grace, we will be 25 next year. It has been a long journey.
With what God has done in your life, share with us your personal testimony
That is a serious testimony. It costs more to know that I am not supposed to be called by God. I am not qualified because I am a son of the strange woman. My father is a polygamist. My mum was a home-breaker. She broke the real marriage of my father who was entitled to one wife. Under the right circumstance, my father and mother had broken the law of God, so it is a miracle that I find myself here. It is God’s mercy. I am the first beneficiary of the mercy He has shown to me. Anything that is to be dispensed from a man’s life must first be seen in his life. I am a beneficiary of God’s mercy and has become a dispenser of the same mercy to other people.