We are tired of advising Buhari-PFN Chairman
Recently, the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) inaugurated the Ikola-Ilumo Chapter in Ipaja area of Lagos State with the purpose of further expanding the gospel of Jesus Christ. According to the Chairman of the Chapter, Reverend Solomon Oluniyi who told DAYO EMMANUEL in an interview, Evangelism, Ministers’ welfare and reclaiming the land from satan’s encroachment are the three areas the chapter’s administration is focusing on. Oluniyi decried the myriads of challenges facing Nigeria and noted that the government has not been utilizing several counsels that could help the situation. He also called on the church to stand up to it responsibility. Excerpts:
Congratulations on your inauguration. What is your tenure in office?
The inauguration is the Lords doing and it is marvelous in our eyes. It is not the wisdom of any man, God made it happen and I must appreciate the Central Working Committee members. They made it happen. Normally the tenure is four years but we came on two years into the tenure and I don’t think we are going to have any extension. We have two years more, that is the general tenure even at the state level.
Now that you have been inaugurated and you are the leader of the chapter, what is your plan?
Actually we have three goals, the first one is evangelism so that the unsaved might be saved. The second is ministers’ welfare, this is the fellowship of ministers of God at the grassroots, the general take is that ministers at this level are not poor but our situation can improve. So we want to put programs and projects in place that can improve the general wellbeing of ministers. The third goal is the liberation of our land. Cultism, witchcraft, gambling, pornography are on the increase. All the vices of the new world order are on the increase, but we still believe God can get these things out. We can get people out of these vices, and that is the real focus of this chapter of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria and right from after our inauguration, these are the things we are working on. Evangelism, salvation of people on the streets, ministers’ welfare, our welfare on the job and snatching our land from encroachment of the devil are the goals.
Is that in unison with the state PFN’s goal?
Definitely! In actual fact, our province is always very mad at any minister who is discovered to be using diabolical powers in the ministry. I have been given strict warning that when such people are discovered, such must be dismissed from the fellowship.
What if the person continues practicing even after being dismissed from PFN or do you have powers to close such church?
Their dismissal is the number one thing after that the higher authority will take other steps. Either to correct such person, if it is someone you can still bring back and restore, we do that or if it is someone that cannot be brought back, he would probably be excommunicated and he will be on his own. The state knows how to do that but we at the grassroots, ours is to expose them. PFN is very serious on the married life of a minister, PFN frowns at polygamy, bigamy, or monogamy with girlfriends outside. PFN frowns at you if you cannot manage your family or bring your children under control. We correct that in trainings. If after those corrections you still are adamant, we don’t condone that, we expose it. It is discovered that sin thrives in secrecy. If the sin is covered, it thrives; we have discovered it happens in some places, that is why the church is losing its impact in the nation.
If this is somebody that is entrenched in these things and he does not want to turn around, then it will be probably excommunication from the fellowship, he will be on his own. The state and the state authority know better on how to deal with such issues but at this grassroots level our responsibility is to identify such and not to harbor it. PFN is very strict on some issues. Covering such a person makes you the principal person helping that sin to thieve. We have seen that is what happens in many denominations and that is why these things keep thriving and when they thrive they make the church weaker and weaker. That is why the church is losing its impact in the nation today. The church cannot make a decree or a statement, unlike in those days. In those days a minister will stand up and say this is how Nigeria must go and everybody must go that way, even under the military government. Today where is the voice?
In your last two years have you identified any pastor using diabolic powers in your area?
So far we have not seen. Not that we have not seen traces, a grassroots chairman must not be frivolous about such things. You have to be sure of what is happening before you now make the things open. We are seeing signs but now that our inauguration is done and over, I think there will be more concentration in area of researching and being sure where we are going. But you can be sure there will be no compromise by the special grace of God.
You talked about some of these vices, pornography, gambling etc., are there practical steps to correct them because some of the subscribers are even from Christian homes… how do you intend to influence the community?
Yes, some of them are from Christian homes, some of them are even children of ministers of God. If the foundation be destroyed what can the righteous do? The righteous can only pray and raise his guard. Those are the two things that we have in the offing to intensify. The church began to lose its savour when it refused to realise the age it is in. In the early 60s the church was preaching the salvation message, we graduated and began to preach the deliverance message, we graduated and began to preach the prosperity message until now, not knowing we have entered the end time. That is the fault of the church, understanding the times that is where the problem comes. Our leaders refused to understand the times that our message must change. We must begin to preach the end time message now. In fact we are late already but we can still catch up. Secondly, the church refused to do those other necessary things that the church must do. That is spiritual warfare. The devil is now more fierce in his work and the church is still sleeping and that is where our fault is. The moment we can correct our fault, as early as we are able to correct the errors, salvation and deliverance have come. So the church must call itself to warfare and change its message to end time messages. We must begin to preach the rapture more than ever before we must begin to preach the activities of the devil for this age, fashion is one of them, alcohol, entertainment is one of them, all these things the church must open its eyes and begin to preach these things for people to begin to set.
Not as the devil presents it to them as fun, we must begin to see it as the trap of the devil that will drag them to hell. I don’t think anybody will see something dragging him to hell and continue in it. We must not run away from that fault. We must not lay all the fault on the politicians, the politicians are doing their job and they are doing it well. It is the church that is not doing their job we are doing other things apart from our job.
Once we realize and start doing what God sends us that is where there is going to be a dramatic change. We must bring back the days of Charles Finney. Finney would not even talk, he would be walking the street and people would be repenting and breaking down, repenting from their sins because he was doing warfare in his closet. So when demons see him walk the street, they leave the people alone. Anybody that demon leaves will repent because he will see himself, those are the days we need now.
…and how do we get those days back?
How we get it back is to walk within our ministerial fellowships, open the eyes of one another to the failure of the church and how the church can go on and that is what Ilumo PFN is out to do.
How are we sure these ministers you are talking about are called because the economic downturn has turned same people to ministers?
The issue of calling is another thing entirely but this is my take on that; If you are called, these demand we want to be placing on ministers will be easy for you, it would be difficult if you are not called, it won’t be easy at all. Even among ministers, there is going to be a falling away of some because that is what the end time actually demands so we are prepared for that. That Ilumo PFN has x number of ministers now on our inauguration day does not mean we might necessarily continue like that, we pray it continues. We pray our numbers increase but those who are not called will soon fall away because they won’t be able to keep up with the pace. If you faint in the days of adversity, your strength is small. So the days when ministers must realise their calling and the demands of their callings has come. If you are truly called, you’ll meet up with the demands of your calling. If you are not called, you would fall by the way side, it is just as simple as that. Let us start the race, let it gather momentum. If you line up ten people to do a marathon, is it all of them that will get to the end? No, but the strong, the trained, the equipped will get there, those who are not equipped will fall by the way side, that one is very sure so the same thing happens in the race of the call of God. It is expected that many will fall by the way side.
How do you advise the president of Nigeria as a grassroots Christian leader who is seeing what someone up there may not see?
Many of the top ministers we can describe as radicals have given necessary advice to the president, may be the president himself has sealed up his mind and not ready to take advice from anybody. I don’t think that our president has a true picture of what is happening at the grassroots and if he has, it means the president has a difficult agenda apart from leading this country to a land of glory. In that instance it is difficult for somebody like me to pass advice to the president.
What if your assumption is wrong?
If my assumption is wrong, then the president would have acted on the good advice he has been given in the past. Our Vice President today is a respected minister of God but is he allowed to operate and function in that office? These are the questions we should ask ourselves. So rather than advise the present president, what I will advise we ministers to do is to start a warfare for this nation especially as it concerns 2023 transition. No advice is likely going to work any longer for this present government. I cannot see it work. The church voted for Buhari, if the church had known there is a hidden agenda, the church wouldn’t have voted for him. The pursuit of that hidden agenda is so vehement that advices are not even listened to at all. So why give more advice? Let the church enter into its closet again. We have done it before and it worked. Why can’t we do it again? That is the weaknesses of the church. God does not need anybody to take up arms. Even when Gideon wanted to go to war with 300,000 men, God said no, I don’t need you. If 300,000 men win the war, they will arrogate glory to themselves. He said I need only 30,000 men and the 30,000 should not carry arms. I will fight the battle, you just do what I say and God fought the battle and He won. The church today cannot make a statement in insurgency, on terrorism on kidnapping.
The church has lost a lot of ground and we seem not to realise it. Ministers at the grassroots, let us wake up and face this problem head-on. I love something about God and that is the fact that He works with remnants, He doesn’t need anyone to take up arms.
Can you give a brief of your background?
I am a man of a very humble beginning. I was born into a Christian home but at a time in my life I almost lost my bearing as far as Christ is concerned until Christ called me back. Everything about me is very controversial, I will not lie to you. I went to the Bible school because I was inquisitive not because I was called, so I went to take the Bible training until I passed out and was still telling my lecturers, you can deal with those who are called, I am not called. I came because I wanted knowledge but after the training God came to me and said you have done what I wanted you to do because I want to use you and that was the beginning of the journey. Yes my dad was a pastor but that was not the reason I became a pastor. It was because God spoke to me. Lagos is the place I detested most in Nigeria, I didn’t want to stay there, I was a unionist, we used to come to Lagos for meetings and the sight of Lagos alone made me hate the place more. So when God called me and said go to Lagos I said no. I was based in Ibadan and I retorted and said no no, I can’t go to Lagos and that was about the time Osun State was created, I am from Osun State. So eventually when I agreed to come to Lagos I was shuttling between Ibadan, Osogbo and Lagos every week. I would come to Lagos, go to Ibadan to see my family and go to Osogbo to work and I did that for about two years before God said resign this your work. All the while God had been telling me to resign.
When were you working then?
I was working with the government printing press. First in Ibadan then seconded to Osogbo. Eventually I had to resign and came to Lagos. But ever since then it had been from one miracle to the other. For ten years I used a hall in this Lagos free of charge. The man just gave is, he is a lecturer at the University of Lagos. After then, God moved me to this place and that is how the journey had been all along. I have had series of encounters with the powers of darkness, there has been a group of witches who said I must not exist but God dealt with them and I am still here today, most of them are no more, so I see the hand of God upon me. But at the same time I must say that I have not been able to live to God’s full expectations there are things He has told me to do which I have found very difficult to do, I am trying my best but it has not come to realisation. It has been like that all along but all the same, God has been very faithful, I cannot lie.
What is the name of your ministry?
Christ the living fountain church, it may change very soon but currently that is the name.
Why will it change?
It will change because I used to believe that I am called by God so I should not be licensed by any government. That is one of my very strong beliefs. Why should government license me for what God has called me to do?
But same God wants us to respect the authority of the land…
Yes but I didn’t see it in the area of a license. I obey all laws I try to keep to the laws of the land as much as possible but when it comes to preaching the gospel because I know the government can wake up one day and begin to exact unnecessary control on the preaching of the gospel, so for a long time I refused to register my ministry. Lately I had a change of mind and went to look for registration and I discovered the name I have is not available, so we are still thinking of taking another name till it materialises.
It means all along you have not been banking, you have not been running a corporate account?
No we have not been running an account in the name of the church. The church has a number of trustees who combine to open a joint account. We still issue cheques, so different persons approve and it is different people that are signatories to the account. This issue of account is one of the things that eventually made me to want to register because I discovered that many people could not fully trust. No matter how anointed you are, when they discover you don’t have a corporate account, they don’t really trust you as they should, so these are the issues.