Buhari’s War Against Corruption Wild Goose Chase – Ukadike | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Buhari’s War Against Corruption Wild Goose Chase – Ukadike

Posted: Jul 8, 2015 at 1:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Founder and International President of the World Rescue Ministries International (WORMINT), Prince Ben Ukadike, who is one of the Ambassadors of Assemblies of God Church Nigeria, in this interview speaks on the long-drawn crisis in the church as well as other issues of national importance. He spoke to EJIKEME OMENAZU and EMMANUEL UDOM.

As one of the Elders and Ambassadors of the What is the state of the Assemblies of God Church Nigeria? Would you say that the recent crisis in the church has been fully resolved?

Ukadike

Ukadike

Well, the Assemblies of God is one of the first Pentecostal Churches in Nigeria, spanning over 100 years. It is unfortunate that recently, the crisis erupted, pitching the leadership against itself, thereby leading to a situation where factions seem to have emerged. I is natural to have differences where human beings are.  Sociologists will tell you that human beings are asocial animals and politicians will tell you where you have from two people upwards, politics exists. We have a situation where we have between 13,000 and 14,000 pastors in the Assemblies of God. Therefore, differences must exist. Even in the Early Church, there was a dispute among disciples where certain sections were complaining that their women or wives were neglected in the sharing of food and other things. They were not all that many; yet, differences came up. So, where there are 14,000 pastors and a congregation of two million, it is unexpected that a crisis will come up. But efforts are being made about an amicable and peaceful settlement of the imbroglio. I know that the matter is currently in court. We are praying that God will intervene and bring it to an end.

We learnt that the sacked General Superintendent of the Church is still running a parallel church?

The issues in dispute as to who is the General Superintendent, and in every crisis of this nature, there are followers and main actors who will be urging them on for several reasons, which may include seeking for power and authority. These include financial positioning to reap benefits, which automatically surrounded the leaders and other perks. There is the issue of fame and popularity. These make it juicy to run parallel organisations or bodies. There has always been problem associated with court judgments when the court uses “maintain the status quo”. Lawyers give different interpretations to this ruling. In interpreting it, they do so the way it suits them. That is the confusion in this case. There is a General Superintendent who has been removed from office and there is a General Superintendent that has been voted into office and the court said “Maintain Status Quo”. Does that mean that the one that was removed should stay or the new one should stay? That is the position.

What is the state of your ministry, World Rescue Ministries International (WORMINT), and to what extent has the vision been bought by Nigerians and the international community?

It was Ebenezer Obey who sang a song that “If you go to where magicians are performing, the place will be full, there will be crowd. But, if you go to where they are saying something about God, you will see sparse crowd”. Rubbish is easy to gather, but you do not get gold on the surface. Jesus said that people have itching ears. But because he was feeding people, they kept coming back. Concerning WORMINT, I will not say that we have attained the level we had wished or that we are as popular or that we are offering people want, like wealth and houses. That is not our message. Our message could be hard and people are gullible. There are some churches where truth is not propagated and people are being deceived. We have not reached where we want to reach and we are not far from it. We have been embraced in several states in Nigeria. Our coordinators are doing their best. We have coordinators in several countries. Right bow, we are in Nigeria, Togo,

Niger, Republic of Benin, United Kingdom, United States of America and South Africa. We have people in the places who are cooperating with us. We started in 2006.

What are the ministry’s plans for the immediate future?

Money answers all things. Several times, we have limitation of funds. We do not receive financial support from other places like other ministries. We are self-financing. We intend to pursue the vision vigorously. We have mapped out strategies for the distribution of the Jesus stickers, billboards, etc. we have a lot of billboards in Port Harcourt, which the coordinators there put up. During our next seminar and conference, we intend to drive this to the coordinators. As we are doing this, we shall be getting more mileage. Our massage has not changed. There is power in the name of Jesus. The rallies, wearing of t-shirts, pasting of Jesus visuals and we are still proceeding with our rallies. Our seminar comes up in November.

Do you think President Muhammadu Buhari will deliver on his electoral promises?

One of the things working against Buhari regime is paucity of fund. The oil is dwindling. Big nations have conspired against oil producing countries. I see the government looking for alternative ways of sourcing for funds. Emphasis should be paid to agriculture. We have a lot of arable land. I believe that wise counsel will prevail, especially as President Buhari is from the North known for agriculture. Remember the groundnut pyramids. A lot of food being consumed in the South come from the North. I see the incumbent government improving upon that. The past government tried. Former Agric Minister, Akinwunmi Adesina, did well.

I expect government will do well in enhancing the power situation. The previous government did a lot in building new stations. We have 10,000 mw capacity even though they distribute just 3,000 mw. I see government doing well to improve transmission and distribution capacity. Power is an area that if taken care of, will create opportunities in the country and investors from abroad will be happy to come in. our neighbouring countries which have attracted some of our investors like Dunlop, will have to lose them. Nigeria has the population to consume a lot of products and foreign investors know this. I also see the issue of security tackled head on. Buhari has already indicated the willingness to do this.

With the recent victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the inauguration of the new administration, the government seems not to have found its feet one month after as it has not been able to appoint major officials and come out with major policy decisions. Why is this so?

You observe that many of the politicians that are in APC today moved from the PDP which had been accused of failing the nation. So, how can you put an old wine in an old wine skin? Having said that, we must say that the government is still very new. We have heard the statement, “Hit the ground running”. I believe it will take some time for the government to find its footing. Presently, there is crisis in the Senate and House of Representatives and efforts are still being made to resolve the stalemate there. But, Nigerians, we are in a hurry. We lack patience. We want fire brigade approach. I just counsel a little patience for the government to turn things around.

For istance, to eliminate corruption is a Herculean task and probably will need help from God to fix. Starting from the gate of an office, to the messenger, everybody ask you “Anything for the boys?” Are we to talk of Customs, Police? Where do we begin? The President cannot be everywhere. To me, it is a wild goose chase. Corruption is an endemic part of democracy and capitalism. Both are dipped incorruption because in politics, a winner takes all. There is a position that everyone wants to have, just one position, fifty to sixty want the position. It is survival of the fittest. All sorts of things come to play, murder, assassination, blackmail. All these things come into play for one to capture that position. In every situation this exists in Nigeria. All dogs eat excreta. Only the one with excreta in its mouth is caught. Recently, an ex-security chief in a country was jailed. Look at all the directors of FIFA. Where there is politics, people have to be voted for, and where people have to cast their votes, there is corruption. Nigerian case cannot be different.

For me, the war against corruption is a campaign talk. In America, there was the Halliburton scandal.

In four years time, do you think President Buhari will deliver on his electoral promises?

One of the things working against Buhari regime is paucity of fund. The oil is dwindling. Big nations have conspired against oil producing countries. I see the government looking for alternative ways of sourcing for funds. Emphasis should be paid to agriculture. We have a lot of arable land. I believe that wise counsel will prevail, especially as President Buhariis from the North known for agriculture. Remember the groundnut pyramids. A lot of food being consumed in the South come from the North. I see the incumbent government improving upon that. The past government tried. Former Agric Minister, Akinwunmi Adesina, did well.

I expect government will do well in enhancing the power situation. The previous government did a lot in building new stations. We have 10,000 mw capacity even though they distribute just 3,000 mw. I see government doing well to improve transmission and distribution capacity. Power is an area that if taken care of, will create opportunities in the country and investors from abroad will be happy to come in. our neighbouring countries which have attracted some of our investors like Dunlop, will have to lose them. Nigeria has the population to consume a lot of products and foreign investors know this. I also see the issue of security tackled head on. Buhari has already indicated the willingness to do this. so far, he has done a lot of coordination with the nations in the Boko Haram axis.

With his Spartan approach, do you see Buhari cutting cost of governance?

This is democracy. Legislators have to be paid. Presidential system is expensive. He has shown potential of cutting down. But by next year, proper approach would have emerged. He may have he desire to cut costs. But, he is all alone. We have the Legislature and Judiciary. He can only control the Executive. Some people sold their houses to go the parliament. Such people will like to recover these things. There is going to be oversight functions through which the lawmakers extort money from the ministries and agencies.

With the way the Eighth National Assembly leadership and the emergence of a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain and former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, as the Deputy Senate President, an office which by convention, should have been occupied by an APC member, don’t you think that reasonable grounds are being prepared for the failure of the current Muhammadu Buhari administration?

The man who calls the shots is the Senate President. The Deputy Senate President is just like the Vice President or Deputy Governor. They do not have separate constitutional roles. So, the fear is unnecessary. But, I think it will stabilise things.