President Buhari Knows Where He’s Going -Oladiti | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Faith, LIFE

President Buhari Knows Where He’s Going -Oladiti

Posted: Aug 9, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Bishop Samuel Oludare Oladiti, the General Overseer and Founder of Victory International Faith Mission (VIFM),Baruwa-Ipaja, Lagos, in this media chat talks about the importance of being vision-driven, testifying that the mission he started with only N200 alongside his wife and 11 members has  today grown to be a household name. While responding to some questions from Chinyere Abiaziem on national issues, he gave kudos to President Muhammadu Buhari for his performance so far in setting the nation on the right track. Excerpts

How did VIFM Start?

This church started in 1997 precisely with N200. My wife and I got to this place in 2001, and we laid the foundation of this place, July 7 2001. We started from a rented apartment where we could not even pay but God miraculously gave us this land and this is the church today. We did not borrow ten kobo till we finished the church building even up till date.

Myself, my wife and at about 11 people started this church,   it is a prayer ministry, we solidly believe in the bible and prayers. We give the word of God in the way people will understand it. Presently, we are holding an interdenominational miracle gathering for 12 Sundays. It is an evening prayer meeting for the recovery of destinies; it started on the fifth of July and will end on the 20th of September.


What makes VIFM different from other Christian gatherings around?

The difference is the vision. Vision will make you to always remember where you are going, and you won’t have to do what everybody is doing. These days in some churches, people are told what they want to hear and that is why you see them shouting “Ride on”. It’s like some of us are preaching home science rather than preaching the kingdom of God so that there will be fear in the hearts of people.

We have more than 300 churches in this area but I took my time to find out what we can do different from the other churches. I had to understand the area, the people and the culture; then be sensitive to the need of the people otherwise, I will be saying things that are irrelevant to the people and won’t make any sense to them. It’s like when you are playing football over the bar.

In this Alimosho Local Government Area, I started the 7 am service after which some keyed into it. The truth of the matter is that we had to apply wisdom because we had no roof then and didn’t want the sun to come down while the service was still on. So we had to dismiss the service before sun rise.

1997 was not the time I came into the ministry as I came into the ministry in 1987. I started my ministerial career in Ibadan; I have been to Ondo, Oyo and was brought to Lagos by some kind of conspiracy. Then I was very young and was doing very well but my seniors conspired to post me to Lagos.

When I was coming to Lagos, I was happy that I was coming to a big city not knowing that the church I was coming to has no road. The first Sunday I was to worship there I saw goats and dogs inside the church; there was no door, not even chairs for people to sit. The programme was to start by 8am but we started few minutes to 10am.

I came as a residential evangelist as there were two pastors there. My salary was between N30 to N1, 500 for ten years. That was why I said we started this ministry with N200.   In fact, the house we lived was a 10 by 10 size room, with a small bed; it was not up to the size of a kitchen.

The truth is that when God called me I was not prepared for anything called ministry because I never liked it. I wanted to be a lawyer or practice politics. I wanted to be like Gani Fawehinmi and Wole Soyinka  but my mother said no. She said, “When I had you I made a vow to God that when you grow up, I was going to give you back to Him.” I told her, “Well that is your own but behold when it was September 19th 1987, the Lord arrested me; it was an experience that I would never forget in my life.

At the expiration of ten years God told me to resign where I was serving as a Pastor. So, I went to the founder of The Blood of Jesus Apostolic Church in Ibadan and told him I was leaving and he released me to go and start my ministry.

Can you share some of the positive impacts VIFM has made on the society?

That this church is a house hold name is because of our impacts, we are practical in interpreting God’s words. You cannot only tell people that Jesus loves them without showing them love. We usually give gifts to the indigent people around us, we organize health talks, give out drugs, eye glasses, food etc.

Last year we gave out about 200 live chickens. We saw family members denounce each other all because of poverty. We discovered that poverty is strong in the land. We have also helped to grade roads and bring development to places like Aiyetoro, Ibadan and others. We also reach out to those outside Nigeria. We do this not because we are buoyant but as part of our own way of demonstrating God’s love. Today, we talk about corruption everywhere in the society. The question is- Don’t these people go to church, if they don’t go to church they go to mosques. I believe God’s people can do better.

What can you say about the recent report on the increased rate of corruption in our Tertiary Institutions?

I heard recently that someone who wants to enter the higher institution will have to sit for another exam and pay 8,000.  This is fraudulent; there is difference between fighting corruption and winning corruption. It is so sad that corruption is everywhere.

We don’t know the one we are going to fight again today. In most schools before you pass you must give something, it’s either you are giving your body or your money, which should not be. It is fraud and dirty. It is unfortunate that we are hearing all these. It is not good but I think with the new government and our cooperation things will change for good.

What is Your Assessment of President Buhari’s Performance so far?

He took the first step which was very good. Immediately he came, he announced the shift of command headquarters. He went to Chad; he went to Niger because he knew what to do. When the West saw that he knew what to do, G7 called him. He didn’t go to them, they invited him. When he came back America said “Yes! This is a man we can work with; it is like he knows where he is going.

He is different from other leaders in Nigeria. He is not depending solely on what the West will do; he took a trip to Cameroun and Benin because he knows we need these people to fight Insurgency.  He knows that we need to look within our region, though the money America wants to give to us is good. If America will be sincere to really help us why don’t they help us to accelerate the recovery of the trapped money and give to us rather telling us they know where the money is. This government started on a good note, although Nigerians are beginning to call him Baba Go-Slow.

I can tell you he knows where he is going; though we are not saying he is an angel. He ruled us before as an Army General but now he is more informed. When you look at the system, he has not appointed ministers but we know how much he has saved on ministerial appointments. Let us support him. Let us not see it as if he is the only one that has the solution to our problems .We all have something to contribute; we will continue to pray that he is not distracted.

Can you recommend ways in which the nation’s recovered funds can be judiciously used?

A lot can be done with the money; that is if they channel the money in the right direction by creating jobs. I look at the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) scheme and I am like “We are talking about diversifying from oil to agriculture. We can take advantage of where we have vast lands and get the Corpers to work in the agricultural sector. Also, our security can’t be using toys, let us invest money in the military and use the money judiciously.  We thank God America is considering lifting the ban on Nigeria getting ammunition from them.

Any comment on the worship centers that were sealed due to noise pollution?

The law has been for long, if you walk in here you won’t see any loudspeakers; you know you can’t use yours to disturb others. I don’t think the government should tell us that; we should be considerate enough to know. What are you trying to gain by shouting or disturbing others with your loud speakers? We need to respect one another and avoid noise or environmental pollution.