NO GENUINE CHRISTIAN CAN LOOT: THOSE WHO LOOTED ARE OF THE DEVIL SAYS PASTOR OJUMU Pastor Joseph Bukola Ojumu is the Pastor of Victory Chapel In
NO GENUINE CHRISTIAN CAN LOOT: THOSE WHO LOOTED ARE OF THE DEVIL SAYS PASTOR OJUMU
Pastor Joseph Bukola Ojumu is the Pastor of Victory Chapel International, Akure. He has been a shepherd in God’s vineyard for the past 12years. He is a Director at the Ondo State Civil Service. He recently spoke with the Chronicle on the #EndSars protest and the looting of corvid-19 palliatives by some Nigerians.
How long have you been a member of Victory Chapel International?
I’ve been a member of that church for precisely 26years. And i’ve been a Pastor in that same church for 12years.
Sir, there was crisis and pandemonium in the town over the issue of Endsars. As a Pastor, what is your position on that kind of protest?
Let me look at it from three angles. Firstly from the spiritual angle, we are in the last days where a lot of things are bound to happen, perilous times shall come. Part of what we witnessed recently in Nigeria was part of the agenda for the end time. In other clime, we have seen earthquake, war, pestilences like Corona Virus which are all parts of the agenda for the last day.
On the economic level, the government of Nigeria is not sensitive enough to the plight of Nigerians, especially the youths. So, a country where you have vast majority of the youths unemployed, you are not expecting anything less. The Bible says an idle hand is the devil’s workshop. People are not doing anything. Remember that schools are shut; youths have been at home for almost 6months now. If they’ve been engaged in their various institutions, this kind of gathering wouldn’t have been this colossal. So, people are just ventilating their anger using police brutality and Endsars as a template. And if government does not address this issue politically, what we are just seeing is a child’s play because the youths have tested the ground, seeing the weight of the protest and have succeeded.
How will you relate the protest as a Pastor, is it biblical?
In the Bible, Acts chapter 6, the apostles were busy preaching the gospel, doing evangelism and so on. And they forgot to take care of the needs of the women, especially the widows, and so there was grumbling. So, that grumbling can be likened to a peaceful protest. The grumbling became so loud that a meeting was called among the apostles and they realized they had to take care of the needs of the widows and the women. So, when you are talking of protest, people tend to look at it from the angle of hooliganism which is wrong. Don’t forget that the Israelites also murmured in the wilderness and Moses cried to God during these times and God intervened. So, murmuring in that contest is agitation. You can vent your displeasure about the happenings in the society. So, I can say that a peaceful protest without looting is biblical.
In the course of the protest, some people looted some palliatives and materials in the name of hunger. If those people were Christians, how would you describe that kind of act?
I definitely do not support that. Anybody who loots is a thief. You stole not because you are hungry but because you are a thief. However it is, a thief is is thief. Workers of a company can ventilate their anger for nonpayment of salary by protesting, but not by looting or stealing the company’s property; that’s stealing. There is no genuine Christian that can loot. Even the bible says a thief do not have a part in the kingdom of God. So, a Christian cannot steal. Those people that looted are children of the devil. The devil took advantage of the protest to possess them. If they die in the process, they are going to hell. You can see that all Christian leaders in Nigeria condemned that aspect of burning and looting. But they support the aspect of genuine agitation. When you are protesting genuinely, it is biblical, but when you turn it to looting, it is evil.
What is your advice to the government especially now that the youths are gathering momentum for another round of protest?
First, we should all pray according to 1Chronicle 7vs14, if we can humbly bow before God in prayer, he will hear from heaven and heal our land because it is only God that can come to our rescue. On the part of the Government, they should do the needful. There should be mass employment of youth. The country should be re-structured in a way that power centered to the Federal government level will be distributed to the State government. Any attempt of the government not to restructure Nigeria will only mean we are sitting on a time bomb. The situation whereby you have retired Governors, Deputy Governors, and Army Generals occupying the Senate where we have youths with MSC and PHD who cannot contest for ordinary Local government Chairman election because they do not have god father is nauseating.
So, people are angered. The government should sit down if they are sincere. Each Governor should only do what they think is best and can be of benefit to the people of their State because the people know the leaders that are doing very well. I can say it boldly that we have people who are not sensitive to the need of the people in power right now. People are not happy.
Do you see prayer as the only weapon?
Prayer is the weapon because the whole world is the Lord’s. And God still control the affairs of men. So, if we call on God to interfere into the affairs of this country, the bible says that the heart of the king is in his hand, God can speak to President Buhari and even Governor Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu. Don’t forget that Mr. President has advisers. God can touch the heart of those ones to advise him on the right thing to do. So, we have to speak to the creator before you speak to the creature. God is our porter, we are just clay; he can mould us anyway he wants. The answer to Nigeria problem still lies on the creator.