Bishop Isaac Idahosa, General Overseer, God First Ministries, aka Illumination Assembly, predicted months before the presidential election that Muhammadu Buhari will triumph over Goodluck Jonathan. Now, with all the complaints trailing the administration, the handsome preacher is saying again that Nigerians should exercise patience; that the president was divinely chosen by God to take Nigeria to the promised land.
The avowed disciple of CAN President, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, is also insisting that the ongoing Dasukigate can never, never implicate his mentor. He spoke to YES INTERNATIONAL! Magazine Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, AZUH ARINZE, inside his church, along Addo/Badore Road, in Ajah, Lagos. This was on Thursday, January 21, 2016. Enjoy…
As a preacher, what can you tell us about 2016?
Yeah, it might be hard, but not impossible. That’s the plan of God for us. Nigeria is a prophetic nation and so once we always anchor our faith on God, once we put our trust in God and what He’s able to do, no problem. It’s a new year. Policies have been made and are being made, but we trust that God will make the best for Nigeria this year. You can see the Dollar rate, you can see things going down the drain, but things have to really get worse to get very good again. So, we should just be patient a little bit, do the best we can to make inputs to see that the Nigerian dream comes to pass.
One of the most topical issues right now is the Dasukigate as well as the shocking revelations emanating from there. As a concerned Nigerian, how do you feel about it?
It’s pathetic to know that a few people will sit on the wealth of the common man and the entire nation. I appreciate the drive, but it must not be seen or done in such a way that it looks like witch-hunting. I was happy when I found out that Buhari’s close ally, Jafaaru was also apprehended. But then he’s been released. It must be balanced, it should be done with all sincerity and purpose. Buhari has a dream that we should all be on our knees to pray for the best of the dream. Especially as it relates to the common good, the betterment of the common man on the streets. Nigerian people are looking up to Buhari based on his fight against corruption. But we also have to look at it closely – how does this fight improve the common good, the common man? I would advise that the looted funds recovered be invested into the system to ensuring amenities and some things that are not budgeted for . But the fight must be in accordance with the rule of law. Because from day one, he swore to uphold the rule of law, the constitution of the country and I still want him to do just that so that they don’t see him as a dictator like others have speculated.
So, what are some of the things that Buhari can do to make Nigeria better?
One is, he should be a listening president. That’s why he’s got some advisers surrounding him. Then again, he should checkmate things in-house. Because if you have a good name and those that are surrounding you are bad people, the tendency for their evil to come alive is there. He should sensitize his people to ensuring that even if his own brother, closest allies are caught in the web of corruption, the same thing should be applicable to them. No. 2 – those who voted for him and those who didn’t vote for him, he should embrace them. He’s the father of the nation right now, he’s the one paddling the affairs of this country, so he should not make anybody feel that he is for those who voted him into power and against those who did not vote for him. And let the three arms of government be absolutely independent of any external influence.
You are going to be 51 this February 2016. What are your plans at 51?
Well, I am launching books, then I’m launching my Bishop Isaac Idahosa Foundation where we will begin to yearly give lectures as it relates to current happenings in the nation and even abroad. Then, we create room for stretching our hand to the widows, scholarship to the needy and orphans. The less privileged too will have a platform in this foundation to see how we can give our little push to the society.
You have a new programme coming up soon where the likes of Apostle Anselm Madubuko will be preaching. Can you tell us about it?
Yeah! It’s called The Momentum. It’s the night that precedes my birthday. It’s deduced from the scripture that says they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. So, it’s a strength-gathering, strength-renewing event. It’s a night of praise. And you can’t go wrong praising God. No! Apostle Anselm (Madubuko) is a very seasoned man of God. We prayerfully considered him to come and be a big blessing. He’s a man of prayers, a man that loves God, a man after God’s own heart. He prays, he worships. So, he best fits into this coming event. We also have the likes of Frank Edwards coming to be a big blessing to the Body of Christ here in Illumination Assembly.
In this new year, what new things are you introducing to the church?
There can’t be a new year without a new you. It begins with you, it begins with accepting things that must be changed in your life. It will just be a repetition if one will not sit down to ask what went wrong last year, how do I make amend? You are the best preacher to yourself. So, it’s new because you will choose to have some new information, new acquaintances, new projects and things like that. When you change, other things change. So, we have our agenda – to begin some kind of trainings to get people to discover their potential and get these potentials to pass through processing and then results.
This ministry has continued to grow in leaps and in bounds. What is the success secret of Illumination Assembly?
It anchors on two things – hearing and doing. Idahosa means hearing from God. When you hear, you carry it out. Hearing and doing. He that heareth these things of mine and doeth them is likened to a wise man that builds his house on the rock. When you keep hearing and you don’t do, then you are not gonna go anywhere. But when you hear, you receive an instruction from your caller and then he grants you the grace and impetus to carry out these instructions; that’s obedience. The love of God is unconditional, but His blessings are conditional. So, moving from one point or a majestic migration is deduced by you adhering to he who has called you. And that’s been the anchor, focus of this ministry – ability to stay, hang in there with God, building a relationship with God.
Already, God has done so many things here. What do you still want Him to do at Illumination Assembly in this new year?
There is nothing new that God wants to do. He’s already done everything. Our responsibility is just to discover them. So, the outcome of every true research is discovery. Discover them and ask for an enabling grace to carry them out. We are too lazy altogether to wanting to research, to discover. There’s nothing new under the sun. So, anything you see happen had happened in the spirit realm. Your connectivity with he who has called you, the divine source of life, sensitizes your intuition to knowing what next step to take. So, we are only living in the light of discovery. Nothing is new. It’s only new when it comes to this tangible realm. How do you do that? By faith and patience. We have preached faith without preaching the corresponding sister of faith, which is patience. Faith can tell you now, now, now, now…That’s good. But patience; the Bible says in your patience, possess your soul. We’ve seen ups and downs, we’ve seen challenges. There were times as though I should quit, there were times as though the whole hell was loose upon me, but you see, it’s not what happens to you that defines you, it’s your response. Those we used to call enemies before, we’ve now discovered that they weren’t enemies because they helped you to gain your speed, put you on your toes, helped you to become focused. So, enemies are not walls, they are doors to your next level. Without Goliath, what was going to become the outcome of a David? So, we thank God for those that allowed themselves to be used to move us to the next level today. I began my ministry when I was barely 24. This year will be 27 years, preaching the gospel, full time. Full time gospel! A ministry that was started with 50 kobo in Minna, Niger State, today, has become a global ministry. So, it humbles me when I find myself in places I least expect.
You happen to be one of the preachers who predicted rightly that Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) will become Nigeria’s president. How do you feel about that prediction?
It came to pass and it humbles me that God still has people that listen to Him beyond sentiments. People have called me, times without number: why did you have to say that Buhari will be president? I said because the Lord spoke to me. And I can’t be adamant to what God said. To whom much is given, much is required. We were told, months before time, that Buhari will be. God knows the best way to put one into leadership. So, we owe Buhari a whole lot. He’s not a president to the Muslims or the Christians or whatever religion one practices. He’s the president of all, so we owe him prayers. People have done all manner of things, talked to me harshly; why would you say that? Now, look at what is happening? You said Buhari will be president, Nigeria will be better. Now is Nigeria getting better with the Naira becoming N300 to a Dollar; Pounds over N400 and something?
And I tell them, listen – for it to be good, sometime it gets very worse and drastic and then God picks it up from there. It’s just like mother eagle and the eaglet. For its feather to get stronger, mother eagle takes the eaglet way up and then drops it and it’s like the mother eagle hates the eaglet. But by so doing, it exercises its wings. Before it crash lands, the mother eagle picks the eaglet up. If we want to be the real giant of Africa, things shouldn’t go the way they used to go before. God brought Buhari to divinely intervene. Else it could be a different story today. You see, you can say all you want to say for all I care, no man can ever be a leader in a nation without God’s involvement. So, the best is, God has put him there; it’s God that enthrones, it’s God that dethrones. God has chosen in His own infinite wisdom to help him, to make him and to put him to paddle the course and affairs of this country. We must give him our dogged, dogged loyalty.
Have you been able to establish any contact with him since you made that prediction?
No, not yet! But the truth is that I did that because God spoke to me, not because I wanted to meet him. But when you obey God, any other thing can follow. But God determines the time and the timing where contacts will be made. I’m not a prophet that prophesies doom – this one will die, that one will die. When you find out that someone will die, for instance, why won’t you look for him and tell him? That’s my take. Than to bring prophesies that will just bring attention to you. Isaiah was sent by God to Hezekiah in Isaiah 38 to set his house in order because he was gonna die. He went straight to Hezekiah. Okay, you may ask me what if I don’t get access to the person, bla, bla, bla. Then, begin to pray. If you must hint the person, the first place must not be on the pages of newspapers, find out who knows, who knows, who knows him and by the time you must have given out that information, let God take control. Another example in Ezekiel 37, God took Ezekiel to a valley full of dry bones. If God reveals to you, sometimes God wants to redeem the situation. He said to Ezekiel, can these bones live? Let’s strike a dialogue, let me see your capacity, let me have your thoughts. He didn’t fall into that trap. He said God you know even what I don’t know. You are omniscient, you are all powerful. You see, each time we turn to God, God helps us to know better things, because it is what God reveals to you that reveals you to your world. Then, He now said I’ve made you to come to this valley of not just bones, but dry bones. Hopeless as it were. Now if our case was hopeless as it were and then there are prophets in the land, they should speak positively to that situation and not declaring or predicting and looking forward to these negative prophesies coming to pass. For instance, you say somebody will die. Who will not die? As we get older, the old shall die and the young shall grow. So, everybody, if Jesus tarries, will die. Including myself. When I’m up to 120, I will die and the death will be nice, like the Olubadan of Ibadan. His family was surrounding him and he died peacefully. That is the death of a righteous man. So, God said now that you are aware that these are dry bones, prophesy. Prophesying means speaking the mind of God and God doesn’t have evil agenda, God has good intentions. Jeremiah 29:11 – I know the thoughts that I think towards you, the thought of good and not of evil, to give you an expected end or to give you hope and a future…He now said prophesy and say to these dry bones, hear the word of God. So, Nigeria, as it were, a dry bone, can hear the word of God and what is that word of God – it is the word of grace, which is the good news. Go, live and not die! And the bones came alive and became mighty. Nigeria is like that dry bones in the deepest valley. There is hope for any tree when it connects with the scent of water and that scent of water is the word of God.
So, why do we now have too many preachers who only see doom, doom, doom?
I’m not in their shoes to say why, I’m just telling you as God leads me. I will tell you as it is, but if they are negative prophesies, I will look forward to meeting with you. Now, some may say what if I can’t reach them? Take time! God is a patient God. So, where is that quality and character of God as a fruit of the spirit? Patience. Look forward to knowing, finding out, research who knows, who knows…until you get to that person. As cold water is to the thirsting soul, even so is good news to the far country. I want to get back to Isaiah and Hezekiah. So, he got to Hezekiah and said set your house in order, you will not recover. Indeed God said it. So, I’m not saying there are no places where God will speak to prophets with some messages that are very hard. But the remedying factor is important. Then, in line with that message, Isaiah turned his face to the wall and began to pray. God remember this, remember this…So, it means if you are in leadership, your good works will speak for you. What goes down to the grave with you are the good works you did really. There are three judgmental angles of God. And each of them is based on stewardship or management. One – how you manage your relationship with God; two – how you manage your relationship with God’s given skills, endowments, potential and three – how you manage your relationship with the people that come across you everyday. So, Hezekiah’s life was saved and secured because of the things he reminded God of. So, back to us. What will you be remembered for? So, we must be careful the way we live our lives, because we will always be remembered for the problem we created or the ones we solved.
One of your mentors, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, as Christian Association and Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria president was very close to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan. With the Dasukigate still unfolding, don’t you nurse fears that his name may also crop up?
The case of my mentor, Pastor Ayo, is as dead as dead. Absolutely dead. It has not foundation. I have known this man and he’s been my covering for years. He is a man of his word. Sometimes when you even want to go and sow a seed, he will ask you – are you really sure you are comfortable with that? I relate with him even to his house; not just office thing. He’s my covering, my spiritual oversight. When this came up, I was one of those who said it can’t be true or happen. He couldn’t have changed overnight. Even Baba Adeboye vowed for him. In fact, I was with him a couple of weeks ago in Warri, in his house, and this thing popped up. You see, God raised for us at a time like this such a man who is vocal, who does not economize the truth concerning the state of the nation and people always hate someone who is forthcoming as regards equity, fairness. So, it came up and he took his precious time to explain to me. Well, I didn’t need that from daddy, because I already know who he is. But he took his time to explain and that shows his other side – being humble. I’ve learnt so much from him. Be it as it may, if it comes up, the facts are there. But like I told you, it’s as dead as dead. Those who set that machinery up know within themselves that what they are trying to market will not sell. And it’s dead…it’s appointed unto man to die once. So, it has died and if it comes again it will keep dying.