We discussed practically everything – from how he became a preacher to what has kept him going, his birth and childhood, kidnap ordeal and relationship with other pastors, controversial miracles and more. Much more.
Dr. Chris Okafor, founder and senior pastor, Liberation City, with headquarters in Ojodu, Lagos, spoke like never before to AZUH ARINZE, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, YES INTERNATIONAL! Magazine. This was on Friday, April 2, 2021 and below are excerpts…
What format is the celebration of your 40th birthday going to take?
As usual, there’s no celebration without touching the lives of everyone around you. Jesus said on that day, you’ll say I was in the hospital, you didn’t visit me, I was in the prison, you didn’t visit me, I was thirsty, you didn’t give me water to drink, I was hungry, you didn’t give me food to eat, and the person would ask at what time were you in all these situations? And Jesus replied, if you have done it to one of those little people, you have done it for me. So, as it is our nature and custom and tradition to reach out to the less privileged, we have been visiting motherless babies’ homes for weeks now and we will continue by tomorrow again, because what is life without reaching out to others; without making other people comfortable with what God has blessed you with? That’s how we celebrate.
I heard that you just completed work on eight new books, do you mind telling us the titles of these books, because I understand that they are also going to be launched or presented on that day and again, what people should expect from these books?
These books are powerful and I have over seventeen books already. We are having about eight new books and these books aren’t just ordinary books. Writing is not just about people reading it. We write as we are led by the spirit of God for the lives of people to be transformed. The word of God says that the letter killeth, but the spirit of God giveth life. For example, we have Winning by the Spirit, Practical Steps to Prosperity and Deliverance, Prayer Classic, Dealing with the Bloodline Matters and How to Break Out of Land Matters of Your Father’s House, Enforcing the Prophetic, and Understanding the Purpose of First Row, Tithes and Offerings. We have been doing all these and hoping to launch them by Sunday/Monday.
So, considering your busy schedule, how do you create the time to still write books?
What is wisdom? I define it as the deliberate acquisition of knowledge. And you see, in this generation, one can’t go far in life without deliberately acquiring wisdom. God came to Solomon after Solomon offered a thousand bounds to God. And the Bible said that God said, “Solomon, what will I do for you?” Solomon didn’t ask for money, victory; he simply asked God for wisdom. And God said because you have asked for wisdom to govern my people, I will give to you that which you didn’t ask for. I make sure that everyday, after my midnight prayers, because I pray all through the night, I create about one hour to go into my study; I have my study and all these things at home. I go to my study, I read and study and this is for one hour. And then every time God gives me a message or a pattern on what He wants me to pass to His people, I put it down, and as the spirit leads me and begins to give me revelation and embolden what is given to me, I start developing and I start writing it down and it forms the majority of our messages. So, I wait on the Lord and ninety nine to one hundred percent of the message from my books comes while I’m waiting on the Lord in my place of study. So, I follow it up and we work towards it. That is how I’m able to do it. I’m busy, but everyday I work from my house. Even when I’m travelling, flying, you must see me reading a book. I read at least one or two books every week, because it’s my tradition, it’s part of me and that’s what I do.
The eight books you’ve just written, why should anybody buy them?
The Bible said in all your understanding, get wisdom; wisdom is the principal thing, it is very, very important. In these books, knowledge has been put into them that people will read and break out of things. For example, Breaking Out of the Patterns and the Negative Bloodline of Your Father and Mother’s House; a lot of people are actually ignorant. You see a lot of people, the exact, same thing that their fathers and mothers went through, they go through. It’s been a cycle over and over again, but by the revelation of the spirit, somebody can actually break out of it. A lot of people are Christians, but they still go through battles that they aren’t supposed to go through. The Bible said my people perish because they lack knowledge, but when God brings knowledge and puts it in the form of a book, what happens is that when one opens the book, knowledge comes into you. The Bible said that when Jesus read the book that was given to Him in Luke chapter 4, He said that they shall be fulfilled. The revelation comes to you, and there’s an area of prosperity about what to do, how to break out; there’s the area of breaking repeated cycles; it’s not just about making people know about it, but there is a practical step to letting people know how to break out of these things. That’s why it is necessary for anyone that picks these books, it’s going to add something else to their lives.
What separates you from other preachers of the gospel?
Well, everyone that preaches the gospel in truth and in spirit and is called, it is not in my hands or in my power to say I’m better than this or I’m better than that; it is in the hands of God. But one thing that I’ll say that’s unique about us or the church or the person, is that our zeal is for the work of God, our zeal is the heartbeat of God, reaching out to the poor, the sick. That’s our supreme task; going everywhere to ensure that the kingdom of darkness is depopulated, because Jesus, in Matthew chapter 24 verse 14, said that this gospel must be preached to every creature, then the end of the world. So, we want to reach the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is the reason you see us travel from different parts of the world, nation to nation, from one part of Nigeria to the other where we have our evangelistic ministry – Chris Okafor Ministry; because that’s what Jesus came to do – set the captives free, depopulate the kingdom of darkness, reach out to the less privileged, and make everyone rapturable; to be prepared for the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. So, that’s what we do.
What makes a good preacher; there are some preachers that can’t really preach well?
What makes a good preacher is that, you can’t just be a preacher because you want to be a preacher; you can’t just be a preacher because you went to the Bible school. You have to be called, and every time God calls the person, God gives the person or the man a message. But when you see the man that’s not called by God, the person doesn’t have a message. You have to be a man who reads, a man who studies; you deliberately need to be in the place of study and in the place of prayer most importantly, because the letter killeth, but the spirit of God giveth life. So, when people speak from the place of the flesh, just speaking big grammar without the spirit of God, they are not going to change the lives of people, but when you pray, like the Bible taught us, Jesus didn’t do anything because He is the son of God. He did everything He did, He performed miracles, because He consistently went to pray. Every now and then, He goes to pray. So, from the place of prayer, from the place of study, God gives you messages, He gives revelation that will affect people and when it comes, you’ll find out that the lives of people are touched. But the man who’s not called by God cannot devote their time to praying and when you can’t pray, you can’t get blessings from God, because people don’t understand the dynamics of prayers. What is prayer? Prayer is the communication between humanity and divinity. Until a man prays, God doesn’t come because God isn’t in charge here on earth, man is in charge here on earth. So, it is not easier for God to come until a man has invited God from the place of prayer. What is revival? Revival simply means when God comes to town. Note that God is everywhere, but He doesn’t manifest everywhere; somebody has to call God to bring Him down to the place of prayer and when God shows up, revival begins to happen. So, the preacher who doesn’t stay in the presence of God, like the Bible says, he that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High, the secret place actually means the place of prayer, that is where God breathes on man, that’s where God gives man revelation to affect his people, to affect his generation. So, you can’t be a good preacher if you aren’t called and if you’re not a man who spends time in the presence of God. That’s the difference.
What got you interested in preaching?
I didn’t choose to be a preacher. I was called even before I was born. You see, it’s so interesting… Growing up, my father told me the story of how my mother gave birth to the first son, who has gone to be with the Lord. And then the second. So, after then, it was girls, girls, girls. You know this typical African tradition of believing in male children, and as if the female or girl child isn’t important. But they are very, very important. Anyway, that’s just the mentality of the past. There were already three girls, and there was pressure on my mother; my father’s brothers were advising my father to get another wife, so he can get male children. There was pressure, threatening to bring the marriage to an end. So, my mother began to seek the face of God as a woman of prayer, because I can still remember how my mother would wake up everyday as early as 5:00AM to go to church or the prayer house to clean the house of God. She does that every single day. So, before I was born, there were prophecies from great men and women, prophets and prophetesses to my mother that you are going to give birth to a baby boy, and this will be the name of the boy. But this boy is going to be a great prophet of God, he will begin to prophesy at the age of eight, and it started like that. Eventually, my mother became pregnant. One of the stories she shared was how she was coming back from market one day, one woman crossed over from the other side of the road, came to her and said, “Madam, I have a message from the Lord. This is what the Lord is saying – you’re having a boy.” My mother didn’t even know she was pregnant, according to her. “This boy is going to be a great servant of God, and he will begin to prophesy at the age of eight.” As soon as the woman was done, the woman left, and it was the same prophesy an angel had given to my mother in the dream. Eventually, my mother discovered that she was pregnant. Then, when the pregnancy started showing, she went to the market and bought this frame that’s widely believed to be the portrait of Jesus. When she’s sleeping she’ll put it by her bed after praying and she would say, “Jesus, I’ve received words that my son is going to be a prophet, that he will preach from the age of eight; Jesus, I want him to be like you.” This she did throughout the duration of the pregnancy. She didn’t even bother to go for scan; she believed the word of God. Eventually, she put to bed, and it was me. They didn’t think of what to call me, because the prophecy came forth of what I should be called. The name Chris is Christian, Christ-like. Then, my native name or Igbo name, when translated, means the light of God – Ifechukwu. You can see that it wasn’t just like we were looking for one kind of name, no! We already knew, because it was given by God. My father was a prayer warrior; when my father prayed, you would see him wake up by midnight, kneeling down by his shallow bed, praying. In our house growing up, it was a taboo if you didn’t go to church and every Friday and Saturday, we must fast till a particular time. Everybody! If you don’t fast, you are in trouble. So, I was raised in that manner, and growing up, at age six, seven, getting to eight years, the manifestation began. Then, I received Jesus as my Lord and personal saviour at a very tender age of seven. At a point in time, God started revealing things to me, that I didn’t even understand what they meant. The first was that I just woke up at midnight and went to where my father was sleeping, I tapped him to wake up and my mother, then I started saying to my father that you have to eat, something is about to happen in your father’s house; they want to kill somebody, they want to kill a baby, but in their mind, they felt I might be having a nightmare. My father said go back and sleep. So, about a week later, my paternal cousin called Hannah was involved in a ghastly accident – the bus they were travelling with to the market, somersaulted. They rescued everyone with different kinds of wounds, injuries and all. Unknown to them, the bus fell on my cousin, but they didn’t know that somebody was there. So, every other person that was supposed to go to the hospital, one way or the other, had gone. It was about two days later as they were removing the bus that they saw her; she was almost dead. They rushed her to the hospital, then they brought a letter. It was then my father said, oh, my son woke up and gave this prophecy, and then from that time, growing up, they might be playing football in my street, and I’ll just go there and say this person is going to score, this person will score and this person will win 4-0, and it will come to pass. The spirit of God can just come on me like that, and if we are going to somebody’s house, I can just say that this is what is going to happen and it will be like that. It got to a time that people will gather in one room, face-me-I-face-you, where we were living in Benin City at that time, and as a little boy, they will say come and tell us what you see and all that. That’s how I grew up.
What exactly does it mean to be born again?
To be born again? In John chapter 14 verse 6, Jesus said that I am the way, the truth and the life and no one cometh to the Father except by me, and then in the book of John chapter 3, He said except a man be born again, he can’t enter the kingdom of God. Meaning, physically, we have been born, but spiritually, there has to be repentance. It is the process of giving your life to Jesus; your spirit and heart are reborn. I mean, you should repent in the spirit, give your life to Jesus as your Lord and personal saviour and you begin to go to a Bible reading church where the word of God is preached and shared without controversies. Then, you begin to grow, go to discipleship classes, go to leadership and believers’ classes. So, to be born again means coming out of darkness and coming into light, and becoming another person and becoming a different person from the lifestyle you used to have.
How does a preacher or a born again person run away from temptations, because I understand that even when you’re born again, temptations still come your way?
Prayerfully, and mastery of the thoughts that come to your mind. Also, remember that the word of the Lord says He will not allow temptation that’s more than us to come.
Let’s talk about your ministry a little. Your ministry has been growing in leaps and in bounds, what would you attribute the success of Liberation City to?
The church has been going forward. It’s not my ministry, it’s the house of God. It’s the church of Jesus; Jesus who died on the cross for everyone, my Lord and saviour, Jesus. Jesus said I will build my church and the gate of hell shall not prevail. Once you’re tied and connected to the source, where God called you and asked you what to do, He will sustain you. When God gives you a vision, he gives you provision. Every vision given by God comes with provision, and that provision has to be sustained by divine principles from the place of service, from the place of covenant consecration, persistence, diligence, and there’s no power stopping you once God is with you. Especially if you go to Him every now and then, in prayers and serving Him in truth and in spirit, there’s no way He won’t prosper His work. It is Jesus that owns the church and He said that the gate of hell shall not prevail and thank God, Jesus has been building His church and the gate of hell has never prevailed and will never prevail.
Amen! Now, any preacher that wants to have a taste of success in his or her ministry, what should the person do?
First, you must be called by God and you must hold onto God, honour Him in truth and in spirit. Jesus said the hour has come when those who do so will do it in truth and in spirit. So, you’re to serve God in truth in every situation. Once you serve God in spirit and in truth, you will see His hands in your life, He will follow you. When you take the fish out of water, what happens? The fish dies! So, when you stay connected to your source, nothing kills you. The bottom line here is stay connected to the source.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced since you started Liberation City, and how were you able to survive and manage it?
Misrepresentation! For example, at one time or the other you would see different lies. Misinterpretation also, in the sense that, there was a film that came out about last year or last two years where our Lord and personal saviour, Jesus was depicted as gay. That is the greatest misrepresentation of all time, and then Christians didn’t go to fight, didn’t go to war, because we know that the God we serve is able to fight and protect His name. So, when you are being misrepresented, that can be painful. Many times you see one or two negative stories in the press, in the media, and then you’re asking whether it’s yourself or somebody else. You seen all kinds of things and stories. But like Jesus endured in His days, you also do. And the beautiful thing about all this is that, if God calls you, He’ll sustain you, if you follow Him in truth and in spirit. Misrepresentation, like when Jesus was healing the sick, casting out demons, doing all manner of miracles. They said it was the power of beelzebub, that it wasn’t the power of God. For example, God called you, you’re waiting on the Lord, keeping yourself, staying consecrated, so that you don’t go against the will of God, doing your best, having sleepless nights, staying awake and praying while others are sleeping and you fast everyday, and when God shows himself mighty, people or somebody might say it’s not of God, it’s occultic power or God isn’t real. We’ve woken up to see some stories, and when you hear or read these stories, you’ll now start asking yourself, is this me, can I be the one and all that? Different kinds of misinterpretation, but the beauty of it is that as long as you’re here making impact and dealing with the kingdom of darkness, there will always be reprisal attacks that come back to you. The other day David said that while he took care of his father’s sheep, every now and then, the lion and the bear always come after the sheep; but he goes after the lion and the bear, takes them by their head and strikes them and rescues the sheep of his father. And every time he goes to rescue them, they come after him. So, for every time God uses you to reach people, to touch people, there will always be satanic reprisals, demonic retaliation, demonic reactions, and when the enemy isn’t able to attack you spiritually, the enemy will try to misrepresent you, using human body. But remember, if God is going to bless you, He will use human beings and if the devil also wants to destroy you, he will use human beings. All it takes is for somebody to raise a story, a line that doesn’t exist. That’s what I mean by misrepresentation.
What has been the worst lie you’ve heard about yourself and your ministry?
Well, there was this occasion where a woman came to the church and was prayed for. We never knew the woman and the next thing we saw was the woman saying we paid her to fake a miracle. In fact, I said God, what is all this? We still see miracles, we still see God blessing people, we see the mighty hand and wave of God, we haven’t finished recording all the testimonies of what God is doing for us, then you go to pay somebody; it was a serious thing. Later, I then discovered that it was some pastors and some people that were responsible for all the rubbish and nonsense, because she was interviewed, she told them that she went to this church and the man of God prayed for me. The next thing, some people called the woman, kept her somewhere and started carrying all kinds of stories. It truly baffled us and if this kind of story is true, we have security agencies and police, which got involved and found out that these were all lies. And you know there were issues that preceded this. It was a lie; the enemy set it up one after the other. Recall that one time in that same period and season, a little child went missing from the church, there were all kinds of stories and tension, and I went to God and I put that little boy in prayers. Three days, the boy was still missing and the parents are members of the church; five days, up to a week, then I said Lord, I will not eat until the boy is found, show us where this boy is, let this boy come out. The following week, I still refused to eat anything, still casting and praying, and God used a woman, a woman who’s an actress called Edith Irabor, maybe you might know her. It was her that God used. She saw this boy on the road, the boy doesn’t even know anywhere or anything. What is your father’s name? He can’t pronounce, what’s your mothers name, he can’t pronounce, what church do you go to, he doesn’t know, who’s your pastor? Pastor Chris is my pastor. God used this woman. She went to the internet, brought out any Pastor Chris she could find. She brought Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, he said no, but when she brought Pastor Chris Okafor and showed the picture to the boy, he said yes, my pastor. She took the boy to one of these orphanage homes, went to the internet, got our number and started calling that there was this boy and then the rest is history. That was how the actress brought the boy to the church. It was wild jubilation in the church. Meanwhile, they had already started carrying news that the reason the church is growing is because we have used people for rituals, that this boy had been used for rituals. It was a horrible experience. But to the glory of God, they are still members of the church and the boy is now on schorlarship. That’s how God fought for me, that’s how God delivered the church. There’s a pastor who’s in prison for a similar case, the man might be innocent, I’m not saying he is, but he might be innocent or not. So, what if God didn’t intervene from the place of prayer, like a week or two weeks later? We were having a programme, a place where we bought a land, because we were extending because the place where we were using wasn’t going to be enough, so we were extending. While we were digging soak-away, we found a corpse, like a skeleton. They didn’t report to the elders of the church that bought the land that they buried somebody there. When they saw that, they quickly informed me and I told them to go and inform the police, get the local government involved too. The police came and took inventory of everything and submitted to the local government. We then involved the people we bought the land from and asked them why they didn’t tell us, they said oh, they were looking for money to transport the corpse. Before you knew what was going on, while we were still making arrangement, the following day, over 18 police men came with press men, camera and all. Where’s the man of God, where’s the senior pastor, he’s using people for rituals? It was a drama of its own, but God so kind, we called the police, called the family and the local government chairman. When the policemen saw them, they knew they were not making any headway. Who reported to you? They said we didn’t need to know; so that’s how they left. They were looking for something to hold us at all cost. It was later we discovered that certain pastors grouped and said that it was since I came to the area, that I’ve collected all their members. I said I don’t collect members, it is Jesus. Jesus said if I be lifted up, I’ll draw all men to myself; it is God that draws people and Jesus said in John chapter 33 that no man can do this but the son. The Bible said we aren’t ignorant on the devices of the enemy. In a church service we were having live, our service is broadcast live on Liberation TV, on our Facebook, our YouTube channel, a lady broke through from the protocol, came outside while I was ministering to somebody and said hey, stop it, you’re a wicked man, you impregnated me. I was like who are you? I didn’t know how to react, then the holy spirit said to me, don’t react, begin to laugh. So, I started laughing, then I fell to the ground, the next thing, it’s you that came to rape me, you came to one church, it’s a Church of God’s Mission, it was inside their church bus that you slept with me and impregnated me. The next time you came to Warri and kidnapped me and slept with me under the fruit junction in the afternoon. It was a plan for evil, because this thing was happening simultaneously, one after the other, well planned. So, our security men arrested her, then she started behaving like a lunatic. But imagine if the message came to pass, but God confused her. In other words, she was arrested, then her family came and said oh, she has a mental problem. I said what mental problem is that? She passed every other church where you said she came from and came here. It was later we discovered that some pastors were behind all that.
Why would some pastors be after you?
I don’t know, that’s what I can’t explain. They said since you came, our members started going to your church, and I’m not aware of all these. Then, I said if pastors that are not politicians are now doing these, when Jesus comes, when Jesus appears, indeed judgement will begin from the church.
What is the commonest mistake that most preachers make?
The commonest mistake you make is when you leave God and think you have arrived, and you start promoting yourself instead of God, and when your focus is broken. The greatest attack on any man is a broken focus. Once your focus is broken , that’s the worst thing that can happen to you.
What are the ingredients of a good message?
A- Staying in the presence of God, waiting on the Lord, studying the word of God, in the place of prayer. I think that’s all.
How does one identify a good preacher? What are the attributes, the qualities of a good preacher?
If the message of a man changes your life, he’s a good preacher.
How does one identify a good church, you know we have some churches that people say are not good, and we have churches that people say are good? How do you tell the good ones from the bad ones?
The Bible says that by their fruits we shall know them. Where the word of God is preached, where Jesus is all, where He is everything, where Jesus is preached, where Jesus is promoted and not the pastor, not the preacher, not anybody. So, it’s all about Jesus.
You’ve talked a lot about miracles that people have witnessed in your ministry. Of all these miracles, which one shocked you the most and which one stands out?
The one miracle that stands out is when people give their lives to Christ, because anybody can receive a miracle and still go to hell. But when you give your life to Jesus, and follow Him in truth and in spirit… But if I want to say this miracle is the best and all, it will be as if I am taking the glory. It’s not by my hand that this miracle is working, it is God working this miracle by my hand. We’ve seen the barren, barrenness of 30 years broken, of 20, 10 years. But again, it is God. We’ve seen healing, we’ve seen God heal people of HIV, hepatitis, corona virus, we’ve seen the power of prophetic, we’ve seen different kinds of healing from generational bondage. We’ve seen people getting healed, getting restored, but the most of all is when people repent and give their lives to Jesus Christ. I think that’s what I classify as the most important miracle I’ve ever seen.
I saw a video where you predicted that there is going to be a plane crash, and now that we have this Nigerian Air Force plane that crashed, I’d like you to shed more light on it, as well as what your take is on prophecies and stuff, because some people don’t believe in prophecies…
We just need to believe; if you hear some people telling you that I don’t believe in God, it still doesn’t mean that God doesn’t exist. It doesn’t stop God from existing. If you say that fufu doesn’t exist, it doesn’t mean that fufu will stop existing. So, whatever you believe in, it’s yours, it’s left for you.That this prophecy we talked about was given on Sunday and when God gave the prophecy, it was very specific that we should pray for the military. If you watch the video, it was very specific – that God showed me a military plane crash, that there were many people on the plane falling down, crashing and then we should pray and we’ve been praying. If you don’t believe, well, that’s your problem because if God reveals something that is yet to happen and it happens, what does that tell you? It tells you that there is a God who sees, who knows the beginning from the end and the end from the beginning. So, with the way the military is going, we can’t defeat Boko Haram as it is right now because terrorism is more of spiritual than physical. So, we need to lead them in prayer. Look at it this way, for how many years has Nigeria’s military been fighting yet they haven’t been able to defeat Boko Haram? From the time of Obasanjo to the time of Jonathan and now to the time of Buhari; the second term. They haven’t been able to defeat them.
So, do you think that with prayers they can defeat Boko Haram?
Yes, prayer means calling God, handing over to God. Prayer means God take over, it means God intervene. Prayer means God, we can’t do this on our own, we are calling you to take over. Have you forgotten in 2nd Chronicles 20, there was war, the Bible said when some nations gathered against the people of Israel, what did they do? They called upon God in the place of worship. As they were worshipping God, the Bible said that God came down mightily and laid ambush and eighty five thousand of the enemies were killed. That’s how they won it. So, if we recognize God and declare seven days of prayer, let us pray, this thing will be a thing of the past, it will come to an end. That’s why we are praying and hoping the government would recognize that and pray and you will see what God will do. The same God yesterday is the same God today and forever.
You said something about predictions. Why is it that most preachers sometimes see something and yet they are unable to stop it from happening; why are they not able to arrest those things, why are they not able to stop it from happening despite seeing it?
Thank you! That’s a good question. When God reveals, He reveals to redeem, but also know this – that revelation, prophecy is for two things. Number one is to reveal the true intentions of God and number two is to reveal the intention of the enemy, of the adversary. When God reveals something, there are appropriate quarters that should get involved, there are appropriate quarters that will say God has spoken, what are we expected to do? Because He paints instructions to eliminate destruction. For example, a doctor that knows you have malaria will tell you, and you’re expected to ask the doctor what am I supposed to do and the doctor says take this medication. Now, if you refuse to take the medication, is there anything the doctor would do specially to stop that sickness or that infirmity? No! So, it’s the same thing. If God reveals something to me and I say this is what God revealed to me, this is what God says you should do, what if you don’t do it? For example, God spoke in Genesis chapter 15, He said to the people of Israel, to Abraham, that your people are going to be in the land of Egypt, your seed, your descendants will be there for 400 years. But guess what? They ended up spending 430 years. Does that mean that God lies? No! It means that when God gives a word, it’s not in God’s place to do something, it is in our place, and as a matter of fact, God doesn’t have right here on earth, it is only when we call on Him. Many times we make a lot of mistakes because we tend to be very religious people instead of spiritual people. Religiously speaking, God isn’t in charge, unless you put Him in charge. Jesus speaking the other day in Matthew chapter 18 verse 18, He said that whatsoever you bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven. So, God revealed this thing and it was broadcast live that the military should pray while we are also praying. Did they get the message, did they receive the message that was sent to them? If they received it, did they also pray, did they at any point in time say what do we do next, what must we do? So, God reveals for us to know what’s going on and for us also to deal with it. So, that’s why I have a typical example – if a doctor gives you drugs to take, you must take it. But if you don’t take it, there’s nothing the doctor can do.
Interesting! What is your dream for Liberation City?
My dream is to take the gospel of Jesus everywhere, to see everyone come to Jesus, to depopulate the kingdom of darkness as never before.
For all the things God has done for you, which one are you most grateful for; all the things He has done personally for you?
I’m grateful to God for keeping me because I would have been in the land of the dead, I wouldn’t have been here no more. About eight years ago, I remember I was in the lion’s den, face to face with death, over fourteen men shooting at me, when I was taken. I was kept for 58 days, blindfolded, with chains on my hands and on my legs, I saw many people shot dead, they killed many people, and God brought me back. In fact, that day, I was grateful to God and I will be all my life.
Let’s even revisit that your kidnap story a little, where were you coming from and where were you going to? How were the kidnappers able to capture you, how were they able to get you that day?
We were coming back from a crusade and that was on a Saturday. We finished the crusade that evening… For two weeks I’ve been travelling from one place to another for crusade. From Benin, we went to Asaba, and from Asaba to Port Harcourt, then to Anambra State, Awka, to be precise. Peter Obi was still the governor then, so we were coming, after the crusade. We were heading to the hotel, then I said I hadn’t been in church for two Sundays, let’s be on our way. So, we were travelling, we left the hotel around 8 or 9PM, to see if we can get to Benin, whether it was by 12, so we would just look for a place to sleep, very early in the morning, we can start our journey again. Then, hoping to get to Lagos around 8 and quickly meet up with the service. Alas! The enemy came, but God fought…
Where exactly were you at when they struck?
I think we were just leaving Awka, because it was not up to 15 minutes we left the hotel. So, I think it was still within Awka…
What was the first thing the kidnappers did when they had gotten you? What did they say to you first?
They blindfolded me. They pulled off my shirt, but it was my singlet that they used to blindfold me. Then, my P.A, Pastor Tony was also blindfolded, they put him inside the boot, then they tried to force me inside the boot, but the boot didn’t size me, so they put me at the back of their car. That was how the journey of 58 days began. You know, they also kidnapped the former Speaker of Imo State House of Assembly, Hon. Godfrey Dikeocha. I think they got him two days before I got there, so we met at that place. As a matter of fact, I was released before him.
So, how did they eventually release you? They said you gave them N20 million, is that correct?
Yes! I was inside, I didn’t even know what was going on. It was after they released me that I heard that my people in church, my friends, were able to raise N20 million and gave to these animals. But I understand times and seasons, because I was clocking the age where my brothers died; they normally die at that age, so it was a spiritual pattern and it was something God showed me that I will be fighting and dealing with prior to that time. But because of what God had shown me, that I’ll be dealing with, that’s why I escaped it. Thank God I’m here, the church of God is moving forward. Releasing me was a miracle. They let me go, but kept my P.A, that we should go and look for N7 million for my P.A after collecting N20 million. So, I came out to see so much marks on my body…
Did they beat you?
Yes, they did it once, they said man of God, we’ve been respecting you since, your people don’t want to bring money…
So, they even recognized you?
Yes, they recognized me.
So, the N7 million for your P.A, did you eventually send it?
Yes, we had to go and borrow money.
Your kidnap, being a prophet, didn’t you see it coming?
Like I said, God had revealed all that and we had been dealing with it in the place of prayer, and like I told you, that was a day that people die. Like my brothers, if people get to that day, they die, so God used me to break that curse, that yoke in my family. So, that’s what we were dealing with, praying, fasting, sacrificing, so God revealed it, but the important thing is that God reveals Himself in different ways, because sometimes, if God reveals things without it happening, people will not even know the implications of what we are dealing with. God revealed it, allowed people to see it and showed me His power. You saw the vehicle, the jeep, where I was sitting, how come a single bullet didn’t touch me? The Lord kept me, everyone in the car, that’s a miracle. How many times was I put in the boot of the car, me and the former Speaker of Imo State House of Assembly, Hon. Godfrey Dikeocha, he’s still alive. They put us in the boot, the man is equally tall, with so much arms and ammunition in there. They will go and attack police people, at least two to three times. The weapons were in the boot, they’ll attack police stations, shooting at police people. We were blindfolded, with chains on our hands and legs, but thank God we are all alive…