Sunday, August 22, 2010
An encounter with Reverend Chris Okotie
I sent him a text for an Interview with him, he never replied until when i put a call through, his protocol as an presidential aspirant is high and strict to that of a serving president but trust i break even, i spoke to him, his grammar was much but i agree to his tense, in the reception of his mutmillon church at Ikeja we did this..... Reverend Chris Okotie can be called a veteran presidential candidate, as since the nation's return to democracy in 1999, he has always aspired to lead the nation. Against expectations, he is again contesting for the presidency in 2011. But why does the Okotie brand not sell despite his declaration that the Almighty has always been behind his bid? In this interview, the reverend with a knack for controversy, explained to Ayodele Samuel his plight and why the Okotie brand faces challenges politically. He also spoke on his plans for Nigeria. Again, you want to contest in the presidential election come 2011. Why? The tenacity and resilience that have accompanied this action are predicated on the fact that this is a divine mandate. I am a servant of God and I will not be presumptious to arrogate honours to myself that are inconsistent with the responsibilities I have. So I declare cleary that the Fresh Party is a mandate from the Lord, and secondly, I feel a sense of responsibility to my nation. The philosophy is God first, then my country. In 2003 and 2007 you said that God declared you would be president, yet you lost... (Cuts in) It is important that those who listen to people like me must understand that the language of faith is different from the ordinary mundane interaction that men have amongst themselves. When God gives an instruction the time frame is determined by Him. The most important thing is that he who is instructed must obey. Pharaoh was very antagonistic towards Moses for a long while, even though he knew that God sent Moses to set the Israelites free, until God had to demonstrate. Such is the characteristic feature that when God gives an instruction, sometimes it takes a while to manifest. So you are the Moses of Nigeria? Moses is in the Old Testament. We in the New Testament believe in the Messiah, that is our Lord Jesus Christ. So I wouldn't identify with Moses, I will identify with Jesus Christ. So if you ask what my philosophy is, I would say it is Messianic. The Messianic philosophy is sacrificial. Why did you lose elections? First and foremost it's timing. God has timing for the fulfillment of every promise. Secondly, the political irresponsibility of the PDP. As the government in power, they have not been able to organise credible elections and they have denounced the whole concept of democracy by their total disregard for law and order, and that is why we find ourselves in the present quagmire. Is that an indication that your party is afraid of the ruling party? Fresh Party is a small party, and I do not think we can be compared to the PDP. We do not have the strong platform to compete with the PDP. But I do know that the Nigerian people are greater than the PDP, and because we are going to the Nigerian people, we have hope. This time around, Nigerians will demand that their votes must count and things will change. You have not been enjoying the support of Christian organisations in your presidential bid, why? At the beginning, it was a noble idea. Some of my colleagues had not begun to understand the priesthood of Melschedee and how that is relevant in the political set-up. So now we have much more support than when we started. In 2003 and 2007 we had progression, and in 2011, I am sure that the support from Christians will be overwhelming. Again, I think that Christians have not participated fully as they should, and I liken it to ignorance. Once you are anointed in the scripture you can hold a political office, and that is where the Melchsedee priesthood defers from the ironic order. I think it is the right time Christians participated in the process. Secondly, we must make sure that God continues to favour us because God controls every nation through policy and prophecy. Do you believe the new INEC headed by Professor Attahiru Jega can conduct a credible election in 2011? I have never at any time doubted the credibility of Professor Iwu. I said it very clearly that I thought he was probably one of the best chairmen that we ever had. He was very courageous, very forthright and it was not his fault, but things happened the way they did because he was just one man in an organisation. From the revelation we've had so far, we find that actual rigging takes place in the field. Professor Jega has distinguished himself in academics, but on his ability to cope with the political setting, let's await. INEC is under the control of the executive. Again, the manipulation of the resources of INEC by the executive and the other bodies within the government makes it impossible for it to perform. I think that Professor Jega would be incapacitated, not because he does not desire to but the environment is not conducive and the PDP is a master at deception. They are masquerading under their desire to go for electoral reforms. I think they are enjoying every aspect of the political shenanigans. Do you think there will be free and fair elections in 2011? No I do not. Not because INEC is not desirous of doing it, but because the PDP has already destroyed the entire process. What is your take on PDP's zoning arrangement? It's of no consequence, PDP is not Nigeria. Partisan politics at that level has nothing to do with us. If they want to zone, that's up to them, if they don't want to zone, that's up to them, but I know that political parties should have principles at will to suite their desire. The constitution, however, does not say anything about zoning, so it's a PDP affair, and therefore, it is inconsequential. President Goodluck Jonathan has spent about a 100 days in office, how would you assess him? With due regard, I have said that President Goodluck Jonathan is a penultimate phenomenon. He is a gentleman that means well for Nigeria, but I do not think he has the material and requisite understanding of the complexities of a government like what the PDP has put in place. He was part of Yar'Adua's government and therefore, he cannot naturally be different. What I see is a political aphorism which is the characteristics of the PDP. I think Goodluck cannot and may not take Nigeria to the next level. He belongs to a generation that lacks vision for this nation, he is part of a government which purpose and philosophies are conterminous to Nigeria. I just know that in the affair of this nation we need somebody who is not tinted by the PDP. We need somebody who is more visionary, more articulate, who can interface the Nigerian dream with the concept of globalisation and in a millennium where the quest for harmony aids innovation. President Goodluck Jonathan does not have the political identity for that. I just want to say to the Nigerian people that they must remember that there is a God who has helped this nation on six occasions and that Nigeria is all we have. Nigeria is worth fighting and dying for, and in 2011 we will see the courage and tenacity that make us who we are. There will be manifest. I would urge them to look in the direction of Chris Okotie because I believe the answer lies in generational shift.