‘Nigeria’s government must listen to the cries of the people’
The presiding bishop of Christ Royal Family International Churches, Tom Samson, is an educationist that believes in upholding the standard and qualitative education. The church recently celebrated its midyear thanksgiving, where he bears his mind on actions the government can employ to unify the country. Excerpts by SEYI JOHN SALAU:
What is the rationale behind ‘It’s War’ conference?
Yes, the question has come up over and over, why war when everybody is looking for peace? After I started ‘Reigning in Life Conference’, God began to minister to me, He said my son, I want you to go out there, and launch attack against demonic oppressions. He said, ‘many of my children have been crying to me and it is as if I am not answering them.’ The Lord told me the case of Daniel, He said ‘when Daniel was crying to me, I sent my angel to give him his report; to give him his desire, but the prince of Persia withheld the answers to his prayers. The Lord said there are many demonic powers, certain household wickedness, frustrating my mandate in people’s lives. Again, the Lord told me, that he promised Moses 400 years to bring his children from captivity, but they never came out until 430 years. This is to say that there were demonic powers that caused the 30 years delay.
The Lord said there are certain persons that are supposed to be landlords but they are still tenants, not because they are not hard working. Imagine a person acquiring a piece of land and the land gets hijacked. Also, you can give money to a mason to build; he can run away with it. There are certain misfortunes in life, that make people look as if they don’t know what they are doing in life. The Lord said I should launch attack against bad luck, promise and fail, household wickedness and all kinds of demonic power.
After God gave me the instruction, so I said, ‘okay, Lord, how do I go about this?’ The Lord said separate one section out of ‘Reign in Life’ Conference, and let everybody have the consciousness of war, it is a spiritual warfare. Now, how do I start off? I need to make an impression with this. And while I was pondering on how to go about this, I said okay, it has to look military, because many times what people see, they can easily relate with. I thought of putting on a camouflage and making it dramatic so that you would know that, yes, this is war. Everybody was concerned and kept asking, ‘what is this man of God doing? Who is he fighting? It was a slogan all over Lagos. People came, and then they discovered that it was a spiritual war, the Lord honoured it. In the first meeting, the crowd was massive, the anointing was amazing, there were massive deliverance; people were vomiting, and things happened, the power of God was in action.
You seem to have much similarity with Archbishop Benson Idahosa; did he at any time mentor you?
You see, I grew up in Benin City though I was born in Ile Ife, and as a teenager, I was in Benin and if I must tell you, people ask me, are you among bishop boys? Are you papa’s son? You resemble bishop, people say I am a bold man, I am confrontational. I saw that in Archbishop. You can see a man afar off and swallow him, I swallowed Papa, there are traits in me you can’t doubt- boldness of going for great things from nothing, believing I can dare anything. Though from a lowly background, I never see anything too big to accomplish. You could see another spirit of Archbishop in me.
Apart from Archbishop Idahosa, is there other men of God that inspire you?
Papa Oyedepo is another; any time I am with him we spend nothing less than three hours. In the area of education, God is using us to do a lot. As of today Christ Royal Family International Churches has 15 schools; nursery, primary, secondary, college of education; we are running a university programme, Monarch University, that we are now going through approval process – he moved to Canaan land, me too I built a city there, Royal City in Ota. I am building a University; he has built three, so those are the people that can give you encouragement. If you are looking for a mentor look for people who have excelled in the area of your dreams.
Some Christians have alleged islamisation of Nigeria even as others think the government is not very serious in addressing the unrest in some parts of the country. What is your take?
Well, government has denied that several times; let us take them by their word, even our VP, a Christian, has said there is nothing like that. Though certain events have unfolded with appointments, ranking and Christians being removed from a place and replaced by Fulanis, there is quota system in this country, where you have to share things equally, you have to appreciate that there are Igbos, Yorubas, Hausas, Fulanis and other tribes; so there has to be fair deals. My appeal to government is that let there be fair share; we don’t need this suspicion, there has been much outcry, and we need the government that can listen to the cries of the people. The Igbo people should be remembered. Let everybody have part in the nation; the sharing of positions is lopsided, people feel they are not well represented, you say they have legislators but the executive commands the power. Major decisions are taken at executive level. So, my appeal is that government should ensure fair share so that everybody would have a sense of belonging in this country.
The general view in Nigeria is that the standard of education has fallen, especially in public schools; how have been able to ensure standard in your schools?
You see that is why I built college of education, knowing that I am into education, and when we applied for permission to build college of education, they appealed to me to make sure that as a man of God, we bring morals; and I gave them my word.
People say things are expensive; teachers also want big money, they go to the same market doctors go, the same market politicians go, the days of giving teachers poor salaries are over. In my school I make sure you follow the syllabus, whatever that is there; we have people that go round like inspectors, to make sure that standards are followed.
What can government do both at federal and state levels to sustain the standard of education?
They need to invest more, money is the key. Sometimes to build laboratory alone I spent between N7million to N10million. In education you need to upgrade, do you know there is money government supposed to pay to us; we that are private owners, we are fighting for that, because education is expensive. If I tell you what I pay every month, I have over 600 staff this is because education is part of my services to community. Government need to increase their budget on education. They should extend the largesse to private practitioners as well.