Anele Nwachuwku, a prophet and general overseer of Rhema Deliverance Mission, recently celebrated his 46th birthday. On the sidelines he spoke with a select group of journalists on some key national issues relating to the 2019 general election and his passion for uplifting lives. Excerpts by SEYI JOHN SALAU, who was there:
At 46, what are the lessons life has taught you?
Life is full of ups and downs. I did not have a place to stay and someone gave me shelter at some points in my life; I had the opportunity to steal the person’s dollars and I did not. I believe life has taught me to live upright and uphold integrity. Take for instance, the members of the church that started with me since inception are still with me; if I lacked integrity, am not sure they would still be with me.
You decided to celebrate quietly among your flock; what influenced your decision?
I believe I am not a ‘show man’. The best way I thought of celebrating is to celebrate with my flock. I believe at 46 I have come a long way with my members; I believe God has used them to shape my life. It is my way of appreciating them.
If given the chance, are there things you would like to change or do you regret being a Pastor?
Well, the regret is that someone who is a general in the Pentecostal circle that we were supposed to be looking up to, stood out against us. The person fought us but in all God saw us through. In Romans 9 verse 15, the Bible says it is not to him that runneth or willeth, but of God that showeth mercy. God showed us mercy by raising help for us in places we did not expect. Today, I can tell you that our today is better than our yesterday. Even those that they tried to confuse into thinking I’m a fake preacher can all testify; this is because with evidence your explanations will be made easy. As Jesus was ascending to heaven He shouted ‘open ye the gate.’ They asked who the king of glory is, Jesus said the Lord strong and mighty in battle, Psalms 24 verse 7. What was Jesus trying to show? He was trying to show that He is coming with evidence. If you have evidence in life doors will open.
Some people believe that ‘men of God’ are the problem of the society?
It is not true that men of God are the problem of the society. The problem of the society is that people are not listening to the word of God. We tell people to abstain from evil, but has it stopped armed robbery? An armed robber goes to church and mosque. The problem is that some people have refused to change as they are used to the evil lifestyles they are into. The Bible says you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. If you do not know the truth you would still remain in bondage, it is the truth you know that makes you free.
There is an observation that while China, Malaysia and other countries are investing heavily in technology and industries; Nigeria has more churches springing all over the place… (cuts-in)
One thing I must tell you is that majority of the people in the countries you mentioned do not serve God, they serve mammon and strange idols. In Nigeria, we are godly. If we do not have many churches we won’t have space to accommodate worshipers. We are making people that would in turn make the nation. When a person is healed in the church the country is healed. Don’t forget that to depopulate the kingdom of darkness and populate the kingdom of light we need to have more churches.
So, does having more churches instead of factories translate to economic power?
Now you are talking about factories or industries of which we are not against. Let me give you a very clear picture – you cannot operate factories without power. Many factories are closing up because they are not able to meet up with the expenses of buying diesel, as there is no supply of electricity. Imagine buying one million naira worth of diesel to produce N500, 000 worth of goods, will you continue to produce? So, the problem is that the government of Nigeria has refused to produce adequate power to sustain factories.
Again, does this mean that the prayer of the churches is not affecting the nation positively?
The thing is that some persons in government are only after their pockets and are not interested in what favours the masses. I always make it known that a good politician believes in the next generation but a bad politician thinks about the next election, taking power by force, through thuggery and rigging. We have wicked politicians in Nigeria who do not care about their people. Take for instance, constituency projects. How many of these projects can you see in your environment? Can you question them? No. Can you access them? No. They all have armed security men around them. What we have as politicians are selfish men and not leaders.
What is your assessment of the 2019 general election?
Some people believe that manipulation is in the highest level. Take for example in Rivers State the card readers did not work and there was violence. I do not think this government wants to step down or hand over to anybody. Reports had it that after casting his vote President Buhari was asked if he will congratulate the winner of the election he said he would congratulate himself while Atiku said he would congratulate the winner. My advice is that the winner should be accepted because we see Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), as an impartial umpire though we know that there are some issues with INEC. But for the nation to move forward we need to accept the result.
If you are to meet one on one with our political leaders, what would you tell them?
I will tell them to have a change of heart that the evil they are doing would expose them, because righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a reproach. I will tell them to be selfless. We can recall that President Buhari’s son had an accident; he was flown abroad and he (Buhari) travels abroad for medical checkups and treatment, whereas he is the same person that tells us to believe in made-in-Nigeria. Our leaders should practise what they preach instead of lying.