• Friday, May 24, 2024
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Why enemies and friends of America are interested in its presidential election – Sunny Ukah

Bishop Sunny Ukah

Sunny Ukah, a Nigerian-born bishop, is a missionary in New Zealand, an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. In this interview with ZEBULON AGOMUO, he spoke about the American election holding today; the coronavirus pandemic in relation to the economies of many countries; the practice of Christianity in New Zealand as compared to what obtains in Nigeria, among other issues. Excerpts:

The world is passing through a lot of trauma, and since March, a lot of countries have lost many souls to the coronavirus pandemic. Economies of many countries have taken a plunge; what do you think is happening?

The Coronavirus pandemic obviously has affected many nations of the world. A lot of countries’ economy has gone down. What has happened in the last few months, starting from March or thereabout, is a way of God telling the world that He is absolutely in charge. We have seen how the world’s entire economy went down in a twinkle of an eye that even those that had strong economy were not spared. It just simply showed that the Most High God still rules in the affairs of men. Although it is not the first time the world would experience such a plague, it is a wakeup call to the church to prepare because Christ is coming to receive his church. It is also a wakeup call for us to take possession as children of the kingdom. Although the economy of the world has gone down, God will always make a way for his people in crisis time. Today, we can see that even those countries that other nations were looking up to are struggling to survive themselves. There is no hiding place for anybody. It has a lot of message for everybody that a time will come, when the wrath of God will come upon the world, there would be no escape route for anybody who remains here. We can see what is happening to the so-called world powers; the pandemic slapped their economy too. What is being experienced now is just a tip of the iceberg, when the real time comes.

The United States’ Presidential election taking place today is not only important to the citizens of America; it is also to the world. A lot of permutations are going on. What do you think of the election as a cleric?

It is indeed a very big world game that everybody is watching. People’s eyes are fixed on that election. Both the enemies and friends of America are watching the election. Particularly the enemies of America are watching; the enemies of Jesus Christ are watching; the enemies of our destinies are watching because America as a chosen nation, as a world leader, a world power; whatever that happens to America has a ripple effect all over the world. America is good in their democracy; the way they play their democracy game is different from the way other nations, including Nigeria, play theirs. They are a good example to other nations of the world. For instance, if there is a loophole or manifest fraud in their election, that is going to affect other countries; particularly, wicked nations can capitalise on that to do evil in their own time of election. So, America always set the tone that other good democracies try to copy. That’s why today, all eyes are on America as the people vote. The election is important to them as it is also to us.

As a missionary who has operated outside the shores of Nigeria for many years, how would you compare Christianity in New Zealand where you are based now with how it is practised in Nigeria?

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Actually, my visitation to the outermost parts of the world is something unique. It is something special taking the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ from nation to nation. We see people with different views about Christianity and we also see people with different levels of love they have for Christ. New Zealand, where I am based, is a beautiful country. I was also in Australia; it is a wonderful Christian country. I have visited quite a number of countries, over twenty, in my ministerial outreaches. I hope to go to more places. As for New Zealand, they love the Lord so much and they are quite sincere in serving God. In Nigeria, we fast and pray a lot, but we do not have the genuine love of God in us. The reason it appears that the Nigerian Christians are suffering more is because we are not ready to answer the call to love one another. The gospel is not in dancing or about too much population in the Church, or too much of crowded church, popularity of the clerics or fatness of tithes and offering. Christianity is essentially about serving God in truth and in spirit. So, many aspects of Christianity seem different from what we see in New Zealand. So, if we Christians in Nigeria can develop love towards one another, it is not about showing off big churches or prosperous churches in terms of material wealth, but deep Christian love that comes from genuine heart of humility, the way Christ demands. New Zealand is a country that has believers who are passionate about serving God, and they really have the passion for Christ. The country is peaceful and Christianity is real. In New Zealand, you pay tithe in your Church, but every year end, the government pays you back 30percent of whatever you paid as tithe. That is a big difference from Nigerian kind of worship.

When you look at social values in Nigeria, how do you draw a similarity or differences with New Zealand? In Nigeria, disregard for values appears to have given rise to corruption and other ills in society; how can we situate this in relation to what obtains where you are?

When it comes to social values, Nigeria is nowhere to be compared to New Zealand. New Zealand is a country that respects people. It is a country that values people. In New Zealand, there is respect for human rights. The kind of killings and brutality we see in Nigeria do not happen in that country. We saw what happened during the #EndSARS protests in Nigeria, how people were murdered and all that; such things do not happen in the country. It is a country that fears God and respects human lives; respects people, culture; it is a country of joy and stands on the truth. They are far away from Nigeria when you talk about social value. In fact, there is no comparison.

Where do you stand on the argument by some people that elective political offices are not for genuine Christians, particularly in Nigeria, because of the way politics is being played here?

There is nothing wrong about Christians participating in partisan politics. A good Christian can be a president, governor, a senator or anything at all in politics. The Bible makes us to understand that David was an anointed king, and David was a righteous king. So, we can still have righteous leaders in government today. As a matter of fact, Christians are the people who are supposed to make that difference; because the Bible says that we are the light of the world. The world should be looking at us to provide the leadership. Félix Tshisekedi is today the president of Democratic Republic of the Congo. It was indeed a prophecy that God confirmed in January 2019. He is a born again Christian. He is an evangelist; he is a man that fears and loves God. God is using him to arrange his country. So, all that I am trying to say and emphasise is that true Christians can still be political leaders in our beloved country, Nigeria.