As the Ikeja province of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) launched out to bring divine liberation to the populace, especially Lagosians through its organised outdoor crusade themed, ‘Divine Liberation,’ Pastor Tope Ilesanmi, chairman of PFN, Ikeja province in this interview speaks about the collective expectation of Christian faithful in Lagos and how the crusade captures the recent move of revival in Christendom, especially in Lagos during the crusade which held at the Police College ground, GRA, Ikeja. Excerpts by SEYI JOHN SALAU
The divine liberation crusade has been on since Friday 15 November; what is your message to Christian faithful, today being the final day of the crusade?
The nation Nigeria is gradually sliding into a failed state as informed by the security, poverty and desperation to escape to other countries by our youth. The only hope available to us is God, through the power of the gospel.
We are all aware of the state of affairs, not only in our country but all over the world. There is preponderance of evil in the land and this has given rise to untold insecurity, starvation, misery and hopelessness. But God, in his infinite love and mercy is not only able but willing to deliver those who look up to him.
We are prophesying ‘liberation’ because we want to liberate people from the shackles of those to who we have been sold without money.
How do you explain the ‘Call of God’ to mankind and what is your reaction to the attendance?
We trusted God to mobilise the entire Christian family in Ikeja to launch out their nets in pulling every sinner back to their creator. So, attendance may be in excess of 100,000 people.
But in answering the call of God, some have gone ahead planting churches, some ministries: what is your position on this?
One thing that separated mankind from God is the nature of Sin. God has extended his loving hand, through this crusade to all and sundry; that they should come and reclaim their dominion heritage without any cost. The blood of Jesus has been offered to buy back their lives from the hand of the adversary. Why I appreciate all our Pastors serving as shepherds over churches, I will like to equally acknowledge the calling of God upon other men of God that are actively engaging the market place through their non church based ministries. Their complimentary role in the great commission is unquantifiable.
Like Elisha, the mantle for leadership is on you here in PFN, Ikeja province: What is your vision for God’s urgent message to the people?
I thank God for the privilege to serve as Chairman of PFN, Ikeja province. The vision given to me by God for this hour is ‘taking Ikeja territory for God.’ This vision goes beyond gathering within the confines of the church walls. It is to prepare God fearing men to dominate the nation’s economy, education, media, sports, governance, and others.
This is why in this crusade, we are liberating people through spiritual power first; then free medical care, foodstuffs and free fabrics.
Looking at the rate and mode of modern slave trade across the globe, especially West Africa; who is to blame: migrants or government?
From the way people are risking their lives to escape to Europe and other advanced countries, our government should wake up to its responsibilities. Lack of basic infrastructures like power, access to soft loans, and good roads make the business environment in this country to be too hostile for aspiring entrepreneurs.
In line with that, what is your advice to the youth, especially those still planning to travel out of the country through illegal routes?
Nevertheless, I want to appeal to our youths that it’s better to confront life positively instead of travelling through illegal routes that can cost their lives. They should think creatively and generate ideas that need little or no capital to execute. They should develop in character and integrity, so that rich men with idle funds can trust them with their money.