The Founder and General Overseer Calvary Kingdom Church (CKC) International, Lagos, Joseph Ojo, recently spoke with SEYI JOHN SALAU on the state of the nation and why politicians should place country above personal interest. He also touched on other issues. Excerpt:
As we approach the end of this administration; what is your advice for politicians who lost out in the general election?
They should understand that the government has three arms. They have the presidency (executive), they have the judiciary, and we have the legislators. They should allow the judiciary to do their job. When carpenters are beginning to determine what the meaning of war is; then we can understand that judgment is going to be nailed as it were to the cross and only a miracle can bring it down from the cross. So, when novices are beginning to interpret the law, definitely Nigeria is going back to the wood – I think they should allow the judiciary to do what they want to do, whatever the outcome of it – we will thank God and give us peace.
Nigerians are gradually shifting attention to May 29; what are the expectations for the incoming administration?
The priority or urgent thing for the incoming administration is to stabilise the economy, give hope to the people because everywhere before the election, after the election, there is great anticipation of a change. Not just change of government like it is now; though the same party, but a change of economic life for the better of the people. So, my advice for the incoming administration is to live for the people and face reality by allowing Nigerians to have access to the basic necessities of life as proposed by Maslow many years ago. Nigerians should be given the hope and assurance that they will have shelter over their head; that they will be able to have access to good health, food, and other basic things of life. That is my advice to them; they should forget about politicking, either party or no party and give hope to the people.
Some sections of the public have complained that we might have another president who travels frequently for medical tourism; what is your view on this?
I think what I will say on the issue of health is that health is given to each man by God. I am sure the God that sustained Buhari for eight years; he’s even doing better – nobody can decide, I want to be healthy. You can decide I want to go to school but you cannot decide to be healthy. You can live a healthy lifestyle and follow all the principles – you are still trusting God to be healthy and cannot be pessimistic about medical leave or medical vacation. The aspect I will talk about is; if the president, Buhari had at least in this second tenure given us one good reference hospital that will stop politicians from going out to seek medical tourism; some of our monies will be saved. So, I will advise the incoming administration to think of having an hospital well equipped that will be capable of handling all manner of ailments that people can even have a medical vacation to Nigeria.
The Ooni of Ife was in Lagos last week, and had to advise those who lost in the presidential election to sheath their sword; do you consider this appropriate at this time?
In my upbringing by my parents and by Idahosa, we were taught not to jump the gun. Am not a judge, am not a lawyer, am not too versatile in law though I did administrative law in school; but I think we should advise people not to say anything or do anything that is prejudicial. So, they should allow what is going on at the tribunal to go on on its own. We cannot be saying things that will make people think this one is this divide or that one is this divide; that is my thinking.
Would like us to bring the Church into the picture based on the fears in some quarters about having a president and his vice practising the same faith. What should the Church work towards as we approach May 29?
The Church is made up of human beings; what we expect from the Church is what we expect for Nigerians. Our problem has been trying to separate Church from the challenges of the country as if they don’t go to the same market to buy; they don’t go to the same bus stop to enter bus; they don’t go to the same gas station to fill their gas or buy kerosene for those that doesn’t have the means to buy gas cooker – we don’t take Church to the gas station to refill your gas, so I think everybody should be talking about the economy, first and foremost, that’s my thinking.
Still on the economy, the Buhari administration is leaving the oil subsidy remover for the incoming administration. Do you think the Federal Government can bite this bullet anytime soon?
I think if somebody is promising oil subsidy removal, it is to make us know the kind of liars we are expecting in the government. If somebody is promising revitalisation of the refinery – the two we have in Warri, and the one we have in Kaduna and Port Harcourt, then I know we are on the path to really remove subsidy. You can’t remove subsidies from oil when Nigerians cannot even buy. So, let them tell us how many years it will take them to revamp our refineries that have become comatose. So, the refinery is the only thing that can make them say if we are refining this thing here we don’t want subsidies; we do not want to import refined products or refined oil to Nigeria. In other words, removing subsidies when the refineries are not working is like telling people – tighten your belt because things will become harder. They claim they are subsidising it; we can’t even buy it, people can’t even run their gen when there is no electricity. So, I don’t believe that; we should be talking about refinery and how to fix them.