Bishop Chidi Anthony is the founder of Kings in Christ Power Ministry. In this interview with Anthony Ada Abraham she speaks about the nation, vision for Pentecost Ministers Forum (PFM) and other sundry issues.
You are the president of Pentecostal Ministers Forum (PMF), what is the essence of this forum?
I don’t need to tell you that Nigeria is in a mess. I am not afraid of anything that may happen to me because I can die for Christ. I need to be straightforward and I need to be truthful. Nigeria is in a mess. Economically we are in a mess. So the reason for this Pentecostal Forum is to seek God’s intervention. Men have failed God. People have tried. If it was something anybody can do by his own will power, the past president could have done that. But they have tried their best but their best was not good enough.
So the only thing that can bring peace, sanity and progress in this nation is the intervention of God. So God gave me the vision to organise the ministers together, one to pray for the nation; two, to look into the security in the nation. So we decided to visit the state command the area commands, the DPOs, the CPs, the IG. We do go there to encourage them, to pray for them for God’s wisdom upon them and that God should give them direction and that they should not die in active service. We do that because they are involved in the act to reduce crime in the nation. So it is our duty as a priest to support them.
Like the last time we went to AIG zone two. We gave him award, we prayed for him and encouraged him and we did the little we can. We went to area M and prayed for the Area commander and also encouraged him. We also moved to commands to see the CP. We have also written a letter to the OC SARS, Sanusi, telling them we have seen their good works and that we are coming to encourage them to give them awards and the little we can use to encourage their unit. We are doing these things in order to encourage them to reduce crime. You and I know that in the last five years, the crime rate in Lagos was about 87 per cent, but today it has reduced. Why, because we have gallant men that have vowed to do their best to reduce crime in the state and one is trying to encourage them and to give them awards.
Apart from reducing crime in the state, is there any other benefit that one can benefit from this forum?
Most of us are General Overseers, we have something to protect. I own a school called BORN GREAT ACADEMY. In the meeting we agreed that we should have a school in a place where the average man can be able to train their kids. You and I know that we Pentecostal we claim to be born again. We say that Orthodox they are not born again but you well know that it is this Orthodox churches that are building the motherless babies homes, the missionary schools and any schools being built by them are affordable.
We can train our kids comfortably. But take a look at the Pentecostal Forum, if they have a school, even the pastors that helped in building the school cannot train their kids in it. So we came together and said no, we have to change the mentality. I have a school and every years, I give up to ten to fifteen students scholarship and I sold the vision to other members of the forum – that even if you don’t have school, you should at least pick the kids of widows there and train them, to give their life meaning. At least to make them look like other children.
Every year I take a few kids and take them abroad so that they can equally experience what other kids that came from a comfortable home are experiencing. There is also what we call FEED THE POOR. We normally go to fast food, we pay, they prepare meal. Then, on that day, we be on convoy, look for beggars on the street and give them food. Sometimes we see hawkers selling pure water, and we give them money to start business. Success is not how happy you are, it is how happy you make others. If you’re happy alone, that is not success. When you make others happy, I call it success.
How can one benefit from this platform? Is it only meant for a set of people?
Some set of people in the sense that we don’t look for external help. We don’t look for partners for now. We try to take the bull by the horn for now. Before you belong to this forum you must be a general overseer of a church. Somebody must introduce you to us that you are a man of integrity that has something to protect. The truth remains that most pastors have soiled their name. That is why most pastors they have no regard. So before you be a member you must be a general overseer. We also want to set up an NGO. We want to put some cells in order.
Most police cells is nothing to write home about. That you are in the police cell doesn’t mean you committed a crime. You’re just a suspect. So we need to put that place in order. It is only when you have been charged to court and found guilty of an offence that you will be sentenced to prison. We need to make the place comfortable for you when you’re on trial. I personally want to bring in the NGO before the forum so that we go to the police station and furnish the cell – make there comfortable. If you go to police cells abroad, it’s comfortable. But here they treat people in cells as criminals when they have not yet being proven to be one. This NGO is what the Forum is trying to bring out. We are currently in the process of registration.
For how long has this forum being in existence?
It will shock you that this forum is just about a year now – it’s not even up to a year but we don’t talk about how far. We talk about how well. Any single member of PMF present up to 5 to 6 to one thousand people. Like in my church we run in thousands. I represent Kings in Christ. So far as I am a member, Kings in Christ is also a member. So all the general overseers you see hear they are men of timbre and caliber.
To what extent do you want to take this forum to?
As I’m talking to you now we have branches everywhere. We have coordinators in Imo state, we have in Anambra, we have in other states. We are expanding daily because the vision comes from God. Anything that comes from God, no power stops it.
The federal government claims that Nigeria is out of recession, how true?
I don’t like talking about politics because you don’t know who is who but he that is in me is greater than he that is in the world. Like I said earlier, Nigeria is nothing to write home about. People are suffering the masses are dying. I interact with people. I am a man that deals with human beings. They come close to me, I feel them. All these time we’re in this so called recession, people are suffering and they say we have crossed it. But I don’t need to tell you. In the time of Jonathan, we cried that fuel is about 143 or 145 and we were complaining that Jonathan has killed us.
But today I pity the poor masses because they are suffering. Today you cannot believe that somebody is travelling from Lagos to East and he’s paying up to 18 thousand naira. As for me, God has helped me. Sometimes I leave my security men and enter okada just to feel what the masses are feeling. I just want to experience what they experience. Last time I was in a bus stop and I overheard a woman saying she’d rather trek because she cannot afford 50 naira. This is because this nation has no provision for poor masses. The poor are getting poorer and the rich are getting richer. The only thing that can help this nation is God’s intervention because men have failed us. When an eagle is in the midst of vultures, the eagle will behave like the vultures. So automatically, Nigeria is in trouble. What we see in the media is not the truth. Our prayer is let God intervene.
Sir what is the solution to this problem?
The solution is God. Buhari is not the problem. It is the people around him that is the problem. I know he has a vision for this country but the people around are not helping matters. Like I said, an eagle in the midst of vultures. You and I know that during Jonathan’s time, they said that corruption is everywhere. There was corruption but at least we could afford three square meals. Then dollars was about 160 naira and we were all crying but now dollar is about 350 naira. When there was corruption, things were working fine but now that there is no corruption people are dying.
During Jonathan’s regime we never heard that somebody decided to go to third mainland to commit suicide, we never heard that someone decided to go to idimu to jump down from MTN pole. Now it is common because they cannot bear it any longer. The only solution is from God. That is why we encourage General Overseers to join us. Let us cry unto God. The bible said, and God hearkened to the cry of the people of Israelite and he sent a messiah. Let us cry unto God. We know that God can definitely do something.
Are you of the support that some churches and NGO’s are being used for money laundry?
No! How can I support such a thing? Money laundry is illegal as far as Nigeria is concerned and it’s a criminal offense. By the way, how can a man of God use himself as an instrument for money laundry? It is a crime. I don’t believe that and I don’t support that and I can never be a party to that. Any pastor found in such an act should be persecuted and should face the law.
What does Christmas mean to you sir?
For me it signifies the birth of Christ. Although some ministers disagree with it but I strongly believe that every human being born on this earth has a day of celebration called his or her own birth day. I strongly believe in Christmas because it is a time we think about the birth of Christ and also a time of reflection. A time we get to think about our lives, if we are living rightly – and to make amendments where necessary. The birth of Christ is very significant because without his birth, we will not be saved. I feel most ministers don’t believe in it because they see it as a time of enjoyment.
Some people think it should be observed ad not be celebrated. Is it true?
When you observe something I think you need to celebrate it. That means you attract seriousness in such a thing. If you can celebrate your own birth – maybe call a few of your friends, buy drinks and cake to cut, it means you attach importance to that date. The people that came around cannot just go like that. They need to celebrate with you. So you observe it and also celebrate it.
What is the significance of this celebration to the church today?
It is the day salvation came to mankind. It is the day the scripture came to fulfillment. The appearance of Christ brought a new thing into the life of mankind. That is why it is very important that the church should celebrate such a day. Celebration is not something of carnality. It is not a period when ladies get pregnant or go and meet some guy in a hotel or do all manner of things like get drunk etc. But it should be celebrated in reverence to God, knowing that it is the thing that brought salvation to mankind. So we need to be very careful of what we do on such day.
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