BY AKINWALE ABOLUWADE
Nigerians have been warned against the hazard of electing wrong set of leaders in year 2023 with a urge that the citizens should do everything possible to deliver themselves from the current baggage of insecurity, tribal sentiment and economic strangulation.
Making this call in a statement made available to journalists in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, on Wednesday, was the National President of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Bishop Francis Wale Oke.
Oke, who is also the Presiding Bishop of Sword of The Spirit Ministries, a.k.a Christ Life Church, was quoted to have said in the prophetic declaration that “Let me speak to the nation in the name of the Lord to all our youths, the adult, our elites, everybody. I am speaking in my private capacity and also as the National President of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria. Our nation is at crossroads, very critical crossroads. Electioneering campaigns by sundry political parties have started and politicians will begin to dish out their empty promises, promises that they don’t intend to fulfill. They only want our votes, they only want power. Most of them don’t have any clue about how to go about the problems of Nigeria.
“We want to say this; Nigerians, deliver yourselves. Your future is in your hands. Your voter cards carry great power. Don’t sell your votes, not for any amount. If you sell your votes, you have sold your future. If you sell your votes, you have mortgaged your future and the future of your children and the future of your children’s children.
“Vote your conscience. In my capacity as the National President, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, I am not telling you vote this party, that is not my duty. No, it is not. That is not my intention, but please know that your future is in your hand. Your destiny is in your hand represented by the voter cards. Don’t sell it for anything. If they bring you N50billion or $50billion, say no and vote for your conscience.
“Deliver yourself. The opportunity for Nigerians to deliver Nigeria has come. A few months from now (in February, Nigerians will decide) and the decision Nigerians would make would determine our future. Deliver yourselves Nigerians from insecurity. Insecurity is pervasive in Nigeria than at no other time in the history of this nation. It used to be my pleasure to travel from Maiduguri to Lagos to Ibadan, from Sokoto down to Calabar in pursuit of my God-given agenda. I travelled round the clock without any harassment and without any guide but can’t try it now.
“Insecurity is all over the place. Nigerians, deliver yourselves from insecurity. Nigerians deliver yourselves from economic strangulation. I just mentioned it to you that I was in the United Kingdom in 1985, and at that time, we needed to get estacode. With N500, we were directed to go Lagos to buy our estacode. I went to First Bank, I paid them N500 and they paid me $680 for N500.
“Somebody exclaimed. It sounded like a dream, but it was my experience. By the time I went back to England in 1987, the Naira had gone down a bit, but it was then N15 to 1pound; I am telling you my experience. Today, N700 does not buy $1. We are in a state of economic morass and people that are in charge don’t have a clue and that is the truth. I am dealing with issues, not sentiment.
“Nigerians, deliver yourselves from economic strangulation. You are only earning a tiny fraction of what you used to earn some 10years ago. With your voter cards, deliver yourself. Deliver yourself from education strangulation.
“Listen to this, for over eight months, our children had been out of the university. Do we have a government? It’s a question everybody should ask. Now, can Nigerians deliver themselves? Consider the people that are canvassing for your votes and consider the party. Look at their records and decide. But the individuals that will not guarantee your tomorrow, vote them out.
“No tribal sentiment, no religious sentiment. No division. Deliver yourself from tribal and religious division. I am close to 70years, I have never seen Nigerians as divided as this. There is so much of mistrust, tribe versus tribe, North versus South and like that, one wants to dominate others. Of course, no one can dominate you without your consent. Your power is in your hands. Deliver yourselves from national division.
“I want one, indivisible, prosperous Nigeria where I will feel free in the East, North and I will feel free everywhere. Your power is in your hands. Deliver yourselves from domination, from one tribe dominating the other. You can endorse it with your votes and you can reject it with your votes. We are at a time when we should not be thinking sentiment, no tribal sentiment.
“Deliver yourselves from tribal domination, deliver yourselves from religious domination. Check the antecedent of the candidates and the parties. In Nigeria politics, they will tell you that the party is supreme. If there is a good candidate that is standing on a very corrupt, terrible and useless party, the candidate would soon become corrupted. So, look at the candidate, look at the party and then decide your future.
“Nigerians, hear this prophetic cry. I, Bishop Francis Olubowale Oke say no to tribal sentiment, no to religious sentiment, no to party sentiment. Vote for issues, deliver yourselves. It is in your hands. Look at anybody that is putting up himself, is he a deliverer? Two, is he a restorer that will deliver Nigeria back to old glory? Is he a builder or a devourer?
“Young people, don’t be carried away by sentiment. If we continue to vote the way we vote, we continue to go in vicious circle. Nigerians, your future is in your hands, don’t sell your future. Nigerians, deliver yourselves, the Lord will give us grace. God has spoken, the future of Nigeria is beautiful, but it is the spirit that says come, we must cooperate with God. If we claim the future of Nigeria is beautiful and glorious but we go ahead to vote oppressors, dominators, dividers, sponsors of Boko Haram, that is what we are going to get. But, if we decide and say no, we want to deal with issues; we want to vote for a great tomorrow, then, Nigeria will be safe. God save Nigeria.
“Father we pray that you will help Nigerians to think, to consider the future, to consider what was happening in the past, what is happening now and use their votes to change the situation. Father intervene. Let not oppressors rule us again. Let not those who divide us and set us against one another rule us again. Help Nigerians to think straight to make a choice so that your name would be glorified so that Nigerians can be fulfilled in Jesus name we pray.”