It Will Be Difficult For The North And South To Live Together In Nigeria – CLAM’s Pastor Wole Oladiyun
Pastor Oladiyun lost his father at a tender age, but the determination to make it in life caused him to forge ahead and he was able to surmount all kinds of obstacles to become a university graduate and still, he did not derail from his first love; serving in the vineyard of God.
His father had been an elder in the Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) and the then young Wole had been having close contacts with his maker, who ensured he went through western education and came back to work for Him; all these are what make CLAM thick today as the church attracts both the old and the young, while Pastor Wole blends easily with ground shaking prayer and leadership skills that have endeared him into the hearts of his followers. He opened up to us in this interview.
Recently, CLAM organized a training programme to empower the youths, this is just one of the projects of this man of God from Ondo State, who has just completed a magnificent hospital in his hometown in Ondo State, and is about to complete another multi-million naira maternity in his church in Lagos.
What informed your missionary project assisting people on health issues and empowering the youth
I want to give thanks to God because every good gift comes from God. The important thing is that my background has affected me a lot because I came from a very poor family and I saw poverty in the real sense of it, when I was very young. I had an enterprising father, who was a lover of God. When he died, I thought of how I could bring my family out of poverty, so I started behaving like a man right from the age of 11, I engaged in all sort of things in order to make my young mother, who became a widow, to survive with seven of us by fetching firewood and doing all kinds of odd jobs. Thereafter, I went to serve as a houseboy somewhere inIbadan,OyoState, where providence made them to send me to secondary school. So, I had always determined that as God helps me, I want to help humanity because I have seen the cruelty inside poverty. So, what I passed through at an early age has helped me to help humanity. I am finding myself in this arena because I believe serving God is wiping away tears, and my own definition of prosperity is wiping away tears.
When did you start the health project and what has been the feedback
When I was young, my father, having discovered that I was a brilliant child, always wanted me to be a medical doctor or an engineer. I won’t know what he would have told me if he was alive, but that was what he was telling me, but I was later admitted for electrical engineering, but I heard God, He spoke to me that ‘you don’t need to be medical doctor before you are useful in the medical sector,’ which is happening now. I’ve always had it at the back of my mind that health is wealth, so, when I became an engineer, I had it in mind that I was going to provide healthcare for my people. So, when I go about doing crusade, I discovered that people were dying because of diseases, and that triggered that thing inside me a few years ago to start bringing medical doctors together to provide free medical care, wherever I go and the response has been so overwhelming.
In my hometown, I discovered that they didn’t have provision for children. By the grace of God, He has helped me to provide a world class children hospital, which I am giving to the community next month and I am setting up a foundation so that they can be treating children there. You have seen the hospital God is using us to build within the church here there.
I told God a few years ago that if He allowed me to be 50 years of age, I would put up a maternity to treat women, children and other people, and God heard my prayers, I was 50 three years ago, and the money that came into my hand I am putting something down for the next generation.
You said you put up a hospital in your hometown, what have you put in place for maintenance because one thing is to provide a structure for people, the other is maintenance
The hospital is about taking off, we are setting up a foundation, ‘Wole Oladiyun Foundation’ and I have instructed my children, my wife and family members that while we are still alive and when we pass on, my family must maintain that place. I am not stopping at that, after this, I want to build an eye clinic for the community.
We want you to comment on the socio-political problem of Nigeria and do you see a religious war or break up in Nigeria
Number one,Nigeriais a blessed country, I believe inNigeriaand I believe in the newNigeriathat is evolving. The problems ofNigeriastarted way back as at the time of Sardauna of Sokoto and our forefathers. When we have a reminiscence of the past, we discovered that our political forefathers shouldn’t have allowed the British to bring about the amalgamation of the North and the South. What the British did as at that time was divide and rule. They looked at the upperNigeras a backward place and southern part ofNigeriaas a productive place. The per capita income of the southern Nigeria as at that time was over 4 Million pounds, whereas in the northern region, it was below400,000 poundsand they studied the socio-political formation, looking at the security situation of Nigeria as at that time, they discovered that the people of the north were very wild, so they needed to be pacified and they saw a lot of resources in the south. So, knowing fully well that the people of the north could bring up an attack, they pacified them and they told them that they should make sure that power should remain in the north.
They were using the money in the south to really service the north as at that time. So, at that time, it could have been better to leave the north alone so that we have northernNigeriaandSouthern Nigeria.
I tell you, it could have been a wonderful formation. Now, the integration brought together two strange bed fellows, I am speaking as an authority, I am an elder, I am 53 years old, I read history on my own. I have lived in the North, I have stayed in the North, I have lectured at Ramat Polytechnic, Maiduguri, Borno State, there is no way this equilibrium would be maintained socio-politically till Jesus will come because we have different outlook to life and issues.
An average Northerner from the North East is quite different in perspective on issues from people from theNorth West. In the farNorth West, you have people from Sokoto, Borno from North East and at Central; they feel differently from the middle belt. There is this heterogeneity amongst them, they can’t combine together; they have different views. That is why it is very difficult for a core Hausa man to talk to a Kanuri man, who probably can only speak Kanuri and not Hausa, and they will agree. So in theNorthern Nigeria, the homogenous formation is not there, so they are breaking the rank and file in the North. So, what is in the North can only be managed on a regional basis.
For us in the south, when we are looking at North-South dichotomy, the people in the south can fuse together in a way, you look at the people in the mid-west, people in the western region, we have history of migration here and there, when the Portuguese came through the waterways, some people from Ondo State migrated there, they were speaking a mixture of Ikale Language and Portuguese Language and that gives you what they are speaking as Warri Language today. So, we have a history that has mixed together. When you look at the people in the east, they are on their own, they are very industrious; they are the Nigerian Jews.
When you are looking for people, who are good in research and development, research and production, you go to the east. So, if you see the people in the Riverine area, they could have been given us fish if we maintain them, if we massage their ego, give them opportunity to develop. But, despite the neglect, we are still tapping resources there.
If you look at the alignment, those of us in the West, down to the mid-west, the creek area, the east, we can align, we can have an interface unlike those people in the North mixing with the south, it is difficult and it would ever be difficult. I am not advocating for Nigeria to break into two, I am just going into history and reality for us to know that we need to do something, whether to have Sovereign National Conference, I am one of the advocates and I would keep saying it, regional government, state police, that’s what would happen because if you send a Kanuri man to my place in Ondo State, there are places he cannot enter there. If criminals are hiding there, my people are very aggressive, they would disallow the man, but if you send an Ondo man to that place, he speaks the language, so he knows where to go. That is why we need state or regional police. Look at theUnited States of America, with over 50 states, they have regional police, state police and they network together. So for us to be able to stay together as strange bed fellows, let there be a sovereign national conference, where we will air our grievances. The people representing us at the Federal House of Representatives and the Senate are not representing us well. They are using the local governments to perpetrate fraud. They are fraudulent, I don’t owe them any apology; there is nothing they can do because they have to change. They are not delivering. They use the local governments to siphon money, what they go there to do, the people at the grassroots are not feeling the impacts.
Now, you are just seeing me, I am giving an opportunity for my people to be treated for malaria. I am contacting them; I am going to put money and resources contacting the local governments, the obas and the people that they should expect the doctors. That is me as a person, you are the government and I am the government. But an average politician would not do so; he would rather take things from the people and begin to sell them.
So, because of the mindset of the people in government and the people with whom we have been together we are having problems, until we have a Sovereign National Conference, until we have regional police, we are joking. We have passed through a lot of things, no moral values and we have to go back to solve the problems fundamentally. We must go to the restoration of family virtues whereby we can do the best for God and humanity, be satisfied with what you have, the extra, give to other people. You can’t sleep on two or three beds together, don’t be greedy. That is the way I am bringing up my children and they have started practicing. That is what you see reflecting in my life, I plough whatever is brought to this ministry back, I am open, so if I’m open and I train my children the values, when they are in the board room and they ask them to share booties, they will tell them ‘no’ and if they want to harm them, they would leave the place because of the family values inculcated in them.
If you do that, everybody does that, thenNigeriawould be a better place, we need a mindset revolution, we should change the way we think because our thinking is lopsided.
Many people believe that some men of God don’t tell our leaders the truth and that they are the cause of some of the problems we have and we also want you to speak on the bombing of churches in the North by the Boko Haram sect members
God is the one that would help us out inNigeria; our problems go beyond Boko Haram. Where we have different men and women of God, just like we have different politicians, just like we have different people, your primary value system will determine your output wherever you go. The way the primary value affects a politician, who is saying the truth and the one who is not saying the truth, the same way the primary value affects every man and woman of God, who is saying the truth and those who are not saying the truth.
However, I can only speak for myself and those who align with my views. ForNigeria, when we are talking of Boko Haram sect, the people there are Nigerians also, we know that we have infiltrations.
Let’s look at the genesis, I believe in being pragmatic in proffering solutions. I am an engineer by profession, I am trained to solve problems, if I get to a place and there are no problems, we generate problems to solve. What is the genesis of Boko Haram, some politicians came together, they were looking for people, who are uneducated, who they could use to achieve their aims. They gathered the people who were not trained in school, they asked them to campaign for them and do some dirty jobs for them and they told them ‘take this food, take this money and take care of your family.’ When we win, when we are in power, we are going to do many things, they made promises, lo and behold, they got to power, they discovered money was there, and because of the greed of an average politician, they neglected these people, and they were grieved, and said what do we do, that is an average human being for you, something triggered up in them their anger. They said, ‘if we had slaved for you, we mortgaged our lives for you, we have done all sort of things for you and you have done this, then we are going to react.’ The reaction is what resulted in Boko Haram, so instead of calling for their heads, I am not saying what they are doing is good, let us see how we can fundamentally ameliorate the situation by appealing to them to calm down, though they have been disappointed by those who used them, we are the same Nigerians, let them drop their charms. It’s like a child kicking the bucket and you tell him, ‘don’t kick the bucket,’ he would ask you, ‘what will I kick,’ so you would have bought a ball for him, and tell him ‘kick the ball.’ So , before doing that, let there be an alternative on how they can be rehabilitated and by the time you say ‘oh, we know you have been disappointed, we are sorry, this is our offer, we are not giving you money to eat and drink, but we have made provision for you to learn this trade, for you to go to school, for you to be useful, do this and that and then we have some estates where you can stay tentatively, where you can live in peace.’ That’s how we can get it solved because if you don’t do that any other appeal would fall on deaf ears and if they mistakenly come to the south, it would trigger up a lot of problems because regionally, we have aggrieved youths, militant youths, then you’ll see people rising up, in Ondo State, Agbekoya would rise up, Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) would rise up, then there would be problem everywhere, but we pray that there would not be war in Nigeria because there is nothing good about war, I appeal to those who have offended Boko Haram members to be bold enough to come out and agree that they have offended them and apologize to them and do everything to pacify them because they are our brothers and sisters. What they are doing is not good, I want peace, I want peace for them, I’ve lived inMaiduguribefore, a peaceful place, Damaturu, Potiskum, all these are fantastic places. I want peace inNigeria, I appeal to them to sheath their swords and let us live in peace.
You have made some predictions that came to pass, you predicted the Dana Air crash, what has been your sustaining power and we also want you to speak on your Wednesday powerful programme in the church
God is the power sustaining me genuinely, I was born into the Christ Apostolic Church (CAC), founded by the late Apostle Ayodele Babalola, my father was one of the elders for the Western region, so I knew from my childhood that I would work for God because right from agessix to seven, the Lord was appearing to me. So, God has been sustaining me and I give him all the glory, I was born into it, and He has given me the strength, not by my power, but by His grace, and He has given me a very good wife and a very good family too.
The issue of vision is an issue we can’t explain, all I know is that God speaks to me, He shows me vision and over the years, He speaks to me just like you hear me. Most of the vision, He would tell me directly, I handle visions to build faith, not to build fear. I give vision not to create fear. I have a revelation book every year, immediately I saw the vision about the recent Dana Air crash in Lagos, I called the office of the State Security Service (SSS) that a plane was going to crash in Lagos that they should give me the number of people, who are operating local airlines so that I could talk to them, but they couldn’t get the numbers for me. I came to the church and told the people the aircraft would take off from Port-Harcourt inRiversStateand it actually took off from there before going toAbujaand it headed forLagos. God speaks to His people, but we are very careful, that is why you don’t see us on the television or writing in newspapers, He gives us prophecies to better the lots of this nation.
Many prophecies we have given could have been averted if the people God sent us to had given attention to the warnings. When this one happened, I was in Englandand people called me and said ‘why did this happen’ and I told them I am not God. Number two, the Lord referred me to 1st John 3 vs 22, ‘when you call upon me, I will hear you because you do things that are pleasing to me and you obey my commandment.’
Now, when God gave me the vision, I was looking for the operators to warn them not to fly any bad plane. It’s like when God ask you to climb a big tree with an iron band and you use ordinary thread, you would fall. So, prophecies are to correct, to reprove and for warnings, depending on how you handle it. It is a pity because I am extremely sad over what happened, God will help us inNigeria. If we can be very careful, our maintenance culture is very bad, it actually makes a mess of prophecies because if the plane is well maintained and we are not cutting corners, if people would listen to genuine prophecies, there wouldn’t have been any crash. Not every prophecy is bad, where you have genuine prophecy, you will have counterfeit. A few of us, God has preserved us so that we don’t bow our knees to Baal. There are so many other things aboutNigeria, God has spoken to me on various ways to maintain peace inNigeria, it’s there. I have a lot of models designed to bring peace toNigeriaspiritually, not for now, but for the future. We are too reactive in dealing with issues both spiritually and physically instead of being proactive. It’s when we have challenges that we start praying, fire brigade prayers. I don’t pray such prayers, reactive prayers. When there are problems, they would invite some pastors and they would pray 30 seconds prayer, it is wrong. As a prayer priest, the issue of prayer is not a social thing, it is a serious matter, when we are talking of prayer, you pray to God, but for intercession, you pray to God on behalf of others. So, it’s intercession we need for Nigeria, having passion for Nigeria, it’s not when there is problem that people should be saying ‘let us pray,’ what kind of prayer is that? Let’s pray to avert problem inNigeria, let’s declare on a monthly basis that all Nigerians must fast for seven days and depart from sin. There are sins in this country, people would be stealing money and they would say they are fasting, God will not hear you. I preach it here, I tell people, if you come here, if you steal, don’t drop offering. I’ve returned many people’s cheques and tell them ‘the Lord said you are stealing, take your cheque,’ because we are going to account for everything, we don’t have the fear of God inNigeria. Even the so-called men and women of God, many don’t have the fear of God.