Many Nigerian pastors and prophecies are like Siamese twins. There is hardly any salient issue they don’t make prophesy on. But most times, the fabulous predictions, usually attributed to inspiration from God, are always inaccurate.
The last presidential election received several unsolicited prophecies which particularly targeted President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party. Though the predictions appeared scary and laughable, they later turned out to be wide of the mark.
One of the prophecy merchants is a Nigerian pastor based in South Africa, Samuel Akinbodunse. The dark-skinned cleric in a video, which circulated on the Internet weeks before electioneering, walked with a measured spring in his step as he spoke to the congregation inside the capacious Freedom For All Nations Outreach church.
In a finality brooking no interference, he told the ecstatic congregation, “Please Nigerians warn Buhari that he is going beyond his boundary. That the Lord said his tenure is once and not twice. If not, he will not see the election o. If you know him and how to email the Presidency of Nigeria, please write (send) him a text (message). If he made (makes) a mistake to campaign for elections, before they vote, he will die.”
At this point, panic gripped some of the congregation, who were already standing, but clapped several times for the cleric’s damning prediction that sank into the expansive auditorium.
He continued, “And I am saying the truth, I am saying the truth. Tell him the same voice that spoke when people said Jonathan would be the President of Nigeria, the same voice is speaking to him that he must not make that mistake. Let him eat whatever he wants to eat inside (the) sugar that he is now and leave the sugar jejely. If not, he will die. That is just the message. I am not afraid of…Any man who kill (sic) me today him help me because eternity is waiting for me already. If you kill me today, many Samuels will rise tomorrow. What is the essence of killing me because there are many Samuels that will rise?”
The cleric’s prophecy is abundantly inaccurate as the presidential and National Assembly elections were not only shifted from February 16 to February 23 by the Independent National Electoral Commission, Buhari also participated in electioneering with his party, and INEC later declared him winner of the election.
Akinbodunse’s prediction went off the mark as events later proved but Nigerians, via the social media, expectedly lashed out at him.
On a social network site, Nairaland, Brightest04 said, “He wants to let people know that he exists. I don’t blame him; after sleeping with other people’s wives, he intends to see things. I think these men have taken God and His name as a toy; hence they use his name vainly. And this stupidity is synonymous with Christians.”
Saying he holds a degree in Systematic Theology, Brightest04 added, “It baffles me how people roughly use the name of their creator and indeed the creator of everything in existence in a foolish way. These men are satanically-controlled and the people who listen to them have to be careful so that they don’t partake in their calamities.”
Earlier, Akinbodunse, in another sermon, which video gripped the Internet, said the country’s next President was a youth whose name starts with letter ‘S’.
He stated that he would not say what God didn’t tell him, urging Buhari to step down for the youth with a call on ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo to support the incoming ‘youth’ President.
Also, a pastor of the Christ Apostolic Church, Akure, Ondo State, Simeon Akorede, reportedly predicted Buhari’s defeat in the presidential election.
Though Akorede said God didn’t tell him who would become the country’s next president when he spoke with journalists in Akure, he noted that God showed him that Buhari had lost the opportunity and the grace to rule Nigeria again.
He said, “God revealed to me that the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari is not given the grace to govern Nigeria for a second term.”
But the results of the presidential election released by INEC made mincemeat of Akorede’s prediction. The commission said Buhari won his re-election bid polling 15,191,847 votes to defeat Atiku who got 11,262,978.
The prophetic utterance of Prophet John Ogundele of the Recreation Word Apostolic Church, Lagos, about the presidential election was entirely different from others. He ruled that neither Buhari nor Atiku would emerge winner of the election.
In a video showing him in a service/prayer session, Ogundele stated before the congregation, “You may be calculating in your mind that if Buhari doesn’t become the President, then it will be Atiku because Obasanjo supports him.
“Let me tell you as a prophet of God that among Obasanjo, Atiku and Buhari and those who you think are influential (in the country), God said He had withdrawn power from them. None of them will get on to the seat of power. Atiku will spend a lot of money but the money will cause conflicts in the country. If Atiku doesn’t come, there will be no new government.”
In the number 30 of his 50 prophecies for 2019 released last December, the General Overseer of the Omega Fire Ministries International, Apostle Johnson Suleiman, said, “I saw most eastern states won by the APC at the national level.” By whatever interpretation given to the prophecy, it didn’t come to pass as far as the last presidential election was concerned.
Either in the number of states in the eastern region or lawmakers produced for the National Assembly, the PDP won most votes and the states in the South-East, and not the APC. From Abia, Enugu, Imo, Ebonyi to Anambra, Atiku dwarfed Buhari with his acceptance and adoption in the region.
Like many of his past prophecies that didn’t come to pass, the Presiding Bishop, Divine Seed of God Chapel Ministries, Ibadan, Oyo State, Wale Olagunju, had predicted several months before the presidential election that Buhari would be roundly defeated by Atiku.
Being based in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, his prophecy might have come true, at least in the state, where Atiku marginally defeated Buhari in the presidential poll.
Quoting him in one of his interviews with a national newspaper, Olagunju said, “Let me congratulate President Muhammadu Buhari for winning the ticket of his party, the All Progressives Congress, and let me also make it clear to him that he will lose to Atiku Abubakar. Let me also congratulate Atiku in advance because he will win the next presidential election come 2019.
“Let me say, as a matter of fact, that Buhari does not need an alfa or prophet to deceive him that he would win the election, for as God lives, he would lose.”
The elections have come and gone but the outcome thoroughly faulted Olagunju’s prediction.
For Prophet David Babalola of His Presence Redemption Ministry International, Lagos, Atiku would trounce Buhari in the election.
He stated that he was on a mountain and saw Buhari on the right and Atiku on the left.
He said he asked God what the vision meant and God told him, “I can go back for the good to come. For you to have the best, that means there is bad before the good. It is power turnaround.’’
Babalola said, “I look at the announcement they announced (sic). They said Atiku have (has) won the presidency. Let everyone pray effectively that they will hand over.’’
The cleric added that Atiku had been ordained Nigeria’s President since 2012, saying, “Atiku won the election.’’
But despite the cacophony of failed prophecies on the presidential election, Prophet Emmanuel Stephen of the Mountain of Grace and Glory Ministry Worldwide, Lagos, reeled out a prediction which left the congregation and those who watched the video online in a pensive mood.
Before the poll shift, the prophet said he saw that Atiku wanted to sit on a seat decorated in the nation’s colours; but someone took the seat away from him and he sat on the floor before the seat reappeared and the incumbent President Buhari sat majestically on it.
After the poll delay, in another online video, the prophet stated, “Between Atiku and Buhari, I said something in my earlier prophecy. As Atiku walked to sit on a throne decorated with the country’s colours, someone came and removed the throne and he sat on the floor. Last December, I said when the throne reappeared; the current President Buhari already sat on it.
“I want to make a major comment about it because many of those who made comments about the video of the prophecy online don’t know who God is. There is a time God will look and changed His mind. There are several places in the Bible where God changed his mind.
“As of December last year, I saw Buhari on the throne as President. The surprising thing is that even as the presidential election is six days away, the prophecy has not changed. The man I saw walk to the throne is not the man that sat on it. What makes a prophet a genuine one is the confident of maintaining what you have said.” After that utterance, the video ended.
Commenting on the issue, a senior pastor at the Glory Centre Community Church, Lagos, Pastor Kunle Zakariya, said there were many reasons why it appeared that some prophecies don’t come to pass.
He said, “Many prophecies have been fulfilled in the past and we cannot deny the fact that prophecies come to pass. For instance, Pastor Tunde Bakare of the Latter Rain Assembly gave a prophecy about the 1992 elections that came to pass. Pastor Enoch Adeboye has also given many prophecies that came to pass.”
Zakariya told SUNDAY PUNCH that prophecies didn’t come to pass owing to many reasons, ranging from fake pastors to misinterpreting prophecies by even some genuine men of God.
He said, “However, some prophecies do not come to pass because God didn’t talk to the person; they were probably based on the person’s bias. Such bias could be political, ethnic or logic-based. “Many times, when one has a bias, one will think one is hearing God but one is only hearing one’s bias. At times, people don’t hear God; they just make predictions by studying the situation and wanting to predict. People who do that are not genuine men of God.
“Another reason it looks like prophecies don’t come to pass is because most of times, people don’t understand that prophecy is a major school. The Bible says that we prophesy in part because we see in part.”
The cleric added that there were different stages of a prophetic word.
Zakariya said, “You receive the prophecy, interpret it and deliver it. Most pastors miss it in the aspect of interpreting the prophecy. For example, during Buhari and the late President Umaru Yar’Adua’s tribunal tussle, a man of God saw a vision where Yar’Adua was wheeled out of Aso Rock. He interpreted that because it was the time of the tribunal Buhari would win at the tribunal and Yar’Adua was on his way out of Aso Rock. He saw the right prophecy but he interpreted wrongly. It was later he understood that Yar’Adua was going to leave through sickness and it was the typology of the wheel chair he saw.”
He noted that a man of God could get a prophecy and miss the interpretation because the language pattern of God was different from men’s.
“I think the lessons for all of us to know that God is God and man is man. We also need to know that some genuine one can appear to miss it, where they miss it is the interpretation,” Zakariya stated while buttressing his point further.
“Some prophecies also have conditions; you might see the prophecies and miss the condition. For instance, somebody might see that Buhari is going if certain things happen. You might see that Buhari is going but the other person see that part you didn’t see and you didn’t see that other part.”
The pastor added that to forestall such in the church, pastors should unite and get a broader view and an accurate interpretation of prophecies before reeling them out to the public.
He said, “This is where I think the church has to be united. Prophetic word from the elders of the body of Christ should be judged by themselves. There should be a council. I think where they can share note, and then share strong and true prophetic words for the nations. But there is no doubt that prophesying is accurate. We have seen it in the Bible and even in contemporary times. Prophecies are true, people sometimes miss the interpretation and there are also fake pastors.”
He further said he could not tell whether a pastor should share a prophecy or not because the Lord who showed them would teach them how to administer it.
On his part, an Islamic cleric, Alfa Jamal Ahmed, said many people enjoyed saying things to please themselves, adding that all utterances and one’s ways should be committed to God.
He said, “If you notice, you hardly see Islamic clerics go about saying all sorts although few of them do so. Most times, those people who give all those prophecies speak based on what they want and for the candidates of their choice. They are not speaking God’s mind.”