Post COVID -19: Nigerians Are Hard Working, Government Should Provide Essential Services For Empowerment –Prince Obed Ezeonye
Rev. Dr. Prince Obed Ezeonye, is the Founding President, Heaven’s Gate World Outreach Centre Inc a.k.a. Excellent Glory Christian Centre, Iju- Lagos. He publish, “The Voice of Faith Digest” and facilitate an online media group, Achievement and Kingdom Success Secrets, -DOUBLE DIAMOND PLATFORM TODAY. He is envisioned to liberate mankind from the oppression and afflictions of the devil through word of faith and healing.
In this encounter, Rev. Prince Obed Ezeonye shared with PROVIDENCE his experience, views and opinion on the COVID -19 pandemic, lockdown; the church and the society.
Sharing his lockdown experience, Rev. Ezeonye described it as a shocker, been first of its kind in the whole world and Nigeria in particular. In addition, was the shutdown of churches and religious activities. This climaxed the experience with surprises, with no such in history of our nation.
Looking at the difference between the reported cases of previous viruses, he said, there were cases of Hiv/Aids, Bird Flu and Ebola in the past. We live with malaria already but the attention Covid -19 generated and the attendant fear made it more life threatened and deadly. That is why it was alleged to be artificially and scientifically created. Whatever the reason, it was evil motivated against humanity, he claimed.
In terms of the pandemic as endtime prophesies, only those who are ignorant of the Bible truth will be surprised. People working in the knowledge of the truth would not. The Bible foretold these things and gave insight on how to navigate through. Surprisingly, many Christians joined to over-blow the scourge. The fear of Covid -19 became the beginning of wisdom for them. They forgot the Goshen experience in Exodus and broke the hedge with fear.
I am expecting mass harvest of souls after the lockdown and shutdown of churches. It may not be immediate, but once the church is back, with revival service to get the members revive, sensitize and mobilise, the harvest will begin. Attendance may at first fluctuate but will stabilise with visitations and follow ups. The pandemic and the attendant situations are evangelical message on their own. The church does not need much revelations to preach, he stated.
I suspected something like, it was targeted to silent the church. When this pandemic broke out with the direction of the government, I alerted those around me that the target was the church. Soon, worship centres were shutdown. The enemy strole in and hijacked the whole process, simply to access the authority of the church for future persecution. Unknowingly, Christian leaders at various levels gave in, only to discover this when it was late. But God will turn it for the good of His kingdom. Few things came up as a result of the lockdown. The church came alive online. Also, the impact make people to think outside the box, including pastors. There is going to be emergence of multiple commercial activities from now, he assured.
Emphasing on the gain and losses of the church during the lockdown, Obed said, there are people who would have been saved but died during the lockdown and shutdown. There are people whose only faith is being at the worship centres. They believed once they step into God’s house, they will be healed. Evangelist were off the streets, missionaries could not access the fields and deliverance couldn’t be carried out in churches. It was terrible! The only gain was the internet breakthrough.
Suggesting the role of the church to stabilize the society, he said, the church has not relented in her service to mankind and the society. It is the prayers of the church that has kept Nigeria. With the society we lived in, the story would have been different if the church is not in place. Government should allow the church operate without interference. So that the church can continue her good work to mankind and the society.
Obed declared, it was clear, there was a sinister motives against the church, to silent it, whether the government knows it or not. There was something in that direction.
Pastors and church members relationship were affected, but it is about understanding. There are categories of Christians in the church. The upcoming one’s would give ears to the world to pick faults with the church and pastors, particularly in the area of welfare. Still, many pastors and churches did not abandoned their members. Matured Christians would not expect much. But will see the lockdown as a challenge to prove supernatural intervention over needs. Churches deviced means of keeping in touch with their members. Nothing much has gone wrong on relationship between the pastor and members, except that the closeness was absent.
Giving insight to people’s doubt on miracle, Obed bemoaned the failure of the church leaders to look in that direction during their discussions with the government. This was part of the deceptive strategies to make the Christians see that they can live without church services and programmes. God has a way of doing things, He called the church, the Body and Jesus, the Head. The Body is a function with various activities, drawing from the Head who supplies all that is needed for effective functioning of the body. It is that supply we call miracles. Neglecting that body demands is neglecting what God can do. He works through the body of Christ.
Lamenting on error and controversies plaguing the church, Rev. Ezeonye said, there are alot of issue plaguing the church today. Apart from the long standing doctrinal issues gave birth to denominations, the political interference in the unity of the church and ethnic/tribal sentiments has not help the matter. The political and tribal are recent development. The Christian community is divided and polarized along political and ethical lines and as such, the church can’t speak with one voice. This is contrary to the word of God that says, in Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek. These errors must be corrected and the church leaders must be proactive in ensuring the Church speak in one voice.
Stating his position on the society, “the society has learned alot and there is going to be emergence of new order in every sphere of societal activities. People are going to be more desperate and daring, both in the right and wrong ways. Crime rate will increase, but can be reduced if the government at all levels can come up with schemes to empower people”.
Rev. Ezeonye Obed advised government at all levels to do more in ameliorating the sufferings of the people. Citing the statistics of Nigeria, together with India and DRC Congo having the highest number of poor people in the world without any forseable way out, proves the government has no plan for her citizens. The money and resources in this country are enough to secure a robust future for her citizens. But it is circulating and going into the hands of few in government. Nigerians are hard working, government should provide essential services to empower them, he said.