By Olukorede Yishau
I LOVE Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, his stylish haircut, his stage theatrics and his one-in-town miracles. I also love his deep voice and the power and influence they exude. He has spoken about pseudo-science, about the power in the blood and its infinite prowess.
When he speaks, he sounds sure of his facts and many out there see him as God’s right-hand man who can do no wrong. So, when he opens his mouth, they hear nothing else being said around them. The oracle of God, they appear to believe, is on the throne and attention must not be divided.
Since the Coronavirus pandemic broke out, this handsome man of God has been coming up with revelations from high up, revelations never heard of, revelations capable of shaking the globe’s foundation and revelations that can only be described as of gargantuan proportion. Only some days back, he faulted the guidelines for the re-opening of churches. In his fantastic wisdom, a true man of God should not be afraid of touching a COVID-19 patient. I am sure he believes a true man of God should also feel free to heal an Ebola patient by laying hands on him or her. There is scientific proof that an Ebola-infected corpse is worse than a living Ebola patient. I also suspect he may doubt the calling of the Texas pastor who contracted COVID-19 and died just because he shared a sentiment similar to his and ignored scientific protocols. Chances are also that he will query the faith of the choir members who all got infected during practice in an American church.
His colleague, Apostle Johnson Suleman of the Omega Fire Ministry, is another man of panache. Though not as colourful and handsome as our dear Pastor Chris, he is nonetheless good at his craft. At the outset of the pandemic, he asked for permission to visit isolation centres and heal patients. Heeding this call will save the country the huge expenses incurred battling Coronavirus. Aside from the duo of Pastor Oyakhilome and Apostle Suleman, there are other brave men of God ready to help the government battle the devil called COVID-19. The government needs to listen to them and speed up the process of healing and rebuilding of our economy, which has been damaged by COVID-19. This is the time to ignore the cowards advising otherwise.
We need healing, we need to get people sacked back at work and we need to move forward. This is a once-in-a-life opportunity. Jesus touched and healed the leper so can his able lieutenants on earth.
Apostle Suleman was even specific about the success rate he would achieve if allowed into isolation centres.
The man of God said: “Please permit us to go and pray for COVID-19 patients. Allow us to go there; that is why there are men of God. If you are really anointed to pray for the sick, this is the time because what is holding the world is sickness. So, we’re begging the government to permit us into isolation centres; that is the only way we can reduce this nonsense because it will improve every day.
There are people with the gift of healing. God has gifted them to pray for the sick. It is not fake, gimmick or arranged. It is there in them. Permit us so that we can prove there are prophets in Nigeria.
“Permit us so that the ridicule and all that can reduce. We’re not telling you we can heal all of them, but by the time we are through with them, you’ll see a significant difference. If they are 20 before, at least 18 will be cleared because that is what God can do.”
We must not miss this opportunity offered to us on a platter of gold. The other day Pastor Oyakhilome spoke about the nexus between COVID-19 and the 5G network. Wow! I have never seen that level of genius before. The man of God made his point with the aid of diagrams only he could properly understand.
We also need to export Pastor Chris and Apostle Suleman to the world. The United States specifically can do with their help because the country is witnessing a spike in COVID-19 cases. The country some days back recorded its biggest one-day cases with 45,242 infections. The country has had 2.5 million cases.
Globally, some 10 million cases have been recorded and no less than 500,000 deaths have been documented. With the dire situation in the U.S. and science’s inability to rein in the virus, Pastor Chris and Apostle Suleman can make a lot of difference. I also believe if the Federal Government plays its game very well, Nigeria can even earn forex from this deal of helping save the world from COVID-19. This will be a good way of diversifying our mono-economy.
My final take: Nigeria was last week declared polio-free. This is a feat that should have been achieved earlier. One of the reasons it was not achieved on time was because parents listened to clerics instead of scientists. By the time gumption prevailed, it was too late. Thank God we eventually conquered it using a vaccine.
Given the experience with polio vaccine, there are fears that followers of men of God who doubt COVID-19 and have been preaching against protocols meant to curb it will refuse to be vaccinated when the time comes. I wish them well. It is a sin to begrudge them their inalienable right to be gullible and sink in it.
Olukorede Yishau is Associate Editor at The Nation Newspaper and author ” In The Name Of Our Father.”.