Pastor Kris Okotie of the Household of God Church tells Punch's Gbenro Adeoye in this interview why he still wants to run for president despite his three failed attempts and why he splashed over N150m on two luxury cars recently. The issue about the Catholics was also addressed again...
What’s your thought about Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s letter to President Jonathan?
Like I mentioned in that piece, I don’t want to get involved in the presidential skirmishes; but it is common knowledge that I admire President Olusegun Obasanjo as the greatest leader that Nigeria has ever had. He is the ipsissimus of the Nigerian genitive nuance, that is, the personification of the untapped uniqueness of the Nigerian seed.
Why did you describe Obasanjo like this? Is it not ironic because not a few Nigerians feel he was part of the problem of Nigeria?
The perception of the Obasanjo persona is always predicated on conjecture and political superstition. Many do not have the necessary comprehension of the complexities of political leadership; hence, their uninformed and misguided classification of the great leader (Obasanjo). Africa needs an amalgam of strong institutions and strong men. Obasanjo is a strong man. He possesses the intrinsic determination which galvanises wilful projections.
What informed your recent write-up titled ‘2014: Relevance Of A Paradigm Shift’? Is it a prelude to announcing your intention ahead of 2015 presidential election?
No, I started writing for the media, (including a contribution to Punch) about a year ago. This article is just one of my regular write-ups. It has nothing to do with my presidential ambition. That said, I will run in 2015, God willing.
Has God spoken to you yet about contesting for the election or not?
God spoke to me about my participation in the political process, which was why I took the step in the first place. He has not said anything contrary.
Why do you still want to contest knowing that you have not always secured reasonable votes to become president?
Besides, elections in Nigeria have not always been free and fair.You said it. The elections have always been rigged, everybody knows that and that is why it is incorrect to say I have not always secured the votes required to win.
Why do you think your previous shots at the presidency failed?
I can sum it up in one word - Rigging by the PDP. Even one of the party’s stalwarts, Chief Adeseye Ogunlewe, told PUNCH recently that all elections have always been rigged. So that answers the question.
If you are contesting in 2015, what will you be doing differently and what should Nigerians expect?
I don’t want to disclose that now because of my previous experience. Someone out there could steal our strategy.
Each time you say God instructs you to contest, people always have the impression that you ought to win if you are truly directed by God, how come you have not been getting majority votes?
These election questions are inter-related. If they didn’t rig, then I could have won. Apart from election malpractices, the duty of a servant of God is to obey his master when he gives him instructions, irrespective of whether he fails or succeeds. Like Moses in the Bible, who kept fighting until Pharaoh released the Israelites.
Since FRESH Party has been proscribed by INEC, are you planning to join PDP or APC to contest for the election in 2015?
We won a court victory against the de-registration of our party in June last year. So I will still run on the FRESH Democratic Party platform, God willing.
Do you think Nigerians take you serious because some of them describe you as a serial contender? Some of them wonder whether you heard God right?
Those who opine that my presidential ambition is a dramatic serialisation of a political whim are indeed the unintelligent who seek to fathom the Okotie enigma. I consider such people a necessary comic relief from the tedium of the day. Why would I jeopardise my life, deplete my domestic economy, engage political rascals, hoodlums and brigands and threaten the stability of my ecclesiastical responsibility if I’m not fully persuaded that this is a heavenly calling? My only reply to these gainsayers is, delay is no denial.
In the recent write-up that was earlier mentioned, you wrote that the realignment of political forces always comes with a big bang but has never taken us to the Promised Land, are you saying that the APC will go down like the mergers we have had in the past?
Mergers hardly work in this country. Our political maturity is still too low to allow the kind of coalition that the people envisage. Even though I have my fears on the latest effort by the opposition, I believe APC can still pull it off given the chance.
You are from the South- South as President Jonathan. Why are you contesting instead of supporting his re-election bid?
The constitution guarantees me that right. Besides, why should I support Jonathan? Why can’t he support me? Moreover, I do not believe in the myopic concept of regional xenophobia. Nigeria deserves the best.
Some of your fans believe it was a tragedy to have left music at the time you did, do you agree?
No. I left music for a higher calling. Thank God I did. I still play music in church.
Some still believe that you might stage a comeback, is that feasible?
Well, only time will tell. With God all things are possible.
Are you planning to make gospel music?
I have not given it a thought yet.
You look quite young for your age, what’s the secret?
I have often said that if you want to look young, win souls for Jesus Christ. Moreover, I belong to the Methuselah clan. God made him the oldest man in the Bible so that he could witness for Him. It follows from that logic; if you want to live long and look young, win souls.
How will you sum up your experience in ministry in the last 30 years?
It is indeed a rare privilege and honour for which my gratitude to the Lord Jesus Christ cannot possibly be expressed in words. Over the course of my gospel career, I have come to realise that ministry apart from winning souls, is all about service, really. It is probably the best nursery and training ground for leaders in any sphere of human endeavour. It is in ministry that the complex problems of humanity stare you in the face. You encounter circumstances that only God could handle because of their sheer complexity and bizarre nature.
You are a multifaceted human being. The musician, lawyer, pastor and politician, how do you manage all these?
I do by maintaining a balance and I enjoy it.
You stirred up controversy when you said Catholics would go to hell. Why did you say that?
It's because the church perverts the gospel of Jesus Christ and that perversion is located in the leadership, even as Pope Francis recently announced. However, there are many good Christians within the Catholic Church who are not aware of the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church, that has substituted Mary for Jesus, in what is known as the hyperdulia of the Virgin Mary. Salvation for them is not through Jesus alone but in accordance with what Pope Francis recently announced to the world. That, in itself, is a direct violation of the sanctity of the scriptures.
You even described the Pope as “an anti-Christ and a friend of Satan” and the Catholic Church is a counterfeit church set up by Satan. What made you say this?
The heresies in their doctrine and the recent announcement by Pope Francis corroborate this position.
Are you still planning to remarry?
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