Of failed prophecies and political guesswork

TONY OKAFOR writes on the prophecies from highly regarded men of God concerning the Anambra State governorship election and how the process and results of the poll did not go according to most of the predictions

Men of God have courted controversies with their utterances in the political atmosphere of the country in recent times.

In the build up to the recently concluded Anambra State governorship election, prophetic utterances/prophecies were commonplace.

The Spiritual Director of the Holy Ghost Adoration Ministry, Uke, in the Idemili South Local Government Area of the state, Rev Fr Obimma Emmanuel, aka Ebube Muonso, opened the floodgate of the prophecies, when in January to mark the new year, he predicted trouble for corrupt politicians, death of high profile politicians, and revaluation of who would become the next Anambra governor in the election slated for November 6, 2021.

He had claimed, “God has revealed a lot of things to me concerning 2021 and what it holds in stock for Nigerians and the world. Some are good and some are not good. But I pray that the spirit of God will take absolute control of the negative events and postulations for 2021.

“At the political front, I foresee a change of power. In Anambra, the outcome of the November 2021 governorship election will shock many. As you can see, many are jostling for the governorship seat, but God has already given me the name of the person that will take over from Obiano.

“The Holy Spirit told me that God has strengthened the person to take Anambra to the next level. When I was praying for good governance in Anambra, the Holy Spirit revealed to me the fall of an empire; fall of an empire. The Holy Ghost opened my eyes and I saw an empire overthrowing another empire.

“God showed me the man that will take Anambra to the next level and his name also appeared. When the name appeared, I prayed to God, and God said this is the one I want.”

He added, “The Holy Ghost has never given me any vision that has failed. Ever since I was born; ever since I became a priest; the Holy Ghost has never given me a failed prophecy. None of my prophecies failed. In 2015, when I was telling Nigerians that Buhari would win the presidential election but that Nigerians would suffer, people did not take it seriously. It came as a result of revelation.

“When I was telling our people that Hope Uzodimma, who took the fourth position during the Imo State governorship election, would eventually become the governor, people did not understand it. I told people that Willie Obiano would win his first tenure. I also did so during his second term election. God’s ways are not our ways.

“In the 2021 governorship election, the electorate will do conscience voting and not money voting. The people will no more vote based on religious affiliation, creed or political platform. That is how the new order will come, and people will be surprised. God has revealed the man to me.

“It does not matter whether he is a Catholic or Pentecostal or Anglican. The important thing is that he is a good man; he is selfless. He is actually the person destined to take the mantle from Obiano to continue where he stops. God revealed to me the next government in Anambra will be better than what we have today.”

The controversial Catholic priest in charge of the Adoration Ministry, Enugu, Rev Fr Ejike Mbaka, joined in the fray of prophecies on the Anambra poll a few days to the exercise, when the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Senator Andy Uba, visited the prayer centre.

Mbaka, who predicted victory for Uba during the visit, said he saw glory sitting on the candidate’s head, adding, “Uba has what it takes to govern Anambra State.

“I see the cloud of glory sitting on your head and what’s written is written.”

In 2010, Mbaka prophesied that Prof Charles Soludo, who was the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in that year’s election, would not become the governor of Anambra State.

In a video that went viral, Mbaka stated, “I called Soludo and said, ‘You are my very good friend; (former) Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, I have been sent to tell you not to run for governor, because you will fail. If you contest and fail, I don’t know what else you will run for.

“Keep your prestige, your honour, your divinely acquired integrity, your professional reputation; go to the World Bank and catch a job there.

“I warned him but he didn’t listen; he said he was sure of victory. I got his wife’s number and called her; she was in London. I said this is what I told your husband.”

Soludo came third in that year’s poll behind Peter Obi of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, who won a second term, and Dr Chris Ngige of the then Action Congress of Nigeria. In 2013, Soludo, who made another attempt to become the governor of the state on the platform of the APGA, was disqualified during the party’s primary election.

In a video posted Facebook that went viral a week to the  November 6 election, an Onitsha-based prophet, Chukwuemeka Ohanaemere (Odumeje), alias Indaboski Bahose, of the  Lion of the Mountain of the Holy Ghost Intervention Church, said the Anambra election would not hold.

He said he had been praying, but instead of the election taking place, what he saw was death and bloodletting.

Before Odumeje’s prophecy, Anambra, like other states in the South-East, had suffered a wave of insecurity-related incidents, raising concerns that the election might be marred by violence.

Dr Chike Akunyili, the widower of the former Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, Dora Akunyili, and many others, including security operatives, were killed in the prelude to the election.

The Anambra State secretariat of the Independent National Electoral Commission, police stations, including the Zonal Police Headquarters, Zone 13, and other private and public institutions were burnt by people suspected to be against the election.

The Federal Government, through the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, at a stage threatened to declare a state of emergency on Anambra before the poll because of the security situation in the state.

Odumeje, in a viral video said, “I am looking at the election that will come up in Anambra State; I have been praying but I don’t see the election, because I see deaths. I see deaths of (by) gun. Through a prophet, a nation is saved.

“We pray, this election in Anambra State, even before the election, because I don’t see the election hold (sic). Because I am seeing where people kill people. Don’t say I did not said [sic] it.

“When I say something, I can never joke when I say something. I saw anger, where the election were (sic) stopped.

“When a prophet is talking, a nation that wants development listens.”

The election took place and few instances of violence were recorded though no one was reported to have died during the main and supplementary poll.

An independent observer of the poll, Cyracus Ogbenna, said in a post mortem, “Obviously, Anambra residents are the general winners of the poll by doing the right things expected of them, especially shunning violence during the electioneering.

“Perhaps, the Anambra poll will go down in history as the only poll in the country in recent times where no single gunshot was fired or snatching of ballot boxes recorded.”

Reacting to the situation, a lecturer at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Gabriel Alonta, described political prophecies as harmful to society.

He said, “Personally, I don’t listen to political prophecies from anyone. I think political prophecies have done more harm than good as they only end up heating up the polity rather than positively contributing to political development.

“I’ll call them political projections rather than prophecies. In the cases you cited (Mbaka and Odumeje), they were largely based on the already tense security situation and the gale of defection before the election in Anambra and the concomitant threat of ‘no election’ by the Indigenous People of Biafra.”

A public affairs commentator, Victor Agusiobo, said, “It is quite unfortunate that many men of God now regard prophecy as some act in comedy. For them, it seems like a trading gambit to sustain or increase their congregation, showcase their imaginary spiritual powers and relationship with whatever they call their god, and most importantly, to make more money from desperate seekers of what the future holds.

“It really bothers me why these unscrupulous preachers will elevate guess work and syllogism as a message from God. Pray, in what language did God speak to them and how did they interpret it?

“The world is still waiting for the whereabouts of the Malaysian MH 370 since it was lost in 2014 and our putative prophets with legions of them in Nigeria have yet to contribute to that search.

“As long as the citizens remain credulous and the politicians desperate and in search of spurious endorsements from religious circles, the prophecy trade will boom for a little while though many are getting wiser to know that these self-acclaimed prophets are just as blind as the biblical Bartimaeus.

“At best, these prophets are a major discount to the political process by conscripting their obviously gullible congregants to accept their warped choices as sacrosanct and from God.”

Jude Atupulazi, a media executive stated, “Political prophecies are just what they are: political. They thrive because people allow themselves to be manipulated by these people (men of God).

“When politicians run to prophets during campaigns and give them money, those prophets feel compelled to give favourable prophecies, which, as we have often seen, are mere guess work.

“While those who know better will not be deceived, the gullible will fall victim and that’s where the danger lies, because the gullible seem to be in the majority. In a country where hardship and poverty have destroyed the psyche of most people, it is little wonder that they have found solace in false prophets. It’s a shame.”

People should be guided by Proverbs 30: 5-6, which states, “Every word of God proves true. He is a shield to all who come to Him for protection. Do not add to his words, or He may rebuke you and expose you as a liar.”

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