PUNCH INTERVIEW: Revolution Looming In Nigeria — Makinde

Methodist Church Prelate, Dr. Sunday Ola Makinde
By Leke Baiyewu

In this interview with LEKE BAIYEWU, the Prelate of the Methodist Church Nigeria, Dr. Sunday Ola Makinde, speaks on the planned levy on religious organisations and leadership in Nigeria.

What’s your reaction to the recent calls for taxation of religious organisations?

People calling for the taxation of churches are like people calling for the sale of their mother. The Christian church is the architect and the mother of Nigeria’s achievments. I don’t know what Nigeria would have become without Christianity; we brought civilisation, education, even publication – the first publication started in Abeokuta by the CMS. We brought hospitals. Those who fought Church Missionary Society for the independence of Nigeria were products of missionary schools.

So, those who are making the call for taxation are saying, “Sell my mother, I don’t care.” And it’s an action that is impossible. I am re-emphasising it, it is an impossible task. Those who fight the church are fighting God. The first leprosy centre in Nigeria was established by the Methodist Church Nigeria, followed by the Catholic Church. The killing of twins was stopped by Mary Slessor of the Presbyterian Church in Calabar.

There is an exception- We have the Wesley House in Lagos built for commercial purposes. If you want to tax that, it is good. If we are getting an income from it, as we put tenants there, it is taxable. We are paying tax on the commercial buildings we have. But if you want to tax our tithes and Sunday collections, you cannot because the church is not for commercial purpose. And we plough what we have back into the society.

The churches are in partnership with the government. For example the hospitals and schools built by the Methodist, Catholic, Anglican, Seventh Day Adventists, etc, are a way we plough our money back into the society.

They think we were making profits in our schools; it started with Lateef Jakande in Lagos, they took over our schools and destroyed everything. Products of those schools are the armed robbers of today; they are the area boys, the militants and the ‘Boko Harams’ because they were given education without morality and the fear of God. It serves us right because we are lying on the bed we spread.

But critics argue that missionary schools are too expensive and out of the reach of a common man.

If knowledge is expensive, try ignorance. The one they (government) are doing is not free. Education is not free, somebody is subsidising. We are now establishing our universities where there is no cultism and no strikes. When it is four years, it is four years. But look at our government-owned universities, they are glorified secondary schools. You can’t compare them with mission universities. I know a cousin who went to the Lagos State University and spent eight years for a degree because of strikes. Even with the argument that our school fees are high, we are still subsidising.

Where did the country get it wrong that people refer to the independence era as better years?

We are the architect of our problems. One, there is no fear of God again in the land, and the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. Islam preaches fear of God, Christianity preaches fear of God but there is no fear of God anywhere again. When there is no fear of God, there will be no love. Once there is no love, corruption sets in.

The love between the Hausa and the Yoruba; the Yoruba and the Igbo; the majority and the minority are orchestrated and counterfeit love. We have politicised everything. And the root of all of these is corruption.

In the sixties, when people took contracts to construct roads and other infrastructure, they didn’t give or take percentage (bribes). The Ibadan-Ijebu Road, which was constructed by Gen. Yakubu Gowon, is still solid because bribes were not given. When you award contracts and you take percentages, the works will not be solid. It is not a spiritual problem; it is a physical problem that boils down to corruption and lack of the fear of God. People no longer work with conscience. And conscience is the inner voice of God in you. Most Nigerians don’t have conscience again; their conscience is dead. And when your conscience is dead, you do wrong things. I served this country for about 40 years and I retired with no pension or gratuity, and you want me to die for Nigeria? I can’t.

Some people have said a revolution is looming. Do you agree?

I agree seven times. When you keep people unemployed for a long time, you are asking for a revolution. And let me tell you, Boko Haram has become a revolution; they don’t kill only Christians again, they kill Muslims now. They go into their homes while they are praying and shoot them. They are going beyond religion and it is becoming a revolution. The Niger Delta militancy case is a revolution. You can’t take resources from our place and develop the North, while you neglect us. A councillor is earning more than a vice-chancellor of a university or a professor and you say there will be no revolution. There will be revolution.

Nigeria is bleeding. We must try as much as possible not to make it anaemic. Everyone is guilty; don’t apportion blames to the politicians alone. The church is guilty because some people have commercialised religion and that is why some say churches should be taxed – because they see religious leaders living above their means. When you are too flamboyant as a man of God, people will talk. But we cannot use isolated cases to judge the church. The judiciary is not left out, in fact, it has disgraced the nation. What about the police? They are licensed to kill through accidental discharge. Everybody is almost lawless in this country.

Those who are calling for a revolution have also faulted the 1914 amalgamation, saying the regions should go their separate ways. Do you support this?

Revolution can come but it cannot lead to a division. The revolution will not be restricted to any region because we have all got it wrong. I will not advocate fa break-up. Going our separate ways is not the answer to our problems. Getting it right and returning to God is the answer. The spirit of those who died during the civil war will not forgive us if we divide as a nation. Let me emphasise this: the spirit of those who died, the innocent ones, during the civil war will not forgive us if Nigeria divides. To jaw-jaw is better than to war-war.

There is nothing President Goodluck Jonathan can do, except we pray for him. We are insatiable; nobody can satisfy Nigerians. I pity him as a leader. I am a leader and I know what leadership means. He cannot satisfy everybody. Even those who are not as knowledgeable as he is are condemning him. It is easier to condemn than to offer advice.  This is the right time for all of us to pray for our country, our leaders and offer constructive criticism and have good political leaders.

What baffles me in Nigeria today is that the enemies of Nigeria are in the same party. Those who criticise the Peoples Democratic Party bitterly are the members of the party. Most of those who do not see anything good in Jonathan are members of the PDP. The party is a house that is divided against itself and cannot stand. What I want is a formidable opposition, not to gang up. What I want is a party with discipline; a party with manifesto. The only way out is for politics to be less lucrative. We are not civilised and experienced enough in politics to run a presidential system of government. It is too expensive; our economy is not good and we depend on only crude oil. All the local councils and states go to Abuja for federal allocation. How can we grow?  States cannot generate funds for themselves and they think they can generate funds to run their states through taxation of churches. They are deceiving themselves. We will pray and they will collapse because God can fight for himself. Let them diversify. I am praying to God to let oil dry up even during my lifetime so that we will learn a lesson of not putting all our eggs in one basket.  We have a long way to go and that is why I say it is a general failure, not Jonathan’s failure. I pity him. Jonathan is suffering from the penalty of leadership. To me, it is a collective failure. We are all making Nigeria to bleed. We all need attitudinal change.
 

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Regional government

The problem with nigeria is that power is centralized. Everything as to wait for what ASO ROCK as to offer instead of investing in their own people. Let individual states have their own police, let cities have local policies,eliminate the presidential system and introduce parlimentary system of government. The more people giving to the states, the better because the competition will force governors of work. Abi if others states dey do better thing people go ask say governor wey our own.

both

well said my brother i think they both cursed and stupid

leave yoruba alone

igbos just leave yorubas alone, do your thing and leave this people alone. Haba its enough my God, hausa kills you like chicken and all your igbos ever talk about is yorubas that you prosper in their place. please leave these people alone if you not stop then you will have the most formitable enermy you ever have. warning oo

SIR, YOUR HAVE SPOKEN ONLY

SIR, YOUR HAVE SPOKEN ONLY BUT THE TRUTH.FEARING NO ONE, ONLY GOD.MAY YOU LIVE LONG AND LONG.

To Anonymous, I don't think

To Anonymous,

I don't think you really understood what you read from the interview excerpt. He refered to the point about churches/religious leaders leaving a lavish life which ties to your comment on milking members, and he also mentioned that any church establishment that is commercial in nature can be taxed.

Point of distinction:- Government cannot charge tax on the offering of people in church. From even a tax perspective...that is double taxation. you have already taxed the income of the church members via PAYE and now, you want to tax their offering again.

Anonymous ....please face the truth based on facts and logic not sentiments. And next time you leave a comment, please stand by it....put forward your name not "anonymous".

Lets face the truth

The problem with the brand of religion practiced in Nigeria today is that it allows its leaders blame events on other unconnected events. they turn a blind eye to the truth because of their political affiliations. yes a Councillor earns more than a professor; what of a 'religious leader' who milks his followers to buy jets and open schools that their members cannot afford to send their children to? I thought the people who mostly died in the biafran war did so because they believed in biafra rather than Nigerian unity? Our problem is that we have no laws and the earlier we face it, the better for us all. After all, Jesus Christ paid tax without complaining.

Lets face the truth

With a message like that, both the innocent and the gullible are in a lot of trouble. Does it not bother the Prelate that the increase in the spread of Christianity and Islam which both 'preach' the 'fear of God', is accompanied by the impunity with which people disregard God's name? Love is by no means the solution to corruption, and the Ibadan-Ijebu road is standing today not because there was no bribe collected but because it was done well. The earlier we stop misleading our people and followers, the better for us as a nation.

This is wonderful. Nigerian

This is wonderful. Nigerian problem in a nut shell. Thank u so much sir! Ur statements are good. For this our nation to move to greater hight, all hands must be on deck. My prayer for you is dat God should continue to inspire you and also dat Almighty God should give our Paapa- President GEJ the grace 2 take to d promise land. I luv ma country- Nigeria

This wonderful. Nigerian

This wonderful. Nigerian problem in a nut shell. Thank u so much sir! Ur statements are good. For this our nation to move to greater hight, all hands must be on deck. My prayer for you is dat God should continue to inspire you and also dat Almighty God should give our Paapa- President GEJ the grace 2 take to d promise land. I luv ma country- Nigeria

It has revealed from ur name

It has revealed from ur name that u are trully an ignorant. It is better for u to keep ur mouth shut rather than u incurring the wrath of God on urself

Boko Haram

So much misinformation and half truths have been written about Boko Haram .What is the correct version of the truth and how can we stop this conflict with resolution and reconciliation not revenge and recrimination?

Tomi at
BrainSmart

church & corruption in nigeria~hand in glove

9O% of stolen public & even private funds in nigeria end up hidden in churches. Eg Babalakin BiCourtney wahala, efcc pls investigate N300million he has hidden with a particular church, cause its not in any bank nor under his bed nor overseas. That goes to so many other cases.

Willful Ignorance

Religion is the Opium of the masses (Karl Max). Islam is satanic and vehicle of slave-trade of Black people. The Northern Elites of the Nomads (Hausa/Fulanis)connived with Arabs to betray their people and cultural heritage. Christianity is a mechanism for looting human and natural resources from Africa.
TAX RELIGION: people will revert to hard working and providing for themselves rather than relying on God/Allah.
BAN PILGRIMAGE: ostentatious tours to meddle-east costs Nigeria huge economic waste annually and imports religious extremism/terrorism

Makinde: A Revolution of Cowards & Sisies

The cowards are first to stand on the roof tops and yell revolution. But when the revolution starts, they are the first to chicken out and deny their own mothers even before the cock crows twice. Then they commit genocide, like in 1966.

The 1966 military coup: 1. Maj. Adewale Ademoyega (Yoruba) author of "Why We Struck". 2. Capt. G. Adeleke (Yoruba). 3. Lt. Fola Oyewole (Yoruba) author of "The Reluctant Rebel". 4. Lt. R. Egbiko (Ishan). 5. Lt. Tijani Kastina (Hausa Fulani). 6. Lt O. Olafemiyan(Yoruba). 7. Capt Gibson Jalo (Bali). 8. Capt. J. Swanton (Middle Belt). 9. Lt. Hope Haris Eghagha (Urhobo). 10. Lt. Dag Warribor (Ijaw). 11. 2nd Lt. Saleh Dambo (Hausa). 12. 2nd Lt. John Atom Kpera (Tiv). 13. Maj. Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu (Delta Igbo). 14. Ifeajuna (Igbo). 15. Mj Victor Banjo (Yoruba).

Yeah Revolution: Yorubas Will Chicken Out

Yeah revolution yea right. When it happens, you will chicken out and start shouting Igbo Coup. Then join others to commit genocide.

The 1966 military coup: 1. Maj. Adewale Ademoyega (Yoruba) author of "Why We Struck". 2. Capt. G. Adeleke (Yoruba). 3. Lt. Fola Oyewole (Yoruba) author of "The Reluctant Rebel". 4. Lt. R. Egbiko (Ishan). 5. Lt. Tijani Kastina (Hausa Fulani). 6. Lt O. Olafemiyan(Yoruba). 7. Capt Gibson Jalo (Bali). 8. Capt. J. Swanton (Middle Belt). 9. Lt. Hope Haris Eghagha (Urhobo). 10. Lt. Dag Warribor (Ijaw). 11. 2nd Lt. Saleh Dambo (Hausa). 12. 2nd Lt. John Atom Kpera (Tiv). 13. Maj. Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu (Delta Igbo). 14. Ifeajuna (Igbo). 15. Mj Victor Banjo (Yoruba).

Re: Divide Nigeria into five Republic1&2

Sir,
Thanks for ur reply and explanation to the prelate's interview. But I just want to point out 2 things which I think are shrouded in error.
1. The cashier that took 20m to a church in tithes and offering was not encouraged to go steal to bring to the house of God. So, u don't heap the blame wholly on the the pastor, everybody should be made to face the repercussions of his/her actions, and not exonerating them by creating alibis.
2. Nigeria can never function together as one if we devolve into five Republic, we can only function well if we break totally or practice true federalism. And in doing so we have to go back to regional system of government, then with time we'll get it right if we make politics less lucrative and strengthen the judiciary, at the same time have a paradigm shift.
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria

GOD SAVE NIGERIA FROM MISLEADING

AM SO SORRY FOR NIGERIA,FOR NOT BE ABLE TO REASONALISE THERE FORMADALISE GROUP.
A NATION SUPPOSE TO REASON,AND BE SENSITIVE IN ALL THEY DOING,BECAUSE NO T MATTER HOW IS IT.
I WILL ENCOURAGE THERE NIGERIA,TO SIT-TILES.
A LEAD MUST LAID GOOD HISTORY FOR THE ON COMING CHILDREN.
FOR ALL THING'S HAVE IS OWN TIME.
PLEASE NIGERIA,LET US BE PRAYERFUL AND HAVE THE FEAR OF GOD IN MIND IN ALL-THING'S WILL ARE DOING.

NOBODY KNOW TOMORROW,TODAY CAN BE YOUR TURN,AND TOMORROW CAN BE ANOTHER PERSON'S CREATION.
LET DO ALL THING WITH FEAR OF GOD.THANKS

GOD SAVE NIGERIA FROM MISLEADING

AM SO SORRY FOR NIGERIA,FOR NOT BE ABLE TO REASONALISE THERE FORMADALISE GROUP.
A NATION SUPPOSE TO REASON,AND BE SENSITIVE IN ALL THEY DOING,BECAUSE NO T MATTER HOW IS IT.
I WILL ENCOURAGE THERE NIGERIA,TO SIT-TILES.
A LEAD MUST LAID GOOD HISTORY FOR THE ON COMING CHILDREN.
FOR ALL THING'S HAVE IS OWN TIME.
PLEASE NIGERIA,LET US BE PRAYERFUL AND HAVE THE FEAR OF GOD IN MIND IN ALL-THING'S WILL ARE DOING.

NOBODY KNOW TOMORROW,TODAY CAN BE YOUR TURN,AND TOMORROW CAN BE ANOTHER PERSON'S CREATION.
LET DO ALL THING WITH FEAR OF GOD.THANKS

Through taxation of churches

“We will pray and they will collapse because God can fight for himself. Let them diversify. I am praying to God to let oil dry up even during my lifetime….. “

Hopefully, the GOD of the Methodist is not cruel like one of His messengers on Earth.

Ignorance of their history

The biggest problem confronting Africans is ignorance. Africa is the origin of humanity. Africa is the origin of civilization. Christian concepts are derived from Ancient Egypt’s mystery system. It is the origin of all major religions.

Methodist, Catholic, Anglican, Seventh Day Adventists, etc. symbolise slavery, whitewash, plunder and subjugation. Ask knowledgeable Africans, ask natives from the Americas, Australia ....

Ooh, The Gods Of Africa!

Ooh, The Gods Of Africa! Africans have lost their African traditional religion and African deities.
They have being brain-washed by White-man Christianity and Arab Islam. The church symbolises white man’s domination of other races. Catholicism is White worship.

The biggest problem confronting Africans are ignorance; ignorance of their history. Not corruption, not poverty, not bad leaders, because all these tragic circumstances are exactly the result of this ignorance! If only we knew!!! The true knowledge of our ourselves is indeed the panacea to all our troubles!

I still can't understand if the black race is cursed or stupid.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaH0A6PMg10

talibsbs@yahoo.co.uk

Tax this churches, all their pastors know how to do is use Jesus to control people's lives, tax them, tell them who they will marry, and talk like they have Gods mobile and bb pin. Hopeless lots. It's only black man that can be fooled like this.

REVOLUTION IN NIGERIA.....A SURE THING!

THE CLERGY HAVE ALWAYS LED SUCH MOVEMENTS..AND ALWAYS IN THE FORM OF FRONTALLY TAKING ON CORRUPT/SELFISH/INEPT LEADERSHIP. GUITIEREZ (OPTIONS FOR THE POOR)IN THE LATIN AMERICAS, MARTIN LUTHER KING OF THE US, DESMOND TUTU OF SOUTH AFRICA AND MANY MORE OTHERS. NOT HERE, WHERE ALL WE HERE (ASIDE FROM A HANDFUL) IS 'IT IS WELL'....WHILE MANY OF THEM DINE AND RECEIVE PRIVATE JETS FROM OUR OPPRESSORS....IT CANNOT BE WELL!

@DERI: The Internet Vulture

@DERI: I stumbled on your response to my last post while reading the Punch (newspaper)online edition. Your Pseudonymn there was "9ja". You apparently copy-pasted here your old post on that page. Your facelessness is a matter of time. You are gradually being outed. People have suspected you to be a mere failure, whose main business is to roam from one internet site to another, attacking responsible Nigerians with responsible and legitimate means of livelihood with frustration-laden posts, just to get survival crumbs from your pay-masters. No wonder your desperation in seeing that their seccessionist agenda materialises in time. I pray it does. But one thing has been proven in the course of Nigerian history, the discovery of oil has never been a blessing to Nigeria, its taken 9ja back 20years pre-oil era. It has stagnated agriculture and other minning ventures of other regions. You are an animal - to be specific -a Vulture.

Taxing of Religious Body

In my own view, religious bodies (christian & muslim) need not be taxed because you cannot tax religious body due to exorbitant living of some religious leaders. But if they own commercial schools, such schools can be taxed.

DEN OF CRIMINALS

That fool Deri does not know the south south is nothing but a den of criminals.Thank God your evil plans have gone astray,your evil genius Azazi is now roasting in hell.Long live Nigeria,long live Arewa.

Femi Falana should go back to

Femi Falana should go back to basics. Demmand vs Supply.

1. Why are they now interested in Mission Schools afterall there are Government Schools which are supposed to be Free?

2. Government should fix Public schools and improve the standard, then you'll see the private school sit up in term of tution.

3. The same Femi Falana and others ignorantly mess up the system of education by leading unnecessary strikes to the detriment of the student. Now we have an average graduation Age in Nigerian Universities as 28yrs whereas employers want young graduate of 20 or less. You cannot eat your cake and have it.

Finally , i will advise that we look at Educational failure as a national one and look at the Fundamental Causes of these failure objectively, then and then only can we profer a solution that is lasting and stand the test of time

I guess Falana should first

I guess Falana should first Publish his real Income and taxes Paid in the Last 5 years. Pure hypocrisy

We have a faulty Tax system that needs to be addressed, secondly we need our leaders to justify what they make of our taxes. Afterall the Churches are justifying what they make of the income they've made.

Ignorant Falana

The Yorubas that Falana comes from have a popular saying; 'FALANA GBO TIRE, TARA ENI LAAGBO' It means
Falana go mind your own damned business, you see to your issues first before you poke your nose into other people's. You dont believe me? ask a Yoruba man to interprete my quotation for you. Infact Fela Anikolapo Kuti sang that piece in one of his records.
We don't care how much Falana makes representing Political crooks and criminals but to start dictating who should pay tax in Nigeria is crass hypocrisy.

@awere remove awuf oil revenue from yr regional table & u die!

Those who claim to know 9ja enough and often predict that all sorts of revolutions will take place because the AWUF oil from the SS, can no longer feed 150m parasites, need to re-examine their evil plans against GEJ. Is the so-called revolution going to be led by Fulani, Yoruba and Ibo leaders from the 3 old regions of 9ja? I begi make I hear better word! The Arab Spring which took place in the Middle East and Africa, were engineered by the USA and Israel! Already the move to sack Assad via Nato bases in Turkey, has led to the murder of over 60,000 Syrians-In Egypt and Libya the revolution has not been able to bring help to the masses. So what are we talking about here? What 9ja needs is devolution of power at d centre to the 6 geo political entities-so that the poverty stricken states whose leaders have nothing but curse 4 d SS, which has been feeding them for over 52 yrs, can begin to fend for their boko haramic leaders-when d SS goes away!

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