A Lagos-based pastor, Olagorioye Faleyimu, stirred the pot sometime ago when he gave a damning prediction about a Nollywood celebrity, Funke Akindele. The prediction caused so much uproar that fans of the celebrity, on her behalf, totally rejected the disquieting prediction from coming to pass. That striking episode marked the claim to fame of the cleric.
Despite the public outcry that trailed the prophecy, Faleyimu, who is the founder of Mountain of Blessing and Miracle Church of Christ, reeled out more than enough prophecies for Nigeria in 2017.
Among the prophecies, the pastor boldly claimed that the Yoruba and the North would ‘soon’ form a new party to take over from the ruling All Progressives Congress. But as it seems, except 2017 is extended by a day, the prediction is anything but exact. This is because the North and the Yoruba in the current political climate have yet to jointly form a political party to unseat the APC.
Similarly, the President of the Omega Fire Ministry, Apostle Johnson Suleman, is not new to controversy. The outspoken man of God in his 50 prophecies for 2017 touched on some critical national issues.
He said, “Nnamdi Kanu’s detention to cause international crises. God is angry with Buhari for the continued detention. I see presidents being removed in Africa, I see presidents being installed.”
Though the incarceration of the leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, was initially condemned by some Igbo, the tune later changed after he was granted bail and the agitation for Biafra seemed to have subsided since Kanu’s assumed fleeing of the country. There was also no revolt on the international scene regarding the matter.
Suleman, however, hit the mark in his prediction that in 2017, presidents would be removed and installed in Africa. The prophecy was accurate in Zimbabwe where the nonagenarian, Robert Mugabe, was carefully ousted by the military and replaced by Emmerson Mnangagwa. The latest outcome of the Liberian election further stamped that prophecy.
The presiding Bishop of Divine Seed of God Chapel Ministries in Ibadan, Oyo state, Prophet Wale Olagunju, in his 52-point prophecy for 2017 made some remarkable predictions that stood out.
He said, “God says those who think the Peoples Democratic Party is dead are making a mistake as He (God) does not work in the counsel of men but in the reasoning of His word. God says the party will bounce back and its members in the APC will return to their original house.”
In actual fact, the PDP has bounced back and conducted a convention to appoint its chairman. The party suffered divisions early in the year with factions instituting court actions to attain legitimacy. Despite the emergence of another faction shortly after the convention, the party looked ready to pick a presidential candidate for 2019.
It wouldn’t be out of place to say that the crystal ball of Olagunju was accurate in 2017. This is because nothing could be closer to the truth in the nation’s political space now with his prediction that, “God says the name Atiku Abubakar will continue to ring like a bell. He will be so popular among Nigerian politicians to the extent that many will root for him.”
After his return to the PDP from the APC, Abubakar’s name has rung a gong instead of a bell on the political space. Olagunju in the past had variously predicted the disintegration of Nigeria in 2015.
He, however, goofed in his prophecy that there would be a ‘serious fight’ between Obasanjo and Buhari as revealed by God Almighty.” As far as 2017 was concerned, there was no known “major fight’’ between the duo as prophesied by the pastor. Besides, ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, known to usually exhibit his grievances via letters, didn’t publicly write any acerbic one to the President.
The clergyman had earlier told this correspondent during a telephone interview that his prophecies were of God and not his own making.
Commenting on the issue, a psychologist at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Prof. Toba Elegbeleye, said he didn’t subscribe to the sources and claims of those who make prophecies.
Elegbeleye said, ‘‘If pastors make prophecies and they didn’t come pass, nobody would take them to task. Everything we do in the social sciences is based on empirical evidences. You must be able to prove your claims beyond reasonable doubt.
“During the last US election, some predicted a win for Hilary Clinton but Donald Trump eventually won. There was a time in Nigeria during the presidential election between Alhaji Shehu Shagari and Chief Obafemi Jeremiah Awolowo, a cleric predicted that the person who would win had his name in the Bible. Christians felt it would be Awolowo because his name ‘Jeremiah’ is in the Bible. But Shagari won and when the cleric was asked what happened, he said something like Shagari’s name was also in the Bible but written in a different form.
“Many of them make predictions based on what catches their fancy and on the spur of the moment. They also do so based on intuition or pressure from society.”
Also, a pastor, Michael Akande, said there were misconceptions about prophecies, adding that people do mistake predictions for prophecies whereas both aren’t same.
He added, “Prediction is based on what you feel will be the likely outcome of a particular action or scenario. Anybody can predict from his own point of view or as it occurs to him or her of which may not be correct. On the contrary, prophecy is an art of foretelling or prophesying events in the future as a result of the super understanding or spiritual power that the prophet/individual possesses.”
Akande, who is the curate pastor, Christ Apostolic Church, Ijanikin zone, Lagos, stated that a prophet prophesies according to what he receives from God.
He said, “When a prophet prophesies, he speaks what is in the mind of God. For instance, we see Prophet Isaiah telling King Hezekiah that he will die. What the prophet said wasn’t his own prediction but a message from God. He told the king the message he received from God. There are factors that may allow some prophecies to come to pass or fail. For instance, Hezekiah did not die according to the initial prophecy of Isaiah because he prayed to God.”
Also, a good prophetic declaration could be delay or stopped if one did nothing to actualise it.
In his predictions tagged, ‘Prophetic insights for 2017’, Abuja-based pastor, Joshua Iginla, among other things, said there would be clamour in the year for President Muhammadu Buhari to re-contest in 2019.
The Senior Pastor of Champions Royal Assembly, specifically said, “The clamour for his Excellency, Mr. President, to come back in 2019 will be very high. Buhari should be very careful. There are lots of judases around him.”
Of a truth, several kites were flown by the handlers and aides of the President who starting rooting a second term for him shortly after his return from overseas where he went on a medical tour.
The cleric further said the “Governor of Rivers State will suffer a lot of political persecution but it will not stop what God is about to do.”
If anything, in the year, Governor Nyesom Wike’s voice nearly drowned that of a cymbal as he bestrode the political space like a colossus. He was everywhere, trying the Buhari government for a size and also played a major role in the PDP convention.
His fracas with the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, in Rivers State when the convoys of the duo squared up, made headlines in the year.
Igunla’s crystal ball also saw beyond Nigeria as the prophecies were extended to Europe, the Americas and other African countries.
According to Akande, some prophetic declarations which are bad in nature can be nullified through prayers and the right deeds.
“If God reveals to a man of God his good intention for Nigeria, it is left for Nigerians to take the right steps so that the prophecy will become a reality. If nothing is done, one cannot blame God or the prophet. God sent Jonah to the Ninevites to tell them of His intention to punish them for their sins.But they repented, hence God changed His mind. What determines whether a prophecy will come to pass or not is anchored on other human actions.
“Notwithstanding, we must be careful of some so-called prophets who prophesy with the intention to defraud people. The highest prophecy for the believers is the Bible. Any prophecy that lacks substance from the scripture is from the gate of hell.”
Notably, other controversial pastors with failed prophecies in the past, carefully reeled out their prophecies devoid of specifics in 2017.