TEXT OF THE RHEMA WORLD PRESS CONFERENCE DELIVERED IN PREPARATION FOR RHEMA WORLD CONVENTION 2019, BY BISHOP TAIWO AKINOLA, THE PRESIDING BISHOP, RHEMA CHRISTIAN CHURCH & TOWERS, HELD AT CHAMPIONS PEACE CATHEDRAL, TEMIDIRE, SANGO OTTA ON SATURDAY, OCTOBER 26TH 2019
We are here once again for the press briefing heralding yet another Rhema World Convention, the 2019 Rhema World Convention. Over the years we have kept the tradition of engaging the media at this period to pass across necessary information about the convention as well as to air our views on issues of national interest. Therefore, with the love of our Lord Jesus Christ you are all welcome.
We praise God for His faithfulness and tender mercies over us all, and we equally commend you, noble gentlemen and women of the Press for your support over the years. I pray that God Almighty will continue to prove Himself faithful to us all, in Jesus Name. Amen.
In line with the glorious vision given to us by our Lord Jesus Christ, we are still marching forward in God’s plan of raising a multitude of people all over the world, who have been foreordained to be partakers of His grace and glory. As a marching order, He said to us: “raise with me a glorious assembly of Jesus people; a people of My power, purity and purpose, and in this place will I give peace”.
Rhema Christian Church and Towers, with the International headquarters at Sango Otta, Ogun State Nigeria, was birthed on the 2nd of November 1991 solely to fulfill this divine agenda stated above. And, since then, it has been our privilege and honour to spread the good news of the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ round the world with outstanding results and testimonies of God’s goodness through preaching and teaching of the infallible, unquestionable and inerrant Word of God. To Him be all the glory!
In the past 28 years, our ministry has spread its tentacles across the globe. Presently, besides our various branches in Nigeria, we have our presence in the USA, UK, Canada, South Africa, Ghana and Kenya, to the glory of God. As a nation-Church, our earnest mega-vision is to love Jesus Christ passionately, and with the help of the Holy Spirit to enthrone Jesus Christ in the hearts of very many people all over the world. And, based on this heart cry, over the years, we have received some measures of grace to forge ahead to impact mankind in various ways through our churches.
Furthermore, by the help of God, we have commenced work at our City of Zion, a multi-hectare property located at Moluferin, Wasimi, a serene and peaceful town along Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway and presently hold a monthly prayer meeting there as well.
In line with the divine master plan we got from the Lord, the City of Zion will have residential buildings of various categories, Zion Sanctuary, International Peace and Freedom Centre, Hospitals, Old Peoples’ Home, Schools, Empowerment Centers, Shopping Mall, and Recreation Parks, all operating in Godly pattern under the Rhema Christian Church and Towers.
Rhema World Convention 2019
Since the beginning of creation, God gave man the power to dominate his environment, to subdue and to triumph over all circumstances of life (Genesis 1:26-28). And, as we know, even after the fall of Man in the Garden of Eden, this divine passion to have man dominate has ever remained with God. Hence, man became restored to the platform of dominion through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. No wonder then that God gave us as a theme for this year's Convention, "Total Victory In Christ Jesus". And, without any doubt, this Rhema World Convention 2019, provides another opportunity for individuals, families and nations to obtain divine solutions and intervention for all problems and issues, and to dominate situations and circumstances of life.
I have boundless assurance that participants at this year's convention can look forward to access the keys that will open them to the world of total victory in Christ Jesus in all areas of their lives, including dominion power over sin, poverty, sicknesses, barrenness, spiritual attack, deliverance from curses, fear and satanic spells. Also, during this event, genuine salvation will be served by the Lord for those who are yet to be born-again, and those whose aspirations include making it to heaven at last. I firmly believe that every participant will, by reason of divine performance, have new songs to sing after this gracious event, in Jesus Name.
I use this medium, therefore, to invite everyone to join Champions all over the world to be at the Rhema Christian Church International Headquarter, Champions Peace Cathedral, Temidire, Sango Otta, for this annual event, which kicks off 9am Sunday, 3rd and runs through to 2pm, Sunday 10th November 2019.
Each day of the Convention, there will be morning, afternoon and evening sessions: 6am, 9am and 5pm respectively. On the 8th of November, there will be our popular Hosanna Night, a time of victorious and miracle invoking praise, where anointed gospel artistes have been lined up for divine ministrations. The Grand-Finale on Sunday, 10th of November, starting 8am, promises to relaunch and to commission God’s people into a supernatural and overflowing blessings for them to begin to operate victoriously.
Just like last year, the unique feature of this year's convention is the assembly of stars and anointed gospel artistes that would minister daily throughout the convention. Gospel artistes lined up include, Mike Abdul, Wunmi Sax, Olufunke Akins, Folasade Taiwo, Bois Olorun, Praise Machine and others.
Meanwhile, notable and highly anointed ministers of God are billed to preach under strong Holy Ghost unction and to minister in the Word alongside my humble self at the Convention to launch participants into their new realm of total victory. These include Rev. Dr. Kunle Adesina, Bishop Ayo Olubusuyi, Bishop Victor Akilla, Bishop Dr. Abiodun Akinteye, Bishop Israel Alaya, Pastor Femi Gbenjo, Pastor Sina Olufade, Pastor Tofunmi Opaleye, to mention a few. I look forward with greatest excitement to welcome all to the best convention of its time in Jesus Mighty Name.
Free medical tests and services will be offered for all participants during the event. Again, a financial empowerment session will be hosted for some small scale business entrepreneurs before the close of the Convention, by the grace of God.
STATE OF THE NATION
The economy is still distorted and sluggish, recording 1.9 per cent growth last quarter, lower than the initial World Bank projection of 2.2 per cent. In short, the economy is bleeding, with the attendant effects of gross falling living standard at homes, almost across the board.
Unfortunately, as if to add salt to injuries, the government is piling up taxes and charges on the people without considering the negative impacts such trends are having on the people governed. We are of the opinion that it’s rather better to cut down on the huge cost of governance than passing the burdens onto the ordinary citizens who are just struggling to hold up their heads above the murky economic waters.
However, to our greatest chagrin, what we see is that government is rather increasing the number of cabinet ministers and advisers. We strongly feel that this development is not in the interests of our nation’s economic development, and should be looked into both critically and urgently by government, and readdressed without further delay.
Insecurity has certainly laid the country low on her back, somehow. Some major highways are now being avoided by travelers for fear of being kidnapped. Interestingly, albeit weird, kidnapping is fast becoming the country’s most lucrative business.
Nigerians everyday in the present time are being inundated with reports of killings, robbery, banditry, kidnapping, with resultant disasters and economic depression. A government panel found that bandits collected over N3 billion in ransom from 2011 to May 2019, widowed 4,983 women, orphaned 25,050 children and displaced 190,340 persons in Zamfara State alone. In the first four months of 2019, said the police, 1,071 persons were killed. Kidnapping, banditry and communal strife have emptied farms and destroyed the livelihoods of many citizens in many parts of the country.
Starkly, the Global Terrorism Index estimates that Fulani militants killed about 1,700 persons from January to September 2018, six times more than the number killed by the bloodthirsty Boko Haram Islamist sect throughout that year.
Thinking that the incumbent administration has always promised to deliver on good governance. Even though we can see some measure of intervention on some roads, like Ibadan-Ife Road, yet we still urge government to please do more in the area of security. And, there can be no more urgent time than now. I recommend community policing and inclusion of men of goodwill in our neighborhoods in these security enhancement projects.
According to a statistics, youth unemployment is presently put at 55.4 per cent. As a Church committed to the progress of our dear country and the citizens, we are concerned that the rising spate of unemployment in Nigeria has remained unabated over the years. We observed that this critical situation has needlessly resulted in some youths taking to crimes such as kidnapping, armed robbery, internet fraud as well as being ready tools in the hands of insurgents, politicians and sponsors of communal crisis.
Meanwhile, we view this development, not only as a by-product of lack of fear of God, but also of gross disparity inherent in the nation’s planning and haphazard execution of projects aimed at generating employment opportunities that should absorb the numerous youths and young graduates being turned out annually by our tertiary institutions.
We are, therefore, urging this administration to please arise to the necessary duty of fulfilling its promise of generating jobs as one of its cardinal projects to empower the youths and make them productive for the advancement of the country.
It is no longer discussed in hushed tones that the government is struggling with liquidity. As we know, this crisis is rooted in poor governmental planning, occasioned by institutionalized corruption in public expenditure and weaknesses cum sabotage in internal revenues accruable to government. On corruption in public expenditure, the issue of humongous salaries and allowances paid to elected public officials and contract inflation top the list.
In line with this, in my well considered opinion, the humongous remunerations are some of the reasons why many politicians become enmeshed in violence and other such vices while jostling for political office. If the monetary gains are made less attractive, only people who have genuine mind to serve will arise to occupy various positions of leadership in the country. Besides, such measure will equally reduce the inflationary tendencies in our national economy by reducing the glaring disparities between the emoluments accruable to civil servants and political office holders.
In the same vein, there are many more of revenue leakages in many sectors of our economy, especially in relation to corporate taxation. How can we be complaining of lack of funds to invest in public infrastructure cum social services when there are lot of public funds allegedly going into private pockets. We also believe that instead of increasing VAT from 5% to 7.5%, government should rather capture many businesses and rich people in the tax net. Instead of taxing the poor to near extinction, rich people and businesses must be compelled by government to pay more taxes in commensuration to their income.
On this note, we highly recommend that those on top of these issues raised above should, as a matter of urgency, handle them as topmost priorities. Moreover, Nigerians should be allowed free reins to constantly hold leaders at all levels more accountable. This is the basis of civic political culture without which democracy can hardly thrive.
5. Roads and Other Infrastructural Facilities
Last year we drew attention to the appalling state of our roads. But rather than improving, what we have seen from then till now is a total collapse of some of our roads all over the Federation. Both the federal and state, including the local government, our roads are at abysmal states. I believe, this state of disrepair and the resultant high rate of carnage on the roads call for serious concern.
The church hereby urges all the three tiers of Government to generate synergies and to intensify efforts in the rehabilitation and construction of new roads. The Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) should also accentuate actions aimed at continuously maintaining all the Federal roads across the country to make them more motor-able so as to reduce the man-hours being wasted on the highways, and the perennial and avoidable loss of lives and properties.
We urge the President, governors and other political leaders in the country to make it a habit to drive on the roads the people drive every day, so that they can see the messy ground-level reality and feel the pains of the people they govern. Certainly, we believe that genuine and true leadership will not call for less.
Furthermore, the Federal Government, as a matter of urgency, likewise should intensify efforts towards making other means of transportation like rail, water and air transportation available to reduce pressure on the roads.
In the same vein, electricity supply has gone from worse to worst. It has increased the cost of doing business as well as eating deep into individual purse of ordinary Nigerians, and all these call for concern.
Everyone knows that poor or inadequate electricity supply has caused a lot of our manufacturing companies to either cut down on productions, downsize their workers or totally shut down or relocate to neighboring countries, thereby throwing some Nigerians into the already saturated labour market.
The sorry state is such that prevailing poverty, collapsing infrastructure and mass despair prevail across the length and breadth of our dear blessed nation Nigeria. Howbeit, Nigerians deserve the best and not a country where the basic essentials of life such as electricity, water, good healthcare facilities, good roads and schools are in depraved deficits.
At this stage, I kindly urge that our leaders should start putting the people they govern ahead of themselves. And, in particular, I urge our dear President Muhammadu Buhari to please declare an emergency on the state of some of our nation’s infrastructure, particularly to increase the Nigeria’s daily electricity power generation, which is presently put at a miserable 4,000 MW. We equally advise Federal Government to further review the privatization process of the electricity sector with a view to solving the problem.
Meanwhile, we must commend government for some of her recent efforts at ameliorating the pains of infrastructural deficiencies on our national psychics. However, we equally feel we should advise government to excise some well-calibrated cautions in view of her recent alliances with some nations, namely, China and Russia. While we cannot totally blame government for deferring to these nations as against our traditional Western allies, who are not seen to be cooperating well enough with our national developmental and security plans. Albeit, government must put in mind the reality that these our newfound lovers are also shrewd business and national interests apologetics, just like our old friends. In other words, whatever we see these new friend-nations doing, either in offering loans or technical support, their motives are guided by their overall national/personal interests. So, “buyers beware”, so as not to jump from diplomatic frying pans to fire.
To bring the briefing to an end, I would like to say that, come what may, the Church of Jesus Christ is marching on and the forces of hell shall not prevail against her. Amen.
I thank you all for coming to this year’s World Press Conference. And, I humbly urge you to, please, represent our views as fairly and clearly as we present them, avoiding all forms of sensationalism. Please take this also as our affectionate invitation extended to you as well for this event of Rhema World Convention 2019. Don’t be left out, be there. And as you do so, the Lord of heavens and earth will perfect all that concerns you, in Jesus name. Amen.
Bishop Taiwo Akinola,
Presiding Bishop, RCC&T.