DR MOSHOOD FAYEMIWO'S PREDILECTION FOR PREDICTIONS
his is a contribution to Mr Felix Amadi's earlier article on Dr Fayemiwo and his predictions (or prophecies?). I am probably more perturbed than Mr Amadi as regards to this preoccupation with predictions amongst religious leaders. I am, therefore, using this piece to help discourage this unnecessary practice. I have come across Christian folk who believe that prophets and prophecies are no longer relevant in this dispensation; but so many others argue on the contrary. I will take no position on that controversy, but I do not also begrudge anyone their position as a prophet or seer, whether self-appointed or divinely bestowed. However, I like to think that some decency is required in all human affairs; beyond that, I also think of myself as a stakeholder in this business as a believer in Christ Jesus. It is for this reason that I have decided to analyse some of Dr Fayemiwo's predictions, and as much as possible, assess them from the perspective of a dispassionate third party. To do this, I shall deal with three of Dr Fayemiwo's predictions - the British election; the Ondo state gubernatorial election; and the Synagogue Church of all Nations (SCOAN) prediction. The first of these have come and gone, it was a "mis-prediction"! The second is due to happen one way or the other, within this year; the time span allotted to the third is 2017.
I shall deal with these predictions seriatim. Dr Fayemiwo had in the run up to the last British general elections of May 7, 2015, predicted that David Cameron (Tory), the last but one British PM would lose his position to his then opponent, Ed Miliband (Labour). Dr Fayemiwo stated that if the outcome did not happen as he predicted then we should discountenance him as a prophet of the 'Lord God almighty'. David Cameron won the election by what is widely known as a 'land slide victory'. What went wrong? Dr Fayemiwo sought cover in the scriptures: According to him, 'let God be true, and everyman a liar' - Rom. 3:4. I can make only one sense out of that quotation in this circumstance; an admission that the prediction was a lie, but that God remains true. If that is the motive of the quotation, I am in complete agreement; if otherwise, I would question the reliance on that scripture to defend a false prediction. Read in context, from Rom. 2:29 to Rom. 3:3-4; that quotation is simply stating that the circumcision now required by God is that of the heart (inward), and not of the flesh (outward); and that if they (Jews) persisted in their error of believing that the gentile Christians must first be circumcised (foreskin), in order to be admitted into the faith, it would not change God and his truth. Thus, the quotation has nothing to do with a prediction which was purportedly ordained of God, but which turned out to be false!
Still on the British elections "mis-prediction"; Dr Fayemiwo had also attempted to justify the failure of his prediction by likening it to the story of biblical Jonah who had initially declined to go and warn the men of Nineveh as God directed him to do. Sadly, I am unable to see any commonality between the two events; on the contrary, I find a number of differences. First, while Jonah was unwilling to go because he thought that God would forgive the men of Nineveh once they repent and turn away from their sins, thus, making Jonah seem like a lying prophet. On the other hand, Dr Fayemiwo appears always too willing to go; indeed, so willing that he is ready to risk speaking of himself and not for God! Secondly, it may be asked which of the two events glorified God - Jonah's message to the citizens of Nineveh or Dr Fayemiwo's "mis-prediction"? The answer to that question is obvious. Although, what Jonah feared did happen, nonetheless, the message of the story is that God is a father full of compassions; always faithful and ready to forgive if we acknowledge and turn away from our sins. Another noteworthy injunction from Jonah's story is that God's children should seek His glory and not theirs. In other words, Jonah should have been more concerned with Nineveh repenting through his preaching, and thereby glorifying God; rather than his preoccupation with his reputation as a prophet.
But how has Dr Fayemiwo's "mis-prediction" of the British election glorified God? Did God change his mind because David Cameron turned away from his sins, or because his opponent changed for the worst as a sinner? Is God then a liar? God forbid! Even Dr Fayemiwo concedes that much. Simply put, a prophet professing to speak of God, but whose prophecy did not happen was not sent by God, at least, in relation to the particular message. A false prophecy, therefore, does not glorify God; it is written that His children walk in the truth (see the second and third epistles of John the apostle). The second distinction between Jonah's story and Dr Fayemiwo's failed prediction is to be found in the purpose and fit within God's eternal plans, of the two events. In other words, what does God want to achieve by sending Jonah to Nineveh; and supposedly, sending Dr Fayemiwo to tell us that David Cameron would lose an election? In Jonah's case again, the answer is glaringly obvious. The bible is replete with references indicating that it is not God's will that any man be separated from Him for eternity. The eternal truth, which the bible encapsulates, may be found in just one popular scripture, John 3:15-17; it is, therefore, God's eternal will that the sinner repent and retrace his steps back to his God. On the other hand, I fail to see what relevance Dr Fayemiwo's correct prediction of the British election has in the eternal plan of God, or even in the medium term plans for God's children, and I do not recall Dr Fayemiwo stating this in his failed prediction. In truth, however, I was both embarrassed and sorry for Dr Fayemiwo, as he attempted to defend the failure of his prediction. It was a lame-duck attempt at explaining away the obvious.
Notwithstanding the above, Dr Fayemiwo likewise predicted that the daughter (Madam Olajumoke Ajasin-Anifowose) of the late Chief Michael Adekunle Ajasin (a former governor of Ondo State), would win the 2016 gubernatorial elections in Ondo State; and that she would be the first female executive governor in Nigeria. Again, we are faced with similar questions as those considered above, in relation to the British elections. For instance, why does God want this lady to be the next governor of Ondo State? Was this based on a promise to her father? Would her becoming governor save more sinners; or will it relieve the poor and the oppressed in Ondo State? Better still, is God about to raise up a counterpoise - in the person of Madam A-Anifowose - to oppose Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola's Islamic rascality in Osun State? Has God chosen this lady as our own version of the biblical prophetess Deborah? It is difficult to tell, and again, I do not recall that Dr Fayemiwo had been explicit about this. Rather, and quite interestingly, Dr Fayemiwo appeared to have campaigned for the success of Madam A-Anifowose in the just concluded APC intra party elections. His most recent post on the Nigeriaworld website (Special Report: Open Letter to APC delegates in Ondo Guber 2016), chronicled all the achievements/sterling qualities of Madam A-Anifowose and her late father; as well as all other reasons that made it imperative for the APC delegates to vote for his choice. Dr Fayemiwo, in what appears to be a part-appeal, part-persuasion, mingled with subtle threats, sought to make a case for his candidate. He asked the delegates to reject 'sexism' and 'narcissism', and to vote wisely, as women leaders have become the norm around the world.
I have no quarrels with Dr Fayemiwo's assertions regarding the qualifications of Madam A-Anifowose as a worthy governorship candidate. My worry is that Dr Fayemiwo had before now predicted that this woman would be the next governor of Ondo State, unless she failed to contest the elections. Dr Fayemiwo habitually uses the refrain, 'the Lord God Almighty', one might add, ad nauseam, to signify that God has set His seal on his predictions. If this is so in the case of Mrs A-Anifowose, why was it necessary to campaign for her, from as early as the primary stage of the elections? Does God now require the help of humans to accomplish His eternal purpose in any matter? According to the prophet Jeremiah, it shall be known that the Lord had truly sent a prophet when the word(s) of the prophet happen as predicted - Jer. 28:9. In any case, the results of the APC primaries, although, mired in allegations of improprieties, have been released. Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, a lawyer, not Madam A-Anifowose won that election. Unless Dr Fayemiwo's candidate finds another political platform from which to contest the main elections, Dr Fayemiwo's prediction is again doomed to fail!
As mentioned in Mr Felix Amadi's article, Dr Fayemiwo had also predicted a gory and savage end for Senator David Mark, whom he was all but ready to swear, did not win his Benue South senatorial election legitimately. He predicted a violent and unnatural death for the Benue State-born politician, should he present himself to be sworn in as senator. Well, that too is yet to happen, but Senator David Mark have long since resumed in the Nigerian Senate. Although, this time, Dr Fayemiwo was careful to hinge the fulfilment of his prophecy on a condition, i.e., it happens if Senator Mark had won the election by fraudulent means. However, Dr Fayemiwo's vituperative language in his post suggested that he believed the Senator to have rigged the election.
Dr Fayemiwo's third prediction falls due in 2017, when, as he predicted, Prophet TB Joshua's SCOAN church and empire would come crashing down! At this stage, it is necessary to enquire from Dr Fayemiwo himself, whether in view of his past predictions, he would expect a reasonable and impartial observer to continue to take his predictions seriously. However, my intention is not to name and shame Dr Fayemiwo as a false prophet; that remains the prerogative of 'the Lord God Almighty'. I would only invite Dr Fayemiwo to take another long and hard look at his predictions, and compare them to the Bible he appears to know so well. I believe he will spot the differences - by God's grace - if he does this with humility and sincerity!
For now, we await the fulfilment of Dr Fayemiwo's last prediction that the year 2017 would witness the demise of Prophet TB Joshua and his SCOAN. Not many people would be sorry to see that happen. The question, however, is, will that event happen as predicted?
Of Courts and Appropriate Language: The Court of Appeal in Okezie Ikpeazu v Dr Samson Ogah - The Guardian, Friday, August 19, 2016.
An appeal in the above case was recently decided by the Nigerian Court of Appeal, with Justice Helen Ogunwumiju presiding. This piece addresses, not the merits of the Court's decision, but the language of the appellate Court while setting aside the judgement of the Court below, i.e., Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court. I was appalled when previously, a senior member of the Nigerian Bar had referred to the judgment of the same (High) Court as "funny" and "laughable", long before the Court of Appeal gave its ruling. I had thought then that there was nothing funny or laughable about the judgment of a superior court of record. If it occasioned a substantial miscarriage of justice based on judicial incompetence or indiscretion, then, all the more reason it should be viewed seriously; and not as matters for light banter, expressed in the hackneyed language of political jobbers.
On its part, the Court of Appeal variously described Justice Abang's judgment as "ridiculous", "grossly erroneous", and a "rape on democracy". The court went on to state that the learned trial judge "spoke from both sides of his mouth..." Let me reiterate that this piece is not interested in the merits of either court's decisions, but on the indecorous language of the appellate Court. In my opinion, there is no need to state, for example, that "the trial judge spoke from both sides of his mouth...". If there are shortcomings in the decision of a lower court, resorting to disrespectful language is not the way to put him or her on notice about this. If judicial officials are incompetent or corrupt, it is a matter for the National Judicial Council to look into and take appropriate action. Put differently, the public is not impressed by a higher court scape-goating a lower court; in the eyes of the public, the judiciary is one, just like the executive and the legislature.
Perhaps, it should be stated that appeals do not lie in order to afford opportunity to a higher court to upbraid and disparage the court below. The lower court arrives at its decision after what must be presumed a careful consideration of the law and facts before it. The right of appeal offers the higher court the opportunity to either uphold or set aside the judgment of the court below. The reason an appeal court is placed above a high court is not so much because of the ignorance of the lower court in matters of law, as it is the fact that, at least, three judges would be sitting over the appeal. And in that regard, it is not uncommon - indeed, the opposite scenario is frequently the case - to find appellate judges disagreeing.
I am not unaware, however, that the rot in the system is such that the judgments of some trial courts (and some appellate courts), are not worth the time of a fresh law graduate. However, if an appellate court like the Court of Appeal must hand down a reprimand, it should be done restrainedly, and in decorous language.