Nigerian youth have the right to protest without being shot at, Winners Chapel founder Bishop David Oyedepo has said.
Oyedepo, a vocal critic of President Muhammadu Buhari, was commenting on the ongoing EndSARS demonstrations against police brutality.
“This is worse than animal farm,” Oyedepo said this morning according to reporting by Church Gist.
“Any system that has no value for human lives is irrelevant. We have been having spates of protests across the nation. Every man has a right, legitimately so, to express their displeasure and pains.
“I kept quiet for a while because in 2015, I warned this nation vehemently, consistently because I saw the dangers ahead and you can tell. The most gruesome season in the history of this nation is the last five years where lives have no value: wanton killings here and there.
“Now they have faced the youths. And because they don’t know who is next, they have a right to say enough is enough. If they were killed when they were youths, will they be where they are today? And now, it will be a sacrilege to shoot the protesters who are not looting, who are not ravaging.
“I’ve been one of the few voices in the last five years telling these men and women, ‘until you push a goat to the wall, you won’t know it has teeth to bite’.
“I am here to say the youth have the right to say no. I wish they said it with me when I was shouting in 2015. I wish they did. They won’t be in this trouble today.
“So, I have my moral reasons for being quiet. I was grievously attacked. You see, prophets are not opinion leaders. They are the mouth piece of God.
“One of my daughters was reading through her 2015 notes yesterday, you know what she concluded: ‘there is nothing this prophet said that has not come but God have mercy.’
“What you need is mercy! God won’t send you warnings through an angel. He sends you warnings through apostles and prophets. I warned you at the risk of my reputation. And I’m glad that God has vindicated himself.
“Check the history of Nigeria. There has been no time of massive loss of lives than the last five years including slaughtering people in church, including beheading a chairaman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) on video. My God!
“Well the bad news for every wicked soul behind these wanton killings is that your judgment has come. The Animal Farm of George Orwell is far more civilized than what we are seeing.
‘I have never been asked by anybody under heaven to speak for anything in my life. I’ve only come forth at all times, speaking, ‘thus saith the Lord’. I tell you: man is temporal, only God is eternal. No man can see the end of God, it’s God that will see the end of every man.
“Everybody pray: Nigeria needs the mercy of God for walking away from prophetic warnings. None of your sons and daughters shall be wasted. The mercy of God will cover the length and breadth of Nigeria.
“When the Bible says, ‘when the wicked rule, the people mourn,’ there is no other graphic illustration than what we have had in Nigeria.
“I said one time that nothing is working. What is working?
“Never bother yourself when they speak against me. Those who did it yesterday, they are no more. I’m saying the mind of God and one billion devils can’t stop me on the way. Relax yourself.
“Please understand that we own this nation together. No one owns this nation more than another, whether you are from North West or South West or East West, wherever you may be from. You don’t own this nation more than any other person
“I’m just told that the protest is now around ‘Ojuore and Toll Gate’, but relax. We share the same feelings.
“We needed this evil surmising to stop. Everybody wants it to stop. Too many hungry people on the streets. Everybody wants it to stop. We have no other country, this is the only one we have and we must secure it, we must preserve it. In partnership with Jesus, we must preserve it.”
Formally named Living Faith Church, Winners Chapel is headquartered in Ota, Ogun State.
Oyedepo is not the only Nigerian pastor speaking out against what they say is the failings of the Buhari government on policing.
Sam Adeyemi of DayStar Christian Centre and Enoch A. Adeboye of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) are among the others who have criticised the government and urged President Buhari to grant the people’s demands on comprehensive police reform.