For those who are old enough to witness part of the Political History of this nation in the last 25 years or more , it should be no longer a news item to them that the former President Olusegun Obasanjo, shortly before he got elected as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 1999 under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) went to prison under the late General Sanni Abacha – the former Head of state.
And what was the General‘s offence? General Olusegun Obasanjo ( as he was popularly referred to then before he became a Civilian President) along with some serving Military Officers then were rounded -up and arrested on the allegation of planning a fathom coup de-tat to overthrow the Military Regime of General Sanni Abacha. That was in 1997 or so.
But in a jiffy and all of a sudden, the former Head State with other suspects who had been tried for treason and felony and sentenced to death through firing squad were left off the hook through a divine intervention that many Nigerians , including the atheists, could see as the hand of God. While in prison and awaiting his final day on earth, General Olusegun Obasanjo became much closer to his Creator and reportedly gave his life to Christ . He was humbled and became remorseful . I was privileged to see him in those days after he was released from prison and was going round on Thank You visits to Christian Association of Nigeria ( CAN) Officials and other reputable Church leaders for their spiritual and moral supports while he was in prison . I did see him at a very close distance when he came to worship at the National Headquarters of the Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria located at Alagomeji, Yaba Lagos.
I was also privileged to later accompany one of the Senior Pastors of who later became the General Overseer of the Church to pay a visit to the General in his Ota Farm- house where he received us warmly and we held useful discussions with him . At that meeting, we even planned to host CAN leaders to a dinner before he went to Jos to attend the PDP National Convention in 1998 where he was picked as the Presidential flag-bearer of the Party. And that was how the Jos event overtook the planned Thank You Dinner where I was charged to be the speech-writer for him.
Why all this preamble? Relating this background story at this juncture is necessary to present the spiritual background /fireworks behind General Olusegun Obasanjo’s arrest , subsequent trials , ordeals in the prison and the event that miraculously led to his eventual deliverance with others who were on the death –row with him then.
It was in one of our well-published Prayer and Fasting programmes for the Nation that we noticed the presence of this fair-complexioned woman – Mrs. Taiwo Obasanjo during a Night –vigil to conclude such programmes . Earlier I’ve been noticing her and even had brief chats with her when we met at the National office of the Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria , Yaba, Lagos and at the weekly meetings of the Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship International (FGBMFI) , Victoria Island chapter hosted by Mr. & Mrs . Fred Brume (before the late Senator became a Senator then).
Now, the presence of the Mrs. Taiwo Obasanjo was not the news here. This is because our meetings in those days used to feature the presence of Church leaders, serving Military Officers, Politicians, and people from various backgrounds who were passionately in love with the country and hence decided to join forces to pray for its deliverance since 1990. And such programmes used to be covered and widely reported by both the print and the electronic media especially the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA News), the Guardian, the old Daily Times, the defunct National and Weekend Concord newspapers, the Champion newspapers, among others.
In those days, there was no social – Media. It was in one of such meetings in either 1996 or early 1997 that Mrs. Taiwo Obasanjo dropped a bombshell in form of a prayer request when she requested that the congregation should pray to God that the Holy – Spirit should arrest her husband – General Olusegun Obasanjo so that the General could give his life to Christ. Being the Coordinator of the meeting and the General – Secretary of the National Prayer Movement that God used to organize the programme, I was shocked because the meeting was been captured on video by cameraman and reporters from the NTA News and some Print Media. So I asked if the woman could put her request in writing and she did. It was then we brought her before the congregation, stretched our hands towards her and prayed according to her request.
That night among many other worshippers, the Late Senator Fred Brume together with his visiting friend – Mr. Wilberforce Juta- the former Deputy Governor of old Gongola State were in attendance together with some security/ Military Officers who later retired as Two – Stars Generals. At that Prayer – Meeting nothing dramatic happened until some weeks later when the news of the attempted coup broke out where General Olusegun Obasanjo and others were allegedly implicated. Early before that time, the Holy – Spirit had mandated us to organize 7 weeks of weekly prayer and fasting and rounded it up with a Night – Vigil at the National Headquarters of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Ebute– Meta, Lagos. It was during that period that God revealed to me that it was part of His answer to the prayer – request of Mrs. Taiwo Obasanjo.
And I shared this with one of our members then whose office was located at a vintage point to see what was going on at the venue of the trial of the suspects which was of the Headquarters of the Lagos Garrison Command which later became the Headquaters of 81 Division, Nigerian Army. And I told the man who is one of our founding fathers in the Movement and who was a Civil – Servant then that the ordeal that General Obasanjo was passing through was not unto his death and that God will soon be glorified through it.
The man who has a flourishing Christian Ministry/ Church in the city of Lagos is still a living witness today. During the period one of our serving Military officers who later retired as a Two – Star General in the Nigerian Air Force cautioned us on how we should be praying for the Coup suspects because of the fear of the Secret – agents. To resolve the issue, we agreed that we should be praying that the will of God should be done. And on the night when that prayers were concluded and well attended at the RCCG Headquaters Ebuta – Metta, Lagos with proper coverage by the NTA News Crew and other media houses, nobody was left in doubt that the prayer meeting was organized to ask for God’s divine intervention as regards the trial of General Obasanjo which was ongoing then.
And to demonstrate His pleasure that He has answered our prayers and was happy particularly with me, God provided me with two years rent for a 3 – bedroom flat in the city of Lagos. Because hitherto after the completion of my National Youth Service Scheme in Abuja in 1987/1988,I squatted with family members/ friends for almost 10 years. Even during the spiritual exercise, a nephew threw me out of his father’s house and it was a family – friend among the members of the Movement that God used to provide shelter for me. The same friend also rallied round together with other members to raise funds for the initial two – years rent payment for the accommodation.
Shortly before the event that led to the miraculous release of the General and the others who were on death row in various prisons, God laid it in our heart to organize another Prayer and Fasting programme which was held on a Sunday afternoon at the National Headquarters of Foursquare Gospel Church, Yaba, Lagos. Although it was well publicised but exactly 70 people attended. I was about to be discouraged with the low – turnout when God told me that that was the few that He wanted to use to accomplished His purpose then. As usual the programme was covered by the Press from both the electronic and the print media. The following day, being a Monday, God told me in the evening to be worshipping Him for answering our prayers of the previous day within the compound of the new accommodation that He has provided for me when news began to filter out on the passage of the Late Head of State – General Sani Abacha. At first, I thought it was a wild rumour when I looked at the quick response from heaven from the only Person who could answer prayers. But God assured me that it was part of the answers to our prayers and I became dumbfounded and amazed. The rest was now history of how Generals Olusegun Obasanjo, Oladipo Diya, Olarewaju and other Military Officers accused of plotting a coup against the Late General Sanni Abacha were left off the death row and allowed to breath the air of freedom again. And that miraculous deliverance has become another major Turning – Point in the political History of this nation.
And back to our subject – matter, many people may not know of the spiritual role played by Mrs. Taiwo Obasanjo in the Conversion of her husband as revealed by the sequence of events related above.
It was another different ball – game if the former President has gone back to his traditional beliefs again. But there was no doubt that he was on fire for Christ when he left the prison and during his first – tenure as President. I was privileged to be among the group of selected Prayer Warriors/Church Leaders, who held Night – Vigils coupled with fasting twice with him at the Villa Chapel in those days. When he reportedly told us the kind of challenge he had with some pastors who came around to ask for favours instead of coming to pray with him, it might be at that point he decided to beckon to the other side in order to secure himself in power although that shouldn’t be an excuse. And there shouldn’t be any need to bring it to the public knowledge of the role played by Mrs.Obasanjo if not that the woman is in the news again passionately crying and pleading with her husband that the proposed dates for the wedding of her only son to the daughter of Chief Kessington Asebutu ( of Baba Ijebu lotto) should be changed. The woman was not asking for the cancellation of the marriage. She was only requesting that the wedding dates should be changed from May 11th and 13th of this year.
According to her the dates where satanically influenced and had occult connotation. She said several things on the social media which we do not intend to repeat here. Everybody in the family including her own twin brother – Chief Taiwo Martins seem not to be on the same page with her with the kind of danger that the woman is fore- seeing and its purported dire consequences on the nation, if the marriage goes ahead as planned.
Initially, we waved this matter aside as a purely family issue between husband and wife. But when the Spirit of God woke me up this morning Thursday May 4th, 2017 with the title of the article and made me to write even before I observe my personal Morning –Devotion, I know that it is not a matter to wave off as a none issue.
And so if there are no spiritual undercurrents that are satanically programmed as being alleged by Mrs. Taiwo Obasanjo- the mother of the groom to be who happened to be her only son, why can’t the other parties listen to the passionate cry of this woman and change the dates of the wedding either by shifting the dates a little – either earlier or later. The woman has claimed that she is of sound mind and spirit and not mad as being alleged by other family members who disagreed with her. If the issue concerning the nation were not raised in the woman’s outcry, we wouldn’t have bothered ourselves. But if this wedding dates are planned to be feast of death for the nation as being alleged by this woman who should be a key celebrant in the wedding ceremony of her only son, then God Himself in heaven will arise and intervene in this matter, if the Civil Authorities and the Leadership of the Methodist Church’s hands are tied just because of the personalities involved in this matter.
Gbemiga Olakunle,JP General Secretary, National Prayer Movement
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