The General Overseer of Shiloh Word Chapel (aka Faith Nations), Prophet Ikechukwu Samuel, has warned President Goodluck Jonathan against releasing members of the Boko Haram Islamic sect in exchange for the over 200 abducted female students of Government Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State.
He noted that “it would be a costly and regrettable mistake,” for Jonathan to do so.
According to him, doing so would worsen the security challenges in the North East and the entire nation and cast a great slur on government’s reputation.
He spoke with reporters in Abuja ahead of the forthcoming third anniversary of the church.
The Prophet said he supports the recommendation of the ongoing National Conference that religious organizations should pay taxes to government.
He said: “Nobody is above the law, be it the church or mosque. Whether you are a leader in the mosque or church, it is only you that knows your mission and heart, but only God knows who is sincerely worshipping Him.
So if you are really called by God, you must abide by the recommendation of the National Conference, whenever it becomes law, for religious organizations to pay taxes.
“Nobody knows the income of these organizations, except the leadership sets up a committee to cross-check the achievements. If the government finally takes the decision, everybody must be involved.”
While calling on members of the Boko Haram sect to have a change of heart and stop bloodshed to avoid the wrath of God, the Cleric said the government would regret trading off the Chibok girls for prisoners.
Ikechukwu said: “If you release the girls in place of people that the law says should remain in detention as investigation goes on, the people have not changed their mindset, you have not changed their agreement, you have not changed their spirit, their heart and decisions. It will be a costly mistake, Jonathan and his government will regret it.
“If members of Boko Haram want to release the Chibok girls, it is a change of heart that will make them do so. Let Nigerians pray because this country is a nation with faith. Every citizen of Nigeria has faith; let us use our own faith, irrespective of our religious beliefs to ask our God to change their hearts.
“Boko Haram insurgents are still in the dark because they will still do more and we will keep exchanging. Yet, it will not solve the problem.
Let our leaders and every citizen show love. Releasing people in places of evil will in turn increase the problem. It is not the solution; we should kneel down and pray for a change of heart.”
He suggested that rather than embark on such actions, they should be interrogated by security agencies to ascertain their real mission, agenda, grievances, and sponsors.”
“The security agencies should ask them questions to know more about their activities, they should be interrogated to know about their emotional dialogue: why are you doing this? Why do you hate mankind? Who are your sponsors? What is your mission? What are your demands from the government for these killings to stop?”
The Cleric added that since 2011, the mission of the Church has been to raise a generation that will change the land.