By Charles Okogene
He came into Nigeria’s religious landscape in the 1990s; that was in the heady days of maximum, googled ruler, the late Gen. Sani Abacha (red).
While others like the late Olabayo, Okunzua, the metaphysis man, were predicting (or deceiving their followers) that MKO Abiola who was presumed to have won the June 12 1993 Presidential election that was annulled by the military government of Ibrahim Badamoisi Babangida, and thrown into detention rather been sworn in would be called upon to to take his mandate.
As he was in the detention, Nigerians, the civil societies, the media and one of his numerous wives, Kudirat Abiola were outside agitating for his release and revildatín of his hijacked mandate. The seers mentioned above kept assuring that his stolen mandate will be restored. Such was the situation of events in the country.
But in the midst of the babel of voices kind of predictions then, a young seer in the person of Primate Elijah Babatiunde Ayodele emerged. The man of God at INRI with his base then at Berlett Bus Stop area, Ilasamaja, chose to swim against the tide. He saw clearly from his crystal ball that Abiola will not recover the mandate and that if his wife continues with “we no go gree, we no go gree agitation,” the struggle will consume her. He was not diplomatic, neither did he concealed what he saw just to please the world; he chose not to follow the madding crowd. He tod Nigerians the truth as God directed him, just like true prophets of God like Isaiah,Jeremiah, among others too numerous to mention did. He told Nigerians the truth that the struggle will consume Kudirat. He did egg her on. He appealed to her to back off the struggle or the struggle will consume her. He made the prophecy in a terse press statement that he personally distributed to media houses both print, radio and TV stations as there were no social media then.
And as expected the release was thrown into the waste bin by most newspapers houses but not Saturday Times, one of the titles on Daily Times of Nigeria Plc’s stable, which had a time tested journalist then, Dupe Ajayi-Ggbadebo, as it’s editor; this writer took the release, made a story out of it and it was slammed on the frontpage with this title “If Kudirat Abiola does not abandon June12 struggle, the struggle will consume her.” Many dismissed the story as one coming from an eaglet seer planted in a government paper to drive fears into the spine of Abiola’s wife. They called him names including a doomsday prophet but months after, Kudirat was fell by hot leads from Sergeant Rogers’ gun. Instantly, Ayodele became a celebrity of some sorts. His church then at an uncomplicated building in Ilasamaja became a melting point of activities as newsmen fell over themselves to get an interview from him; what a case of a rejected stone by the builders that became the corner piece of the building.
I have take my time to narrate all this in brief to show the humble beginning of Ayodele who today operates from a magnificent INRI Building somewhere in Oke-Afa, Isolo area of Lagos. What surprises one is that despite continuing his prediction many of which has come to pass because of inability of those concerned to seek the face of God as instructed by the prophet, many has been averted due to the power of prayers, which, however, is not the crux of this write up but his large heart that can only be compared to that of the late TB Joshua. He has added the act of giving to his calling.
His hands of giving has touched so many, distressed media men, widows, orphans, members of his church and even non-members. He knows no tribe, social strata, political or religious affiliation. Freely he was given by the Holy Spirit, freely he is giving out on a yearly basis. Particularly interesting is the N2m worth of wheelchair he gave to a physically challenged young man who was born and still a Muslim; this act this demystifed the notion that Christian only do good to their fellow Christians, in fact, fellow church members.
In fact, Primate Ayodele is a man of God in a world of his own with heart of gold