‘My prayer is Nigeria remains a role model to other African Countries’
Reverend Edith Adefunke Okubanjo is the wife of the late industrialist and business mogul, founder and chairman of Intercontinental Distillers Nigeria Limited and former director of Ecobank Nigeria Plc, who was the longest serving president of Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce, Oloye Olanrewaju Oladotun Okubanjo. The quiet, unassuming and respected woman behind Church of Evangelism, and proprietress of Edidot International Private School in Lekki-Ajah, Lagos spoke to FUNSHO AKINWALE on her recent prayer tour of Nigeria, among other issues.
You just returned from a tour of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), praying for the country. How informed this idea?
The idea was not conceived by me; it was the Holy Spirit that gave me an instruction in December last year to go to all the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and pray for the country and make pronouncements and anoint the soil of each state.
Was security a concern, if so, what measures did you put in place before embarking on this journey?
As the Bible says: ‘If the Lord give you instruction, He would definitely make a provision for you.’ God is our security.
Before embarking on the journey, I assembled my prayer team and we prayed, fasted, had a three day-and-night vigil and committed everything unto Him.
At the beginning, I was a little concerned about my team’s safety journeying to recently troubled states as Yobe and Borno, but this was exactly the reason why the prayers are needed.
With God on our side, we made the pronouncements and anointed the soil of Borno and Yobe states with no fear. Though the atmosphere was not too friendly, considering the sensitivity of the communities, but God saw us through.
When you first informed your family about this journey, what was their reaction?
Some were scared, others understood immediately and were supportive.
But I was able to convince them that nothing would happen to me and they prayed for me towards the journey.
What was your experience during the tour?
It was indeed a sweet experience, because what some feared would be a difficult task turned out well, according to the laid down plans. I want to commend my logistics team that worked tirelessly to achieve this assignment.
We started our journey on Sunday, February 28, this year. We left very early in the morning and our first port of call was Lagos, moving to Ogun, en route Ondo to cover all other states in the Southwest before proceeding to the South-South and Southeast.
From there, we continued to the North Central before moving ahead to other far northern states.
In Yola, the Adamawa State capital, we were given a grand reception, despite arriving late in the night. We were well treated by one of the notable pastors, Bishop Mayor, who owns a big church in the heart of the city. He commended our religious effort and prayed for success of our journey.
Yobe and Borno States, the perceived hotspots of Boko Haram activities, which many had thought would be difficult, was problem-free for us to anoint through God’s presence.
We did not go beyond our limits; we dressed in their normal babariga and our women wore their native outfit. There was uniformity in our local attire.
We anointed the soil, made pronouncements and left to other neighbouring states, with Sokoto as our last stop, before returning home safely.
What were the challenges you faced during the tour?
Were there any big challenges? No, I don’t think so, except for the normal challenges of driving for 18 to 20 hours a day on roads in need of repair and the high cost of fuel.
At a point in Gombe State, we had to buy petrol at N250 per litre to continue with the journey and meet up with our timeframe for the tour.
But notwithstanding, we received the favour of the Lord. At most of the states we touched, to my surprise, people came out en masse to be part of the prayer and that alone strengthened the impact of our mission.
Who accompanied you on the tour?
I had Pastors Oluade Adeniran, Blessing Imohkhai, Chuks Bernard and Rotimi Rokefah, amongst others. We were about sixteen in number.
Was there any support from government, considering the national intent and scope?
I didn’t get any financial support from the government, but the God I serve made it possible in His own way.
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