Udom Emmanuel Was Revealed To Us As One With God’s Mandate – Archbishop Cletus Bassey

… People Should Now Believe Us Based On the Acurarcy Of Our Revelations



Archbishop Cletus Bassey is the founder of Destiny International Mission; a former chairman, Akwa Ibom State Chapter of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria; Christian Association of Nigeria and presently chairman, Akwa Ibom Pilgrims Board.

In this interview with Crystal Express on Saturday, December 28, 2019, the fiery cleric speaks on issues concerning government at different levels, his involvement in politics and governance from the pulpit and other salient issues.
Archbishop Bassey opens up on why fathers of faith and other leading clerics backed Governor Udom Emmanuel on the 2019 General election. Excepts:

Recently, you celebrated your 40 years in the ministry. Can you take us through the memory lane on how it all started?

I should start by congratulating you on your wonderful and professionally packaged newspapers which standard I must confess is high and can compete with any national newspaper. I know that this newspaper will go places. I have been 40 years in the ministry and the journey has been very interesting. I thank God for giving me the opportunity to serve from the age of 17 and still counting. I have had my ups and downs, I have had moments of great happiness and seasons. Sometimes, I will ask questions such as ‘what am I doing here? Sometimes you may wonder whether God really called you to do what you are doing especially those moments you are going through high level criticisms and conflicts that arise as a result of what the ministry has exposed you to.

But in all, I will say that the 40 years have become stepping stones for me without looking back and I would say that God has been very faithful and has been very kind to me. People who didn’t know me get surprised to still see a young man when they thought I would be one grey haired old man because of the way my name has been in circulation for a long time. But I thank God for the great work he has done through me whether in the local church or in the corporate body of Christ or in helping humanity and in the international opportunities God has given to us. All of these are the combinations of the different things God has exposed us to and involved in as far as the ministry is concerned. This has become our ministry’s responsibilities at different times especially when it has to do with destinies of the people. So it has been very interesting and I thank God for the grace he has given to me. In all these, what makes the ministry are the people God has given to me especially those people who also check on me to ensure I am well reported in the public domain. People matter a lot. Success without people is failure; people make you become successful through the backs of those that made it possible which I can call the ladder. So the 40 years were made by the people – old, young and children and I am very grateful to God.

Your leadership as CAN chairman had its own challenges and milestones. Can you recall some of them?

I started in PFN as a coordinator in Uyo Local Government Area after which I was elected to lead the PFN in Akwa Ibom State and that was when people got to know me even though I had been involved in inter-denominational meetings and activities before then. I have been in the corridor of power many times for or against, especially with those who are playing pranks with God’s purpose for the people.

I think based on that, God gave me to CAN, which is the mother body of all Christian bodies. My emergence as the chairman of CAN was interesting because it was a major battle. I was not supposed to have been a chairman of CAN but how I emerged was a big surprise. When the votes were counted and it was amazing that I beat my opponent and from that time we spread CAN from seven to the entire 31 local government areas of the state. We further took it to the ward level. God gave us favour and we worked harmoniously with the government at the time under Chief Godswill Akpabio. We worked together and ensured the church was always seen as priority which I so much desired. The problem facing the nation starts from either the quietness on the side of the church or the church being ignored and not standing up to the challenges of the times. During my era, there was great level of unity as all the five blocs of CAN worked harmoniously. We were successful because I had the backing of the Catholics, the Anglicans, the Methodists, the Pentecostals and the rest of them. I also had my own challenges especially in the issues of bringing the church to things that involved political leadership and governance, especially going to Asan Ibibio to pray and speak on leadership. The other challenge was the one they said I was supporting Governor Akpabio by giving him all the backing he needed for a second term and many stories. It made people who don’t understand the place of the prophet and priest in the area of emergence of the leaders believe that the church should only take the place of prayer and not involved in politics. But they are not considering the fact that Christians do pay taxes and if we observe our civil responsibilities, we should also ask questions on simple amenities that people are supposed to enjoy. You cannot divorce the church from the issues that daily affect the lives of the members. I believe there should never be any separation. We should understand the importance and similarities of priesthood and kinghood. We must know how to navigate the two because if the Muslims are together, and don’t isolate themselves from government, why should Christianity be different?

I have always said this and it was in my time as CAN chairman that I had to blow it strong and loud. Before this time in Abacha’s era, I was accused and arrested many times. I was a regular visitor to the DSS and was labeled many names including a spy. Then God will tell me what will happen and I will disclose it and then it happens and I will be labeled enemy of the state. I saw the good, the bad and the ugly. However, as CAN leader God gave me and my executive members the grace to serve well until the expiration of my tenure.

There was heavy criticism of your deep involvement in politics from the pulpit. What is your take on this?

Well, people are ignorant of what they called the ‘God factor’ when it comes to government. Politicians who think that everything should start and end with them can only express things based on what they know. I got involved not because I was chairman of CAN, but long before then. On arrival from overseas, I remember I used to gather pastors at Akpan Essien Street, Uyo where we started praying together. Most of the pastors are big men today. We kept praying, asking God to change the dynamics of things going on in the state. We moved and prayed in every nook and cranny of the state. Many developmental projects like dual carriage ways, flyovers and other big projects we have today were things we have already prayed for long before they happened. God factor in any given government is what makes things happen. You cannot ignore the God factor because God has given you authority over the heavens and the earth.

What are you going to use all the authority for? Is it only on the demonic world? It also affects the political world, it affects the economy and anything you can think of. We need to talk to our people. During an election, we may not tell you the person to vote but we may tell you the characteristics to look out for in whom you will vote. We also tell the people to vote their conscience and should be careful not to sell their birthright. I got involved in politics and I must continue to be involved because I believe we must not allow the church to be silenced. Look at Turkey that was once a Christian nation. But today, only 5 per cent Christians are all we have in Turkey. Look at other Christian nations that other religions have overtaken. I am moved for Europe and pray such faith will never befall Europe that used to bring bibles and other Christian materials to us in Africa. In America, the battle is getting tough between Christianity and other religions. The church must stand on its feet and speak up or otherwise the enemy will over run it in the years ahead. So if my speaking from the pulpit is the God factor we are bringing into governance, there is nothing we can do about it.

Arising from this, it is on record that you came up with a group; Akwa Ibom Christian Assembly (ACA) which drummed support for Gov. Udom Emmanuel’s re-election in 2019. What motivated you?

Well, when that matter came up we knew that we were going to face an uphill task in 2019 election. We started the journey of ACA in 2017. When we began to see the need to come up with the body that will help us, good friend of mine from outside the state got me engaged in a fruitful discussion and it was from that discussion that we formed the ACA. Then we linked up with leaders and fathers of faith and we had our banquet in Ibom Hotel and Golf Resort where we first mentioned our positions. At the banquet, attended by the governor, we got him engaged on this plans and activities, we asked him questions and it is from then that we were convinced that he is a true Christian and should continue in office. He confessed Christ as his lord and saviour and promised to stand with, honour and carry the church along. What then were we looking for when we had got somebody who was ready to work with the church? He was ever ready to offer explanation on issues affecting our people. We asked pertinent questions including the issue of pensioners. Most people don’t know that we do have interactions with the governor. Some people just criticize government without taking time to find out what the government is doing. We decided to take the path of consulting and negotiating when necessary than confronting leaders. If something is wrong we will tell them it is wrong. That was how we arrived at supporting him for a second term. But the question is, were other candidates not Christians? Were they not attending churches? Yes. They were but we must learn to understand times and seasons and persons. In every season and time, God raises a man He would use. To take the children of Israel out of Egypt, He raised Moses. When it was time to take them to the Promised Land, He raised Joshua. When it was time to bring a king, He brought Saul. All we did was to pray and understand whom God has tied the purpose of kingship as it affects Akwa Ibom State and Udom Emmanuel was the person and we stood by him and told our other members that there can only be one governor at a time and that Udom should continue. He is doing his best and those who disagreed with us are seeing the outcome, especially the outcome of the Supreme Court case. We are supporting him because he has the mandate and God is with him till the end.

As a church leader who openly showed your preference for Gov. Emmanuel, do you think it has affected your flock who may share different political beliefs by leaving your congregation?

I am God’s servant following the footstep of my master. If the things we have done have failed, they can say we have done the wrong thing. But whoever we ever supported always succeed. Akwa Ibom people should watch out. We have never said what never comes to pass. The case of a true prophet is when he speaks, it comes to pass. If what we said has happened, followers that have fallout with us should come back. During Obong Victor Attah’s era, when were supporting him for 2nd term, I was in the prayer team when they were talking about Lagos and Abuja factions, but Attah succeeded. In Akpabio’s era when people were saying all sorts of things, I stood up and said Akpabio would go back and it came to pass and during Udom Emmanuel’s time we maintained it will be in his favor and that was it. If God himself could chose somebody, why should we be afraid to choose? Those things don’t bother me; members that think I am too politically active should seek to know my calling. I don’t do what I do for pecuniary gains; I do my things according to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. For those who choose to appreciate me, it is entirely their decision. If I make demands to speak or support anybody that will be selling the anointing and blessings of God, people should believe in us as their religious leaders since all that we say do come to pass.


Is it not wrong for a cleric to get involved in politics?

Why should it be wrong? God used to send prophets to anoint leaders and Samuel was one of such prophets. God doesn’t change. Both in the anointing and making of Saul and David as kings, prophets were involved. There are prophets God raised as palace prophets who speak to kings like Joseph, Daniel, Shedrach, Meshach, Abednego, Nehemiah, Isaiah. All were prophets who were in the kings’ courts. When a king was not doing the right thing, they speak the truth to him.

How do you see the body of Christ in Nigeria vis a vis the alleged persecution of Christians in some areas?

I think that God wants Christians to learn. It is also time the Fathers of faith and leaders of churches should rise up and face the challenges we are facing today. if they want Christianity not to go into extinction in Nigeria, the church in Nigeria needs to be united like we did in Akwa Ibom and no power will overturn the church decisions. But the issue is that some church leaders allow their emotions to come in as God’s purposes. When that becomes an issue, there will be divisions and once there is division, the enemy will take advantage. Some men of God have fallen victims to the whims and caprices of money bags. Nigeria is in the open market, the highest bidder will take it but no Christian is willing. At individual level church leaders do come up with good ideas but when it is a major decision of where the church stands, they will be found wanting. I pity Nigeria because the church never said that Christianity should be only religion in the country but there are other religions that said theirs should be the only religion in Nigeria. The church must now rise up through her leaders and condemn what needs to be condemned.

There should be a strategic meeting that should have all major stakeholders of the church to decide what to do next as 2023 is very critical. We are not sure between now and 2023 how Nigeria will be but as it is, we keep praying for God’s help. So church leaders must agree on what to do because we have the number and the money but no political will. Until the church has the political will, our number and money will be useless. Until we begin to take over power in Nigeria, we will always be slaves to be used and dumped. It is in the place of the church to begin to exercise political will and transmute it into political power to change things in the country.

How would you rate the performance of the federal government so far?

I will say that the federal government is doing what it came for; I will rate them on their agenda not on my own, because they are not performing what I want but what they want. That is the more reason we should look through the person that wants to rule Nigeria to see if he mean well for the country, otherwise how can one section take over everything in the country? That was their own game plan from the beginning and we are now crying over spilled milk. You don’t judge a man based on your own agenda but on his own. On the agenda of the federal government, they are doing what they came for, they are doing well on what they came for.

The Nigerian people must understand what they want which should come in the form of conference to look at the critical components like leadership and structures. Anything outside that, I will tell you that the federal government today is doing what they came for.

Are you calling for a fresh national conference or re-visitation of the former one?

I can tell you that there is no government that will implement what the previous government did that is not in his game plan as his priority. How do you expect them to compliment what they never called for and contributed to. Buhari cannot execute what Jonathan did and failed to execute.

I will not judge Buhari on what he never promised to do. Jonathan had the opportunity to do it but never did. Don’t expect Buhari to do so. I am talking of a fresh conference and that is if Buhari wants it. That is the whole truth so we must have to cope with this man till he leaves government and that is if he is leaving.

There has been massive outcry over poor state of federal roads between Akwa Ibom State and other neighboring states. What is your take?

I will not tell the federal government to come and do anything that is not important to them. when we had our own people there what did they do? The roads were bad as at that time. In the past we have had ministers from these areas and what did they do? If they are using our people in their government today and they cannot make demands to have what will be beneficial to their people, why don’t they resign? We are waiting for that time when Nigerians will resign their appointments because the government they are serving does not have the interest of their people at heart. It will show sincerity. Don’t blame the northerners who put our people in positions yet they don’t work or speak for us. Until our own people learn to quit for their inability to attract development to their areas in the same government they are serving, we will always be slaves to our tax masters.

What is your take on the recent widely circulated information from one of the leading religious leaders that Christmas celebration is not in the Bible?

I don’t think they are wrong to say that it is not in the Bible but at the same time, I do think that we should hold unto the things that have eternal values like our faith in Christ Jesus, that we are born again and washed with his blood and that through repentance we have received Christ into our hearts. Such opinion could be observed but it doesn’t mean it should take the center stage of argument. Go back in time past and see how Christianity boldly changed and affected cultures and traditions and the question is, does it affect cultures and traditions same way? Today our traditions cannot be changed for Christian values and tradition, this shows you the influence of Christianity in olden times through the instrumentality of those in government like Emperor Constaine who Christianized most pagan festival periods in favour of Christianity and Augustine the Great and some people who advised governments at that time and they were able to change the culture of paganism to Christian worship. We should ask ourselves if we have changed the culture of people and if Christianity has affected their ways of life. We have this shallow Christianity experience today that you cannot find depth. Is it not a shame that we have great numbers and have not used the numbers to influence government? So if the people of those days successfully killed paganism and its evil worships like killing of children and passing them through fire, would they be happy if it had persisted till today? If today’s Christian could not achieve much in that regard, is the achievements of the older Christian not worthy to be upheld? I believe that this is an attack coming on the values we should uphold. The enemy brings these things against us and we must resist it and not empower the Devil to work against Christians and bring back things we have thrown away.

Could you assess Governor Udom Emmanuel’s administration so far and give your verdict in addition to what You want him to achieve before his exit in 2023?

I will score him based on his own agenda and in that agenda he has kept to his promises on education, agriculture, industrialization, political inclusiveness and his involvement with the church which is deep and commendable. I thank God that the court cases that would have distracted his completion agenda have been settled at the Supreme Court.

The Akwa Ibom people should give him total support to successfully execute his completion agenda. He has done so well and will have to further work with the people and see a way to make the people happy even though not everybody will be satisfied. His town hall meetings have offered the people more opportunities to interact with his administration. He has not disappointed the people or the church. He will do much better if given our support and co-operation.

You are the chairman of the state Pilgrims Board. How have you fared?

We are doing well but have funds limitation, which is a major constraint. However, the governor is still sponsoring people on pilgrimage to the Holy Land. There are lessons you learn and the Bible comes alive and you have dozens of spiritual encounters and anointing. You go there and find out that all you read in the Bible is not a myth but real. My prayer is that God should bless the governor more so that he can send more people to the Holy Land.

2020 is here. As a man of God, what is in the offing for Nigeria and Akwa Ibom State?

It is going to be a trying year for Christianity because so many people who have lived in falsehood will be exposed. There will be greater level of revelation, unfolding and unveiling behind the scene issues. It will be a year people will begin to see things very well. I think 2020 will be a year of calibration where people will not be cajoled to do things. Independent thinkers will begin to emerge and will lament that they have been blindfolded over the years. Reality will dawn on people. Many who thought they are in control will lose their influences over a people, areas and organizations. There will be alignment and realignments. This year is the gate way to the next 10 years and as a result of that, so many things will happen to prepare people for the next decade. The seed we sow in 2020 will determine what we will reap in 2030. So there is need for us to begin to adjust our ways of expenditure and flamboyance and our ways of worshipping God, not in our mouth rather from our heart. It will be a year of greater revelations when people will realize who people were in reality and that will allow them to become independent thinkers. Adjustment will come in 2020 because it is a gateway to 2030. God will bring redemption and people will begin to see things. It will be a year full of activities, disappointments will come and at the same time dreams will be realized. Conflicts will come, new friendship will be built.

Will the Christian leaders show interest in who emerges governor in 2023 or has it ended with Udom Emmanuel in 2019?

What happened in 2019 is an eye opener. I see the church’s voice very strong even though there will be some form of split down the middle. We will still be able to stand for what we believe is the right thing. 2023 is an interesting year but towards July and August and September of 2020, there will be some occasions that will make people begin to guess who will emerge but so many people will be disappointed when it begins to manifest. God is not a man, he does not take bribes. People will like to compromise people with money and soon most people will do things based on their convictions.


The church will still be involved. There may be cracks and fracas here and there but no matter what happens, the church will still be one. We will have a few fallouts but the greater number will be on the side that will make you know that the church is still one body and one voice.

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