In the documentary, I noticed that when you were about 17 years, you werewearing glasses. What happened to them?
Ha, you seem to know so much about me (laughs). When I was in the primary school,even after primary school, I believed in working very hard. I would work 24 hoursbecause whatever I wanted to do, I wanted to do my best. I believed that what wasworth doing at all was worth doing well. You can see me now, I have been workinghere since yesterday and you would see me putting on something that would allowme to move freely while I do what I have to do. I cannot put on a tie now because thework I do is so much. What we are doing here is not ceremony; it is work. I attend tothousands of people. So, when I was in school, I used to work very hard and I used totake food that would allow me to do the job. Like today now, all I have taken sincemorning is tea, because if I had taken any heavy food, by now I would be feelingsleepy. I try to regulate my system in order to be able to do my job, and it shows in mystature. So, in the school, I would read every time - morning, afternoon and night. Infact, my best time to read then was in the night when everyone had gone to sleep,because I was always having many challenges. Then anywhere I was, if I came secondand someone else came first, I would feel challenged. I would not envy him but Iwould ask myself why I could not also come first. Because of the way I took myreading, I ate so much of gari. In fact, I was taking gari 24 hours. I would soak it inwater and leave it to swell up. Later, I realised that my sight was becoming impairedbecause of the effect of gari. Initially, I used to sit at the back. But when I could nolonger see the board very well, I had to move forward before I could read what waswritten on the board very well. Sometimes in order to fight sleep, I would take Nescafebecause of the pressure to work hard, and it paid off. In my school days, if I didn’tcome first, I would come second. Then, it was only one guy that was beating me. If Icame first, he would come second, and when he came first, I came second. He was anIndian; they called him Harry de Shamah, a son of a lecturer at the University of Ife.And anytime he beat me, it would be a headache for me and I would not be able torest. I knew that with little sleep, the guy would come first. I always found myself being challenged in all I did.
One of your teachers said you started showing the signs of a preacher at anearly age. She even said you disarmed a mad man. Did you realise that youwanted to be a preacher very early in life?
Yeah, when the madman came and both the teachers and the pupils didn’t know whatto do, I rose to the occasion by talking to him to leave, and he did. What came out of their mouth was ‘Small Pastor,’ because I had a very small stature. They probablythought that it was only a pastor that could do that; that it was beyond humancomprehension. And two, I used to have a small fellowship in our school, and I wasvery good in Bible Knowledge. I used to read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. There was a time I was in Ansar Ud Deen School in Ikare. Then I was leading theScriptural Union and after school hours, I would organise a fellowship. At times, theschool authorities would say no. So becoming a pastor had always been my desirebefore it was confirmed by God.
Were you born into a Christian family?
Yes. My father was the secretary of the Anglican church in Arigidi.
But we have heard it said that your father was a herbalist, that you derivedcertain powers from him.
No, there was nothing like that. My father was not a herbalist. You can go to my townand find out, they will tell you. My father used to be the secretary to the church.
Is he still alive?