By Ehichioya Ezomon
Nigeria’s ‘Men of God,’ reputed to predict major incidences that would shape the tenor and character of nations or the entire world in the 12 months of a new year, seemed unduly “unseeing” in the matter of the novel coronavirus. They didn’t prophesy its outbreak, global reach and devastation in population and the economy.
In their December/January rituals, they would reel out scores of frightening and mostly controversial predictions lacking in the kind of specific outcomes of prophecies of old.
Prophecy is prescient: “Having knowledge of things or events before they exist or happen.” So, the high number, and frequency of predictions by Nigerian prophets look like the results of analyses and interpretations of local and global occurrences. Thus, it’s easy to locate their consistent failure to “hit the bull’s eye.”
The biblical prophets were not credited as frequent, but seldom, and rare predictors of events presaging critical moments. And when they prophesied, they spoke at the instance, and the word of God, which “shall come to pass.”
As the Bible says, “Jesus (God) is the same yesterday, and today and forever.” (Hebrew 13:8; Malachi 3:6). And that, “God’s word shall not return void.” (Isaiah 55:10-11; John 4:46-53).
Can we say the same about the thousands of Nigerian “prophets”? Are they truly men of God? Do they hear God’s voice? Do they seek His face? Do they represent Him? Do they speak for Him? If the above is true, why do their prophecies fail unlike those of old?
As we chew these queries, we’ve heard some pastors claim that COVID-19 is a warning to mankind, to change their ways and return to God, or He would visit the world with a deadlier pestilence.
This is regurgitation of scriptural prophecies, and not the predictions of now, the likes of which Nigerians, always bombarded with frightening forewarnings, expected from the vocal prophets.
For COVID-19, I can’t recall listening to or reading about a prediction(s) on the pandemic that has topped 2.2 million in infections and close to 160,000 in deaths worldwide.
Perhaps, one or two seers could have made some allusion to a disease, without zeroing in on its origin, where it would start, and the extent of its reach and devastation.
If there’s such a prophecy, the media would have been awash with, “I predicted it on so and so date,” even if the forecast was of a lesser scope and scale, as the novel coronavirus.
However, on Wednesday, April 15, 2020, I read about a pastor, who not only “saw, spoke and prayed” about the virus (with video links to “give more details”), but has also staked his name and reputation for a timeline for its “disappearance” from the earth.
In an online report: “COVID-19: The Prophecy, The Confirmation and The Solution,” Prophet Jeremiah Omoto Fufeyin has indicated that the virus would, in a matter of weeks, disappear, stealthily, the way it came to infect millions of people globally.
Fufeyin, founder and head prophet of Christ Mercyland Deliverance Ministry (CMDM), Warri, Delta State, Nigeria, is emphatic about the virus’ downtick “from country to country.”
Revealing the solution to COVID-19, the online report said: “The Man of God came out on the 21st of March 2020 to pray and cry for mercy for the world and against the spread of the deadly virus.
“He then gave a clear word of prophecy, stating that from that day (March 21) till 28th April 2020 (five weeks), the virus will be seen to be gradually disappearing from one nation to another the same way it came, as a result of his prayers of mercy and that of believers from around the world.
“He stated clearly that between that day and a month and one week later, the virus will be seen to be disappearing from the face of the earth in the same manner it started from one country to another.”
To erase any doubts about his prediction, the 48-year-old Prophet Fufeyin, who founded his ministry in 2010, referenced the “decline” of the virus in China, where the disease was first reported in December 2019, before it spread to other countries.
“In confirmation to this prophetic declaration, weeks after this prophecy, China, where it all started, recorded more VICTORIES over the CORONAVIRUS,” the online report said, without specifying when the “victories” commenced.
The report noted that “in every generation, it’s God’s prerogative to choose certain anointed individuals (prophets) to reveal His secrets, so as to save His children from the plagues, disasters or troubles ahead,” and that Fufeyin belongs in that select group.
“Senior Prophet Jeremiah Omoto Fufeyin falls in this category of Men whom God has annoited specially and has decided to use in an unusual manner in this generation, as none of his (Fufeyin’s) words of prophecy has failed.”
In other words, God trusts Prophet Fufeyin for his past record of predictions, hence He’s entrusted him to deliver the much-craved disappearance of COVID-19 from the globe.
Still, what to make of the dates in the prophecy? The said decline of the virus began on March 21, 2020 – the day the prophet prayed and cried to God for mercy over COVID-19, and yet, the prediction was only revealed/disclosed on April 13, 2020 (Easter Monday).
Why the delay to publicise such a momentous news? And how could he predict an event (decline in infections) already in weeks? Impossible! Unless Fufeyin’s brand of predictions is retroactive and not proactive, as prophecy is defined as: “The foretelling or prediction of what is to come.”
Surely, his disclosure was predicated on the virus’ gradual decline in China weeks before his March 21 praying and crying for mercy “for the world and against the spread of the deadly virus.”
In fact, going by a report by Reuters, “the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the coronavirus outbreak first emerged, began lifting a two-month lockdown on Saturday, March 28, 2020, by restarting some metro services and reopening borders, allowing some semblance of normality to return and families to reunite.”
“Wuhan accounts for about 60 per cent of China’s coronavirus cases, but they have fallen sharply in recent weeks, a sign that the measures are working,” the report said, adding, “The last confirmed locally-transmitted case of the virus in Wuhan was on Monday (March 23, 2020).”
That’s a single infection two clear days before Fufuyin embarked on his prayers and cries for mercy on behalf of the world. Where did he foresee the virus’ decline if not from a clever reading of its report before his March 21 forecast, highlighted only on April 13?
Anyway, Prophet Fufeyin has dared to walk where others failed to take even a step. He’s a few weeks to prove the authenticity of his prediction, and join the league of true “Men of God.” Otherwise, he would be tagged, as many pastors are labelled today!
* Mr. Ezomon, Journalist and Media Consultant, writes from Lagos, Nigeria.