A Nigerian Shepherd Fighting For His Sheep

Pastor Pam (photo by Shola Oshunkeye)The Rev. Yakubu Pam, an Assemblies of God minister in Nigeria, once met with the (now former) president of Nigeria after a series of attacks by Muslims and Christians against each other in 2004. At the meeting, at which Pam was accompanied by other fellow Christian leaders, President Obasanjo called Pam an idiot and mocked the Christians.

Shola Oshunkeye and Ndidi Kenedy-Ukaga from The Sun News recently interviewed Pastor Pam about the religious violence still occuring in Nigeria and the challenges he faces as a minister and a Christian in northern Nigeria. This is a great interview which gives insight into the fight that one Christian is fighting on the front lines of a war, both spiritual and physical, in a war-torn country.

Do you take your positions on national issues due to a deep conviction or are you just doing what you are doing to win the people’s heart and cheers?
It is pure conviction. If you look at the scripture in Luke 10, Jesus Christ sent his disciples to diverse cities to preach the gospel. I believe, as a pastor, we are called to serve the nation as well. I never bribed God for me to be born in Nigeria. If I had an option or a choice as to where I wanted to be born, I wouldn’t have chosen to be born here but since I am a Nigerian and a pastor, I will speak the truth and the word of God. The bible says, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” So, when we speak the truth to the nation, we are offering drugs that cure all forms of diseases attacking the nation. It is only God that can heal Nigeria.

Are you saying that only the truth can heal Nigeria?
Yes, only the truth can heal Nigeria.

Talking about speaking the truth, you, as a northerner based in the North, which is a volatile place in terms of religious disharmony, how much of the truth can you speak boldly in an environment like that?
If by speaking the truth, I have been brought to the limelight, if I had the courage to speak the truth to former President Olusegun Obasanjo the way I did during my altercation with him, then what volatility are we talking about here? Wherever you are, you should be bold enough to defend the truth. Boldness is an attribute from God. We must be bold when we have and know the truth. It does not matter where you are speaking. Christians in the North are rated as second-class citizens, with a lot of discrimination. Yet all these factors can’t stop me from speaking out from the North. I have seen the result of speaking the truth.


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