He came into Nigeria’s religious landscape in the 1990s; that was in the heady days of maximum, googled ruler, Gen. Sani Abacha (retd).
While others like the late Olabayo, Okunzua, the metaphysis man, were predicting (or deceiving their followers) that MKO Abiola who was presumed to have won the June 12 1993 Presidential election that was annulled by the military government of Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, and later thrown into detention rather been sworn in, would be called upon to take his mandate.
As he was in the detention, Nigerians, the civil societies, the media and one of his numerous wives, Kudirat Abiola, were outside agitating for his release and revalidaton of his hijacked mandate. The seers mentioned above kept assuring that his stolen mandate will be restored. Such was the situation of events in the country.
But in the midst of that babel of voices kind of predictions then, a young seer in the person of Primate Elijah Babatiunde Ayodele emerged.
The man of God at INRI with his base than at Berlett Bus Stop area, Ilasamaja, chose to swim against the tide. He saw clearly from his crystal ball that Abiola will not recover the mandate and that if his wife continues with “we no go gree, we no go gree agitation,” the struggle will consume her. He was not diplomatic, neither did he concealed what he saw just to please the world; he chose not to follow the madding crowd. He tod Nigerians the truth as God directed him, just like true prophets of God like Isaiah, Jeremiah and others did. He told Nigerians the truth that the struggle will consume Kudirat. He did not egg her on. He appealed to her to back off the struggle or the struggle will consume her. He made the prophecy in a terse press statement that he personally distributed to media houses both print, radio, and TV stations as there were no social media then.
And as expected the release was thrown into the waste bin by most newspapers’ houses but not Saturday Times, one of the titles on the old Daily Times of Nigeria Plc., which had a time tested journalist then, Dupe Ajayi-Ggbadebo, as it’s the editor; this writer took the release, made a story out of it and it was slammed on the front page with this title If Kudirat Abiola does not abandon June 12 struggle, the struggle will consume her.” Many dismissed the story as one coming from an ‘eaglet seer’ planted in a government paper to drive fear into the spine of Abiola’s wife. They called him names including a doomsday prophet but months after, Kudirat was fell by hot leads from Sergeant Rogers’ gun.
Instantly, Ayodele became a celebrity of some sort. His church than at an uncomplicated building in Ilasamaja became a melting point of activities as newsmen fell over themselves to get an interview from him; what a case of a rejected stone by the builders that became the corner piece of the building.
I have to take my time to narrate all this in brief to show the humble beginning of Ayodele who today operates from a magnificent INRI Building somewhere in Oke-Afa, Isolo area of Lagos. What surprises one is that despite continuing his prediction many of which have come to pass because of the inability of those concerned to seek the face of God as instructed by the Prophet, many have been averted due to the power of prayers, which, however, is not the crux of this write-up but his large heart that can only be compared to that of the late TB Joshua. He has added the act of giving to his calling.
His hands of giving have touched so many, distressed media men, widows, orphans, members of his church, and even non-members. He knows no tribe, social strata, political or religious affiliation. Freely he was given by the Holy Spirit, freely he is giving out on a yearly basis. Particularly interesting is the N2m worth wheelchair he gave to a physically challenged young man who was born and still a Muslim; this demystified the notion that Christians only do good to their fellow Christians, in fact, fellow church members.