By Achiri Igiri-West
A prophet is one who claims to have the ability to say what will happen in the future.
Many religions of the world lay claim to having adherents who could predict future occurrences. The Bible does not dispute this ability in some of its followers but however warns that a mark of a true prophet from God is one whose predictions or prophecies come to pass.
There are many Christians today who hit the town with loud claims that they have become mouthpieces of God and so invite all who care to receive words that will guide their future. This group of people are not only found in the religious spheres, they are also found in the area of governance and even sometimes in the real sector of the country’s economy.
So, if in line with biblical injunction of putting a claimant on a scale of accuracy through eventual occurrence of such prophecies then some may fall under the group of false prophets while others come clear in their claims as their predictions do come to pass.
The position of Governor Samuel Ortom as it regards affairs of God is well documented. His contribution to the spread of the gospel through sponsorship of programmes is well known to all.
His holds-no-bar attitude in giving testimony to God’s benevolence on him; of how God lifted him from the backwater of life to the zenith of his chosen career, politics, is something that thrills God and all that knows the ways of the master.
It is not all who have attained the height he has achieved that will allude to their past the way Governor Ortom does. They would rather give a picture of a glowing background which contributed to their attainment in life. But not for Ortom who tells a story of his life with relish in both open and secret arena.
But if the governor comes clean with all that, what about his latest claim of hearing from God, of claiming to be a prophet?
What qualifies him to come up with this latest tale? One can agree that it is quite true that there is a finger of God in his life but must he delve into the spiritual arena too? What does he aim to achieve with this new addition to the relationship between him and the almighty?
To get the full gist of this issue, it will be good to lay bare what brought this whole thing about? It was at the venue of the second edition of Benue State Stakeholders’ Forum which held at Benue People’s House. As the host of the programme, the governor debunked the claims of some people who he said called him a fake man of God.
To give credence to the genuineness of his call to the office of a prophet, the governor said “I hear some people even call me fake man of God. I am not a fake man of God.”
Then he went further to buttress his points of how he said in 1992 that he would be governor and so followed that up by giving the exact date of 2015 in 2012.
His words: “Today, I am here as the governor of our dear state. The Bible says a proof of a prophet is when he says a thing and it comes to pass.”
To test the veracity of this claim by the governor, a close confidant of his in the person of the Chief of Staff to the governor, Mr. Terwase Orbunde, gave further credence to the governor’s claims.
The Chief of Staff said at the same occasion, “it looks like a dream when he ( Ortom) talks, but it usually comes to pass because he has both the prophetic and the apostolic grace in him.”
The Bible says “in the mouth of two, the truth shall be established.” Having received a corroboration for his assertion from Mr. Orbunde, it will not be out of place to conclude that Governor Ortom is a true Man of God.
*Igiri-West is Special Assistant on Media to Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Benue State.