• Bishop Promise Dibie

The Right Rev’d Dr Promise Dibie, JP is the Diocesan Bishop of Christ Army Church of Nigeria, The Greater Light Diocese with its headquarters at St Peter’s Christ Army Church of Nigeria at 6, Umudein Lane, off Umudein Street, Agbor, Delta State.In this exclusive interview with Ika Mirrorin his Bishop Court in Agbor, the indigenous and famous Bishop, author and educationist talked about his background, education and service in the vineyard of God. He also spoke on state of the nation and why Nigeria cannot be fixed except God intervenes.

Excerpts:
May we meet you sir?
I am The Rt.Rev’d Dr. Promise Dibie JP, Diocesan Bishop of Christ Army Church of Nigeria, The Greater Light Diocese with its headquarters at St Peter’s Christ Army Church of Nigeria,6, Umudein Lane, off Umudein Street, Agbor,Delta State. Christ Army Church of Nigeria is the First Indigenous Church in Africa. I am from Alisimie, Agbor, headquarters of Ika South Local Government Area. I was born in Kaduna. My late father, Ven. Bernard Dibie was a civil servant. He retired from the Nigerian Port Authority. I did my primary and secondary school education in Lagos after my father was transferred from Kaduna to Lagos. I had a Higher School Certificate result before I gained admission into Edo State University(Now Ambrose Alli University)Ekpoma where I studied English Language . I did my National Youth Service Corps in Rivers State College of Education, Port–Harcourt. After my NYSC programme I taught briefly in Agbor as a teacher before leaving for Abuja where I became a part- time lecturer at the University of Abuja . I was working in that capacity until God called me to work fully in his vineyard.I resigned my appointment in 2016 and obeyed the voice of God.

Was your late father, Ven. Bernard Dibie the founder of Christ Army Church of Nigeria?
My late father was not the founder of Christ Army Church of Nigeria but, he was the one who brought the church to Delta State. Christ Army Church of Nigeria was founded in 1916 by late Garrick Braide, a Nigerian from Rivers State . The church headquarters is in Bakana, Rivers State. We have over nine hundred branches in Nigeria. Agbor is the Diocesan headquarters of the church in Delta State.

Why did you take the risk of quitting the teaching profession for a clergy work?
The Lord said I should resign and I obeyed Him. Before my resignation from the teaching profession, I have published over twenty books .At the moment, two of my books are used in Delta State both at the secondary and university levels. One of my books was dedicated to the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Delta State, Peter Mrakpor,SAN .

How has it been since your resignation for a full time ministry work?
The Lord has been doing His great work. Since my ordination as Bishop, I have been able to build the church cathedral. I influenced the tarring of the church road through Hon Ndudi Elumelu. He worships here in Agbor with us. The church also has street light, installed by individuals and not government.

You appear simple and not flamboyant despite your connections in Nigeria.What do we attribute that to?
Empty drums make noise . I am not an empty drum. I am the vessel of God . I have a good background, education and exposure. When I was at the university I wrote the history of Agbor. The first person of Agbor extraction to achieve that feat.I have been to over sixteen countries of the world to preach the word of God.

What is the challenge of working fully in the vineyard of God?
There is no challenge that couldn’t be surmounted because the Lord has given us the grace to do this work . I am not a hungry Bishop. The good Lord has provided for me all that I want to succeed in life and ministry.

Do we have hungry Bishops?
Yes some people open church because of what they will eat . To such people, how to satisfy their stomach is everything their ministry represents.

Are you a member of Christian Association of Nigeria CAN?
Christ Army Church of Nigeria is a member of CAN. But, I don’t attend CAN meetings. I have my reasons for that decision .

As a famous Bishop,how cordial is your relationship with the Delta State Government ?
I am a Bishop and not a government official. The only relationship I have with government is that some of its top officials worship in our church. Outside that, I don’t relate much with government.

What is your take on the moral decadence among youths in Nigeria today?
We have failed as parents, church or government. We have all failed to live up to our responsibilities of building good homes for our children . Some of us were not brought up properly . When the home, church or government fails, what do you expect in the society? . If you don’t make heaven hold your parents, church or government responsible . Again, some of us that are men of God don’t tell our members the truth. As teachers of the gospel we must always tell our members the truth .God judges the heart but, Christianity must be transmitted in such away that you transmit it to others .For instance, as a Bishop how will you feel when you see me drinking in a beer parlour? What will I tell my members?. Therefore, as spiritual fathers, parents or leaders we must live by example.

What do you think is the way forward ?
We should go back to the old time religion .Those old days when whatever our parents said were correct and final.In those old good days you dare not challenge your parents on anything.We were disciplined.

Unfortunately, today, reverse is the case .Today , everyone is seeking after money .If the devil gives you a cap, he will take your head . There is no free gift from the devil .So, we have to go back to the old religion where hard work, discipline and honesty were upheld . The new pattern of life most of us are enjoying is not taking us anywhere .The youths of this present generation don’t want to work but,they want to enjoy .If you make money your watchword , you will not get it .Don’t pray for money, pray for connection. It is the connection I have in Jesus Christ that is helping me to succeed in life and ministry.

You said you have published twenty books so far ,what drives your writing skills?
I am always in touch with people . I was very young when I started writing . I like writing. I write on ideas and issues. My writing skills are imbedded in me . I have done a lot of publications. I was a Chief Examiner for West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) for over twenty years. During the period, I prepared WAEC questions in English Language all over Nigeria.

Do you have a role model?
Jesus Christ is my role model because He has never disappointed me and He will not disappoint me.

How do you relax?
I like enjoyment. If you don’t relax, when you collapse and die your members will run to another church. I always take care of myself very well.I don’t play with my health, I take very good care of it.

Please can you tell us more about yourself?
I am a peace-loving man.
God has blessed me. I love discipline, hardwork and humility. I don’t like flamboyant lifestyles. I don’t like pride. God needs people with character. If you have anointing, and no character you will surely go down. Anointing without character is useless. Heaven is looking for those with character. If you have character you are blessed.I am not proud because I am from a home where we cooked rice once in a year. I went to school on barefoot. During my growing up days who were you to eat egg and sardines outside?If you were seen or caught eating egg or sardines, the entire village will summon you for a meeting.Who were you to attend night parties?. In our church in Lagos those days you dare not miss a service. I played organ. Each time I played my Dad loved it, he appreciated me with ‘Itoror'(Kobo) each time I performed very well.

How is your marriage life?
I am married with two children, a boy and a girl. My wife is the regional manager of Access Bank Nigeria PLC, Anambra State. I love my family.

What is your advice for Nigerian Leaders?
Do we really have leaders? I don’t think we have sincere leaders in Nigeria!

So what is the way out of the leadership problem in Nigeria?
Nobody can fix Nigeria except God. Our political leaders are all enriching themselves to the detriment of the people. It is bad to amass billions of naira when your fellow Nigerians are suffering. Presently, in Nigeria, there are no jobs for our teeming unemployed graduates and no functional infastructures. I have searched round, unfortunately,I am yet to see who will fix Nigeria. We are not honest in our ways. Nigerians were not at home the day God created honesty. Nigeria will not move forward until we embrace honesty and serve God diligently with the whole of our hearts.

Recently, you were sworn in as Justice of Peace by the Ministry of Justice, Delta State.Can we say the new title will spur you in your service to God and humanity?
We thank God for the honour from the Delta State Government through the Ministry of Justice. I am also a Jerusalem pilgrim. I am a peacemaker, I make peace everywhere I go.In most of my books, I preached peace. I pray that peace will return to Nigeria. Let us build peace in our homes,in the church and in our country. Let us put our hope in God. Finally, let us be truthful in our daily lives. 

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