Prophet Shepherd Bushiri’s four-day visit in Nigeria was an epitome of honour as government provided him with a 24 hour military and police escort and protection.Officials in Nigeria say such kind of security honour from government is only reserved for very very important people (VVIP) visiting the country.
From his arrival Friday evening, an escort of at least 30 heavily armed military and police officers guarded not just his lodging premises, but also the church where he ministered.
He gets similar treatment in other countries such as Namibia, Ghana, Tanzania, Zambia and South Sudan, among others.
Such a gesture underlines the honour that different African governments bestow on Prophet Bushiri, a South Africa based celebrity preacher running one of the world’s largest growing ministries—the Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG).
With his ministry, in just two years, hitting a record registered membership of over 300 000 in Africa, 1.7 million followers on Facebook and 2.5 million viewership of his Prophetic Channel, Prophet Bushiri has become one of Africa’s most sought out preacher—something forcing governments to put in place measures of how best to work with him for the safety and security of the people and nations.
For instance, just recently, the Botswana government, concerned with security of the tens of thousands that Prophet Bushiri attracts, moved to put him on those requiring visa before entering the country.
According to the Botswana minister, the visa requirement is meant to help Prophet Bushiri and government address security and safety issues before he convenes his crowd pulling spiritual crusades.
In South Africa, headquarters of his ministry, government declared his church gatherings at Pretoria Show grounds as an ‘event’ to mean, the service cannot proceed if ECG does not comply to set standards of organising an event.
This include having tight security, having medical personnel, firefighters and the police, among others.
Prophet Bushiri’s director of communications Ephraim Nyondo said there appears a realisation that Prophet Bushiri is an asset that African governments should protect both because of his success in spiritual and business realms.
“The tens of thousands he attracts testify of his power and authority to influence people and institutions. He is giving hope to millions across the globe and he is also visiting and cheering the underprivileged wherever he goes. This is somebody every African government need to work with, not against,” he said.
During his four-day visit to Nigeria by Prophet Jeremiah Fufeyin of the Christ Mercyland Deliverance Ministry, local papers reported that the collaboration of the two Prophets will not only engender spiritual liberation to the continent of Africa, but will spark a socio-economic gain for the host state, Delta, as visitors from all over the world throng to Warri.
Nyondo hence appealed to African governments to emulate Nigeria’s welcome by seeing Prophet Bushiri as a development partner, not a threat to fight off.