Oluwaniyi: How I went blind for a season
By Gbenga Osinaike
From day one, Pastor Emmanuel Oluwaniyi was set for a long battle in life. He lost his father when he was one year old. His mother, a petty trader could not cope with his upkeep. So, life was quite unpleasant while growing up.
He started his primary education when he was 8 and then took to carpentry and later to bricklaying as an apprentice but somehow he did not stay long in these trades. “In the first instance I had to excuse myself from the carpentry trade and later I was to learn bricklaying. I left carpentry because my boss then removed my shorts publicly and beat me on the buttocks because I did not comply with an instruction. I was in my teens then. I felt embarrassed and had to leave in annoyance. I then joined the bricklaying trade.
“I was there for three months. My head became bald from carrying blocks. It was tough. It was while doing this that one of my teachers who knew I was brilliant pleaded with my mother to try to send me to school to continue my education.”
As God would have it, Oluwaniyi’s mother did all she could do to raise funds. From the bricklaying trade he went to a modern school and later a commercial school before he proceeded to a teacher training college. He worked for a while and was able to gather enough money to write G.C.E. “My ambition was to become a chartered accountant or a medical doctor. I did not have the opportunity of going to a formal secondary school but I had to study on my own.”
Now a chartered accountant and holder of several diplomas in theology, Oluwaniyi surrendered his life to Christ in the teacher training college. “A lady was instrumental to my salvation. She introduced me to Christ and the scripture in Revelation 20 talking about the end of those who do certain vices actually propelled me to surrender to Jesus. Before then I was active in the church and was a choir person. But I did not have the experience of salvation.”
Though a believer in Christ, Oluwaniyi was to later face a greater challenge in life.. “It was tough going through school but I was determined to succeed. I made up my mind that I would have tertiary education no matter the odds.”
Oluwaniyi embarked on self-study to write his G.C.E. “I taught myself mathematics. I wrote G.C.E. and passed with good grades. I wrote JAMB and passed as well. This was contrary to the opinion of some people close to me. I got admission to the University of Benin from where I graduated with a BSC in accounting. I was among the pioneer accounting students in UNIBEN”
But that graduation would have been truncated had the devil had his way. While in part three, Oluwaniyi who currently is a Christ Apostolic Church pastor recalled how he collapsed while in the fellowship in school. He was taken home from there. That time coincided with the period of his industrial training. So when he was certified okay he joined a company in Ikeja, Lagos for the training preparatory to his final year in the university.
One evening as he was going home just after crossing the rail line along Ikeja in Lagos, a strange bird flew to his direction, hit him on the face and pronto, he went blind. “My eyes were opened but I could not see. But as God would have it, my uncle was driving from the Oshodi end of the road through Ikeja ‘along’ and saw me by the roadside. He called me and wanted to offer me a lift but I told him I couldn’t see. He thought I was joking. He came down from the vehicle and led me into the car”
That was the beginning of one long trouble for Oluwaniyi. He was being taken from one hospital to the other. “We went to UCH and many other hospitals and the result was that nothing was wrong with my eyes. But I could literally not see anything though my eyes were open and blinking. It was a trying period. That went on for several weeks and I was almost not going to meet up with school again. I was taken to our village and we were resigning to fate until my uncle came to take me back to Lagos”
It was in Lagos that God did the unexpected. “My uncle brought me to a youth programme organized by some youths in the Christ Apostolic Church and I sat at the back. The leader of the meeting suddenly got an inspiration that God was going to do something outstanding. We were asked to pray and I prayed from the depth of my heart. I knew God would work out a miracle. It was in the midst of the prayers that the scale fell off my eyes and I began seeing gradually. It was progressive. First I saw things faintly and then I had a clear view of things. The whole place erupted in praise”
Read also: I was lost in prosperity gospel- Abel Daminahttps://churchtimesnigeria.net/abel-damina/
A product of a polygamous setting, Pastor Oluwaniyi explained that there were too many forces at play in his life. “My father had five wives and there was envy and jealousy. There was stagnation in our family and nobody ever made it to the top. There was always a ceiling. But God used me to break the jinx. I can confidently say I’m a product of grace”
Oluwaniyi: How i died and came back to life
He recalled also a near death experience. “At a point in my life I literally died and I saw myself moving with the speed of a light to eternity until a personality in the spirit realm literally pushed me back into my body. There were several cases of attacks but God delivered me from them all. I remember a brother of mine. We slept on the same bed. He responded to a call in his dream and he died immediately just by my side. The evil arrow of the enemy was real but God saw me through.”
Commenting on his marriage, Oluwaniyi said, “Meeting with my wife is a miracle. God had told me I would serve in Rivers State ever before the posting came. But my uncle who worked in the NYSC was working towards making me serve in Lagos. Somehow when the posting came it was Rivers and he could not do anything about it. He wanted to help but he forgot and by the time he wanted to step in to re-work my posting to Lagos, he was transferred from Lagos to another state. I ended up in Rivers.
“It was in the course of the year that God revealed my wife to me. She was also a corps member. I went to her and told her my intention. She literally dismissed me and asked me to rule out the possibility. I felt terrible and I said to God I was not going to talk to any lady again. It was around that time that the letter of a sister that I had been quite close to got to me in Rivers. When I opened the letter she was literally saying we should come together.
“I was excited at the offer but as soon as I took my pen to reply her, I lost my peace. God was not in it. This other sister who had turned me down was the person God had designed for me. It was later I now got to know that the Lord had spoken to this sister who turned me down ever before I went to her but she was just being adamant. Eventually she succumbed and we are together to the glory of God. She has been a great help suitable for me.”
Oluwaniyi counseled, “The trials of life will come. But it takes God in us to make a difference. He is the one who strengthens us and makes us to overcome all troubles and trials.”