Muslim then, Christian now
Apostle Dr. Paul Waheed Asafa (formerly known as Sheu Abdul-Waheed Asafa, a.k.a Onidi Adua) is the founder of Mountain of Mercy and Victory, Ganun Waterside, Magboro, Lagos/Ibadan Express Way, Ogun State. Now in his 60s, he was born to the family of a popular theatre practitioner, Chief Ebenezer Ogunwole, the traditional leader of Wakajaye in Ibadan who was widely known as “Elemosho”.
He grew up with his maternal grandfather who was a Muslim. So he embraced Islam from childhood, became herbalist and then an occultist before he met the Lord Jesus in 2005. He is a native of Ibadan. He did not finish his secondary education before he moved to Arabic school in Ibadan. As a devout Muslim then, he went to Mecca for his pilgrimage and rose to the level of Sheik before his encounter with Jesus.
A former film producer, Apostle Paul Asafa has written several books including ‘Mo T’oko Were De’, ‘Jeki Afoju ki o Riran’,’ Iwo ati Ipinle Re’. He is also the author of “Let the Blind See” (Jeki Afoju Riran). His conversion stirred a lot of controversy. Just like the biblical Paul, he was persecuted.
In this interview with Wilson Adekumola, he reflects on his journey from Islam to Christianity. Excerpts;
How was your growing up?
I was a Muslim, I have been to Mecca as a true believer. I have been to some other countries like Turkey, UAE, Ethiopia, Egypt, Republics of Iran and others in Africa for spiritual power. Then, I believed God was with me. I also thought it was my cleverness that brought me wealth and fame. I have been riding cars at early stage of my life because I was connected with prominent people in the society.
This made me feel on top of the world and I was comparing myself with dignitaries in the society. I made a lot of money from one of my trips and I established a film industry called Emirates Film Production. Our first film was titled ” AYORUNBO”. The profit I realized from the film was quite steady. I was living an unholy life. I was promiscuous and engaged older women in illicit sex. I had countless girlfriends. I had little regard for people. I was very proud of my fortune because of juju power, money and influential people at my disposal like police Boss of AIG, DIG cadre. If anyone stepped on my toes such person would be dealt with in police custody. I was that vindictive.
How then did you meet Christ?
I met Christ in 2005. I reached the level of Sheik in Islam. You know Sheik is a big title in Islam. I have my house in Ibadan and owned a Mosque in the house. I used to be fetish but something happened to me. I travelled out sometime ago and when I came back I decided not to do spiritual works again (I mean an Alfa works). Then, people trooped to my house to find solution to their spiritual problems.
I went to Mecca in 1997 for pilgrimage and thus became Alhaji. So I looked at myself as a young man. I asked myself how would I be doing Alfa work, buying spiritual materials like head of fish, rat and all that for rituals? Since I was into film production I decided to concentrate on doing films. I had established Emirates Film Production by then. We produced a film titled, “Ayorunbo”. But we could not make money from that film. My manager, Kayode Olaiya, popularly known as Aderupoko, advised me to take the film to Mosques in the North. Then there was nothing like Boko Haram then. I allowed them to take the film there and we made a lot of money.
So this particular day I was in my office relaxing and I slept off. I dreamt that I told a lady to prepare Eba for me (processed cassava flour) which I ate and I woke up. I discovered it was a dream. I did not see it as anything. I just called my secretary to buy food for me thinking I was hungry. While she was trying to buy the food, I slept off a little bit and dreamt that I ate in the dream again. I then said to myself, It was time to go back home. I called my driver and he drove me home. In the night I ate three times in the dream before dawn.
That was how my travails began before it degenerated. That was between 1998 and 2005. I went back to my Alfa work to find solution to my problem but to no avail. It kept on happening until I ate to the extent that my stomach swelled up like that of a pregnant woman. If I had known that I would accept Christ like this I would have taken the pictures and it would have been useful for evangelism now. So that was the problem that led me to Christ. People thought I did money rituals called Lukudi. I was carried here and there for remedy. I sold all my belongings. It was this period I joined various cults so that they could delivered me but it was in vain.
I was even taken to Igbo Ifa for solution but it all ended in futility until I met an old man in my dream he described himself as the one called Ancient of Days. He told me to meet him at ‘Ori Oke Ikoyi, (Ikoyi Mountain) in Osun State. I interpreted it to be the baba at Oba Oke that did juju for me that was calling me. When I woke up I told my wife what happened she said that’s God. She told me it was not Oba Oke rather Ori Oke. That was how I went to Ikoyi mountain and spent seven days there. I met men of God who prayed for me.
They did and the swollen stomach gradually disappeared. This was after I had visited several places without solution. It was on that mountain I got born again. From there, I went to Bible College in Ibadan for my Diploma in Theology. Since then I have been very active in His vineyard. I organize crusade, I honour invitation to preach in places. In fact, I have not seen any reason to regret my conversion.
Did you start your church immediately you became born again?
No there was one church in my area where I live at Olodo. It’s called Latter Rain Church, not the one owned by Pastor Tunde Bakare in Lagos. I joined the church. When the people that knew me saw me they were running because they knew me as an Islamic cleric. It was one woman that gave me Bible you can see here, I started with them. Sometime I would go to Ikoyi praying mountain. There was a particular mountain called Valley of Barika at Olodo area. I used to go there once in a while.
How then did the vision of church start?
I never received vision concerning church. What we have is a praying mountain. I have a ministry called ’Paul Waheed Gospel Evangelical Ministry’. It is a mobile ministry. But I used to organize crusade. What gave birth to this was that I met a pastor who was in Foursquare at Ikoyi Mountain. He asked me to come and work with him in Lagos.
I came down to Lagos to work with him as a pastor for one year and three months. He only paid me for seven months after then he could not pay. So then I dreamt and I saw myself in the field. People were being given food inside the building but I was not able to get any plate of food. So there was a man who called me and began to show me things on the field. But I did not understand those things.
A friend I call Bishop was the one who interpreted the dream to mean that God wants me to operate in the office of an evangelist. But I was still with the Foursquare pastor. Things were so tough for me. Meanwhile, I wrote a book on my conversion in Yoruba tittle ‘’Mo t’oko were de’’ (I came back from the jungle of fools). Some people bought the book and started calling me from Iju-Ishaga. There was one woman that called me. She invited me for a program and she gathered like fifteen people and she told me to come and pray for them. That was how the Prayer Ministry started.
How did your Muslim Friends react to your conversion?
Some of my Muslim friends understood then but some did not. There were times I experienced physical attacked from my friends. Even some Alfas (Islamic clerics) that did not know me but because they heard that one Abdul-Waheed ‘Onidi Adua’ has converted to Christianity they began their persecution. Some of them after they bought my book they also attacked me despite the fact that I did not abuse the religion. I only talked about my salvation and things I did when I was a Muslim. But because of the title, “Mo T’oko Were De” (I came back from the jungle of the fools) and they knew about my transformation from Islam to Christianity, how I met Christ, they reacted badly. They did not even read it, they picked my phone number and called saying “Se Ahlaji ‘to gba Jesu nu?” Eyin le ni e t’oko were de? Eyin tori yin ti daru yi (in Yoruba parlance), meaning , “are you the Alhaji that accepted Jesus, are you the one saying you have come back from the jungle of the fools? You have run mad”.
They didn’t care to know what is inside the book. I could remember three or four places I was invited for a crusade and I was hounded. There were two occasions I will not forget in a jiffy. I was conducting a crusade in Bariga, Lagos, then I used to speak Arabic on mega phone that attracted them but I don’t do that again. All the Muslims in the community came; they wanted to disrupt the activities and harass me.
They asked the man of God that invited me to give both of us microphone that they had questions to asked me. It took the intervention of the Police to chase them away. I remember the one that happened in Alagbado in Bible Vision Assembly, a church owned by Pastor Yemi, the founder of Yemi International School. There was a Mosque in front of the Church he asked me to preach, when I saw the Mosque I decided to speak Arabic so that they would know it was a Muslim convert. They besieged the church. If not because they knew the man of God the church would have been burnt.
Now you have knowledge of both the tenets of Islam and Christianity, you also practiced traditional belief, how can you compare the faiths?
They are not the same. There is no basis for comparison. There is a book I wrote, “Let the blind see” it is all about Christianity and Islam, who is more superior between Mohammed and Jesus Christ. Who will actually take us to heaven? You cannot compare the two faiths. It is crystal clear. The Ifa or occult practices are just manipulations. It is Jesus Christ that can give one eternal joy.
What is the mandate of your ministry?
God called me to show light to the people in darkness and my finding at the mountain is to win souls for Christ. To solve the problem of mankind through the name of Jesus. God called me to deliver and heal people from all manners of sicknesses and challenges. Those were the things that birthed the mountain.
You said your mission is to win souls for Christ; can you give us an insight into how to win Muslim souls for Christ?
That is another thing entirely. Anybody that wants to win Muslim souls for Christ should call me or buy my book, “How to win Muslim souls for Christ”. Some Muslims are ready to die for their faith. So to win them you have to be patient and have passion for winning them.
Can you give us an extract from your book on how to win Muslim souls?
It’s good to start with a conversation. We may ask: If you die where do you think you are going? You may then proffer answer and tell your Muslim friend, “I believe when we die we will resurrect and where do we resurrect? What will be the end? These questions will throw up the issues about salvation and how man can inherit eternal life. But try avoid any form of argument. Don’t also start your discussion with Jesus is the only son of God. If you start that way you will turn everything to debate. You may win the debate, but you may not win their heart.
There are things you do not talk about. If he or she is not your friend go on normal preaching. Jesus Christ is the Lord and all that so that they won’t look at it as if you wanted to attack them. Your conversation may lead you to the portions of Quaran that tells about the miracles of Jesus and the vantage position of Jesus. It is in the process of this conversation that we are to introduce Jesus to them. You need a lot of patience in dealing with people who don’t know Jesus generally. But then, it is God who converts a soul and not man. Our own is to preach the good news. It is now left for the Holy Spirit to do the conversion.
What is your perspective about using faith elements like coconut, candle, water, olive oil and all that?
It has even reduced now. Like 15 years ago it was common in some churches. Using coconut, candle and all that is a doctrine of a particular church. You cannot go there without buying those things or go to river to bath, all those things are diabolical. The name of the Lord is a strong tower and the name alone can heal, it can deliver without adding anything to it. The use of olive oil and water are just symbolic representations. The real deal is the name of Jesus. People should not put their faith in the elements.
How did you come about the healing water in your mountain, and what has been its impact?
There are three things here that still amaze me. My wife who is a prophetess and I got the revelation when we got here. I saw an altar in my dream. My wife also saw an altar in her dream coming down from heaven and the altar landed. That is one. The second revelation was that she saw two angels, one wore yellow and the other one wore blue. Yellow means victory while blue means mountain. That is where Mountain of Victory and Mercy came from. Thirdly, we saw in revelation that water was gushing out from a particular place at the Mountain. Some people were in the queue, some were on the floor.
They were pouring water on themselves. That was when God opened our spiritual eyes. We wanted to dig the normal well but she said people would think we have fortified it with unscriptural things. That was why we resolved to do borehole. Since its inception, people have been using it and there have been instant healings and testimonies. It was one of the people that received her healing that built it and put tiles.
Let us talk about your monthly programme,’72 hours with God of transformation’, what informed the programme?
It is a monthly programme. It started about ten years ago. I was praying on the Mountain when God gave me the revelation. It is a marathon event that holds every third Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of the month. The vision is all about deliverance and transformation. A lot of marriages have been saved, a lot of destiny has been restored, a lot of sicknesses have been healed and people under demonic bondage have received their deliverance.
Testimonies abound every now and then. The first day we pray on foundation. God revealed to me that many people have been fighting witchcraft, herbalist and occult people but they did not involve God in the battle. Anybody whose foundation battle has not been won and is gathering something is doing that in vain. If you have foundational problem and you go into marriage, you have gone there to play. If you travel abroad you will come back.
It is your foundation that will determine who you are in life. So that is why we use the first day to pray on foundation. Thursday is to resolve the conflicts in your life. Friday is for total deliverance. That day you will see people with different kind of ailment delivered. Some people will vomit water the devil has put into their body and food they ate in the dream.
For the past ten years, the programme has been successful because it is ordained by God and we have been able to put happiness on the face of many people. People come from abroad for the three days prayer and they receive their healing. The miracle here is too numerous to mention because Jesus Christ is our bedrock. God has proved His presence here.
Apostle Paul Waheed Asafa could be reached on: 08037257147