Lateef Abayomi was born to a Muslim family with a strong heritage in Lagos. His father, Fatai Akani Asunni and his mother Olayiwola nee Animashaun were well entrenched in Lagos. His great grandfather was an imam who established the first mosque in his community.
He trained as an accountant in England and got involved in many oriental and traditional religions. He was a member of the Rosicrucian, he was a herbalist. He married several women and had a peculiar domestic life. But all that came to halt when he found Jesus. Currently, he is championing the cause of educating Christians on how to handle people of other faith.
Below are excerpts from a rather long session with him
How was life in the beginning?
I recall life was fun for me while growing up. We were Muslims but I was not strong Muslim as it were. We had cause to move to the eastern part of Nigeria at a point. When the Biafra war was starting my parents took us to Abeokuta where I attended African Church Grammar School. After my secondary school I traveled to England where I studied accountancy and many other courses. I met my first wife an Igbo lady and we got married in 1973.
When I came back to Nigeria I was living in Kano and working. The British people running Nigeria Airways had Masonic Lodges in Kano, many places in the north and some other occult groups they were all there but I had joined all these while I was in England. I had joined Hare Krishna I had joined Rosicrucian I had been reading all manner of books.
It was easy for me to gravitate towards Freemason and things like that. When I got employed as accountant at the UNIJOS I got involved with another lady and we married. I felt since I was a Muslim I could marry many wives. I moved from being Chief Accountant of UNIJOS to becoming Bursar at the Polytechnic in Bauchi. I was given a house. I brought the two women to the house. That was the mistake I made. It was hell living with two women under the same roof.
Was the new wife aware you had a wife earlier?
That didn’t matter to her. As a matter of fact I got involved with another girl when we got to Lagos. She was a Yoruba girl and daughter of a Muslim man. She came in and entrenched herself. She made it appear she was the main woman in my life. She went to Koranic school though she was a University graduate.
I ended up having three wives. I joined politics in Lagos.
So what happened to your involvement with Rosicrucian and the rest?
I was involved in all the cult groups without becoming a strong Muslim. I had also not known Jesus. Along the line I got involved with Ifa. I became a herbalist and did all the rituals and all the stuffs.
Let’s talk about Hare Krishna and how did you get involved?
I had prayed these things out of my life since becoming a Christian about 20 years ago. Now I have deliberately eased them out of my life. In the streets of London there were a lot of them. There was hippie, the rolling stone, John Lenon etc. If you were not into cocaine, jazz, you were into oriental religion type of things. That was how I got involved I cannot remember all details about those cult groups again.
What was Hare Krishna to you?
I don’t want to remember that part of my life again. I have departed from that type of life and I don’t want to celebrate it. I have passed from death to life.
What is the lie about it if you can recall?
You don’t tell a person that someone’s spiritual life, spiritual belief, life culture, faith, religious beliefs, tradition is a lie. Don’t be judgmental about it. There is no way I will say something is bad about someone’s religious belief. When you condemn somebody’s faith, you close the door to that person. It will be difficult to win that person to Christ.
When I want to open talk with someone I used to say, if you are trained on an island, you know how to catch fish with your hand. If you are trained in the bush you know how to catch a snake with your hands. You cannot tell me that because I came from the bush; I cannot swim then I am useless. Neither can I say because you can’t swim; you can’t catch a fish you are useless. The same applies to religion. These people believe in spiritual powers. They believe man needs spiritual enlightenment. We are spirit beings and something in us wants to touch the spirit world. Different people with different strokes I cannot be judgmental about them. But we have to enlighten them and lead them to the path of truth with wisdom.
We’re not being judgmental but may be to enlighten the people reading…
My concern is to enlighten people about Christ. This interview is to put Christ forward. The rest of my life has been devoted to Christ; making him known. I talked the other time that the last thing was that I did Ifa. I was initiated into the Ifa cult. The summary is that I have had a background in occult. That is all I want to talk about. When I was in the Mason, I did not only become a master, I went into the chapters. God allowed me to pass through all that so I can have respect for every one of them. To minister Christ to the world is now my priority. I’m beyond all that I want to be able to talk to the Shinto’s of Japan the Buddhist of China, the Hindus of India so I am not restricting myself to any group. I want the Spirit of Christ to touch people when I talk to them because I now have the Holy Spirit the teacher.
Thank God for the Holy Spirit in you. If you are to talk to someone in Hare Krishna for instance your own perspective will be different. You have understanding. So what can we learn?
The Church itself needs a lot of talking to. The world is in the Church now. What we are experiencing now is not like the first century Church. The Church is not the way it should be. The Holy Spirit is not happy about the Church.
At what point did you now say enough of all these?
After I have been through all these marrying women and all that a lot of things started going wrong. I contested for the chairmanship of Surulere Local Government. I won. But they took my mandate from me the way they took it from Abiola. Things started going bad.
Only recently, I began to understand what transpired in my life in those years. When God wants to get you He would do everything to you so that you would end up giving him attention. I married a lady from the same Surulere community. Her people knew all the story of my life. She was the one God used to make me a Christian in 1999. We were living the way we should live. I took her away from Surulere to come and live with me in Magodo. So we were living like husband and wife, later my other Muslim wife came to join us. That was another matter completely.
There was the Holy Ghost night that held in Lekki in 1997. She became a Christian at the event and later got pregnant. She had a baby 12 September 1998
The child is now in UNILAG. So that December of 98 she had to go back to Lekki to go and give the child to God.
Was it that she was looking for the fruit of the womb? How did God touch her?
She was slain by the power of the Holy Ghost at the event. That experience was a big deal for her being a Muslim. When she had the baby she had to take her back to appreciate God. But I went to my beer, gulder and all that. From that time on that September she had started to go to Victory chapel; a Redeemed church in Magodo. By March of 1999 I followed her and gave my life to Christ 14th of March 1999 I gave my life to Christ. That was after several attempts to surrender to Jesus. I remember a pastor friend at the Christ Chapel Church led by Dr. Tunde Joda used to lead me in the sinners prayers anytime we met. But that particular day I surrendered to Jesus. The message of salvation was real. Christianity was real to me. I saw the difference from all what I had been doing before then.
At the RCCG Magodo, our group now opted out to plant a Church; Garden of Peace, few houses away from our house so it was easy for to attend church. December 1999 we were baptized. My household was baptised. But by January 2000 I joined MFM.
Any reactions from the Muslim world as a result of your conversion?
Yes, a lot of reactions that is why we are here today.
But you were not a serious Muslim
Islam does not worry if you are not a serious Muslim. But the moment you say you are no longer a Muslim it is a problem. All you did by saying Jesus come into my life is that you are unlocking the door of the Holy Spirit in your inner man. Their own equivalent is “I believe there is no other God beside Allah and Mohammed is his messenger.” Once you agree you are a Muslim they don’t care if you do any other thing. I lost all friends when I gave my life to Christ.
I was a brandy drinker. When I’m drinking brandy the next bottle is sure and my box of cigarette is always with me. I smoked like chimney. When I now became a Christian I stopped drinking and smoking. But the change didn’t come instantaneously. What convinced me to accept Christ was the change in the life of my wife.
My friends were still with me when I was doing Ifa. When I was involved with freemason my Muslim friends were there. My Muslim friends did not mind if I was involved in any other thing but the day I called Jesus into my life and surrendered to him hell was let loose. Right now I am ready to die serving Jesus.
I opted for MFM later for personal reasons. I have been quite involved with the MFM. I have been to all the deliverance schools and schools of prayer. I have read quite a lot of books by Pastor Olukoya.
We went to counseling, my born again wife and I went to Olukoya for counseling. Olukoya told me to go back to my first wife. Unknown to me my born again wife took it to heart. She realized I was not her husband and she was going to move on. But I thought I could make a success of the marriage.
She has not re-married but she took what Olukoya told us 10 years ago and moved on with her life. She is no more with me. She decided to remain single. Meanwhile my first wife has come back. She is in England with my daughter presently. But we are back as husband and wife. The other women are no longer in my life.
My desire to know more about Jesus has taken me to many programmes and also made me to do many courses in the church. I have done WOFBI in Winners Chapel and a host of others. But the challenge is that my children don’t want to hear anything about being born again. They would not listen to me.
Because they refused to listen to me, I began studying Islam to know the attraction. I came across a book written by Minister of Communication Adebayo Shitu called Christianity and Islam why the conflict?
After a lot of research and investigation I wrote another book to challenge his position. Then I came across this official Quran from Dubai, the one from Dubai is mild, you’ll think you are reading something sweet. All the hate words, kill the Christians etc, are not well reflected in the Dubai version. There are two other variants.
What I’m doing now is that anytime I’m quoting the Koran I quote the three variants so that you can get the three perspectives and only by reading the three will you have understanding of the Koran. No Christian, non-Muslim must touch it. Any Muslim that wants to touch it must do ablution. It is not meant for you and I to read.
Muslims don’t want even Muslims to read the three. You are only supposed to hear what they tell you. The reason is that if you read it you’ll be wiser and you are not supposed to be wise it is there in the Koran. What I now did is that I now designed four courses for Christian leaders so they could have proper understanding of the other faith. This will help them to appreciate Islam and reach out to Muslims effectively.
My desire is to deliver something to Church leaders so they could arm themselves properly for evangelism. The Holy Spirit is the one now guiding me to what I now know. And I am really eager to share with church leaders.
Unfortunately Christian leaders don’t have interest in the Quran yet Muslims have interest in the Bible. I belong to a Christian group and they were asking me what are we going to do about the islamisation of Nigeria? I said don’t do anything about it but educate the people.
All the other eastern religions don’t pose any threat to the world. There is a verse in the Islamic literature that says Islam has been established by Allah to take over all other religions. The Muslim world is working towards that. But God is raising an army of people that will counter this threat. He has raised me, He has raised others too to do the work.
So who is this Allah ?
Allah is not Jehovah and I have proved it in my books. I’ll prove anything using the Quran. I am not going to go outside the Quran. Several portions of the Quran is full of hate words against Christians and Jews. The whole of Surah 9 is dangerous. Unfortunately many Muslims are innocent. They perhaps don’t know the implication of their own Quaran. Allah and Jehovah can’t be same. We are not serving the same God.
Do you also believe that Nigeria can fall into the hands of Islam?
Nigeria is already in the hands of Islam. My work is not for the Nigerians alone, it is for the whole world. We have joined the OIC. Nigeria is the Headquarters of the group in Africa. Nobody knows, CAN and all of them are there building churches they don’t know about these things. Nobody has any information. There is darkness if there is no information.
Asunni is the author of Why you should not compare the Quaran with the Bible, Jehovah is not Allah, Allah is not Jehovah. He is a researcher and a widely read with a burning passion to enlighten the church on Islam and how to reach out to people of other religions. He could be reached on 08033181500