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Nigerian government meddling in church affairs

09/01/2017 15:33

The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, has warned the Federal Government to stop meddling in church matters.

This is just as the renowned cleric advised the members of the church to register as card-carrying members of political parties.

Speaking at the 2017 Ministers’ Annual Thanksgiving, on Saturday, at the Redemption Camp, Kilometre 46, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Mowe, Ogun State, Adeboye expressed worries over deliberate anti-Christian laws being churned out by the Federal Government to interfere in church affairs.
“The government has been showing increasing interest in church affairs. Unfortunately, for us in RCCG, it might not be very helpful,” Adeboye said.

He further accused the government of not allowing the church [RCCG] to continue with its stipulated lifetime 100 per cent salaries to its pensioners.

“For example, when I decided on what will be the pension of our pastors, what I decided is not done anywhere in the world. That somebody will retire and continue to earn full salaries all his lifetime.

“This, I started, but government stepped in and made a law that we should be contributing to pension fund.

“We have to obey and we started doing that. The result is that pastors don’t get as much as they were getting under our own previous arrangement. But, what can we do? We have to obey the law,” he disclosed.

Speaking further, Adeboye disclosed that other fresh laws had been enacted by the government to ruffle the feathers of the church in the country, with a particularly targeted at the RCCG.

According to him, “Now there are fresh laws. We have a rough idea of what the law is about.

“Some people believe that RCCG is becoming too influential and we’re going to be more influential. When you get home, tell members to join a political party.

“Join a party and become a card-carrying member of any party. Just join any party. We shall decide issues right from the ward level.

“If you are not active at ward level, you’ll do what they plan and say at the top. Enrol in any party of your choice and have a card.

“When holding meetings at ward level to choose delegates, be there.”

“One Muslim in Ibadan said years ago that he didn’t know what’s wrong with Christians; that we help them to occupy political positions and refused to capitalise on our population. That’s going to change from now,” Adeboye stated.

On the tenure of general overseers of religious bodies in the country, Pastor Adeboye disclosed that in the “new law that has been announced, they said that nobody can be overseer for more than certain number of years.

“And according to that law, people like me, Bishop David Oyedepo, Pastor W. F. Kumuyi, Bishop Mike Okonkwo were already gone.”

Adeboye, thereafter presented Pastor Joseph O. Obayemi, as the new General Overseer of RCCG (Nigeria); Pastor Johnson Odesola as Secretary and Pastor Adeyokunnu as Treasurer of the mission.

Pastor Obayemi and Odesola were former Special Assistant to the General Overseer on Finance and Special Assistant on Administration and Personnel respectively.

Speaking further on the new law, Adeboye, while presenting the new appointees, said: “They also said we must have a secretary; they said we must have a treasurer too. So, I present to you, Pastor Obayemi, Pastor Odesola, and Pastor Adeyokunnu.

“As God will have it, the people have been prepared for the jobs for years. For instance, Pastor Obayemi has been in charge of the salary review committee for years and inland missions.

“He’s been our representative at the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) for years, so, he’ll be doing what he’s been doing.”

Adeboye, who did not specifically announce his new position, said he has no problem performing his God-given role.

“About me, no problem. RCCG is in 192 nations of the world and the Overseer in Nigeria will not drive me out of the camp.

He won’t stop me from doing the Holy Ghost Services, and he won’t stop me from visiting you,” he said.

Adeboye joined RCCG in 1973 and was appointed the General Overseer in 1981, after the demise of Ondo-born founder of the church, Reverend Josiah Akindayomi.

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