Witches dance naked when good men sleep, flaunting bloodied phalanges. Darkness shrouds. They convene in covens to draw covenant blood. Then the fury of heaven is unleashed…
When a man Pastors an 8 million member church and instructs his congregation to get registered in any political party, knowing 15% of his potential votes can swing an election, suddenly the Tortoise turns into a Rabbit!
Pastor Adeboye sounded an unmistakable clarion call this week – all gloves off, he said, “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”.
Yesterday’s news shocked the nation the Executive Secretary of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) sacked by Buhari, the entire board under review.
My good friend Chris Adetayo had this to say on his facebook wall,
“Did Buhari just sack the Board of the FRC because the laws of the land that the body superintends over has ensnared some big fishes? This is the same President that has refused to act against the Secretary to the Govt inspite of clear evidence of corruption” .
Some would argue the law preceded the current administration. Others would counter this argument by questioning the hurried audacious implementation of section 50 of the Corporate Governance Code, after a Federal Minister had voiced his concerns and called for restraint in its implementation. It’s unprecedented that an executive secretary of a Federal Government Parastatal would disobey a Minister. The question everyone is asking is, was he acting alone or were there masked political forces prodding him along or can we just say this was an error of judgement coming from an insubordinate egotistical civil servant?
Now here comes the one big question – why did the axe fall directly and rapidly on Rev Adeboye, surely there were other religious leaders? What was the purpose of the direct communication to his office either by mail or by telephone? Was he being targeted? What is this talk of a personal vendetta against him by a man in government who was a former Pastor in his church? Is this story true or a smart move by the government to deflect blame?
The sack, that’s the biggest question. Why has it suddenly dawned on the Federal Government that there is a fundamental jurisprudential defect with section 50 of the Corporate Governance code, never in the history of the free world have the term of religious leaders been regulated, not even in Stalinist Russia! So why Nigeria? Who were the pre – historic formulators of this law. Would Buhari have sacked the Executive Secretary if Rev. Adeboye had not retired? Why was the implementation of this controversial law hurried – that’s what we should be asking? The sack might just be another strategy to deflect attention from the real culprits behind what many have begun to see as a veiled persecution of Christians in Nigeria – in the farming communes of Southern Kaduna, Agatu, Nimbo and other theatres of bloodshed. As if that was not enough the same forces are moving against the Shepherds, “strike the Shepherd and the sheep will scatter?
When Rev. Adeboye mounted the pulpit last Sunday after he announced his shocked retirement, he made two announcements and both were omnious warnings. He said, the Federal Government was meddling in the affairs of the church and he thereupon instructed every member of his over 8 million congregation worldwide to go get a party card,” we shall decide issues from the word level”.
But the damage has been done, RCCG now has two overseers, it’s hard to tell if this is what Pastor Adeboye would have wanted. But God works in mysterious ways , he has often said – “God can turn an unpleasant experience into a blessing”, has always been his constant theme. Pastor Adeboye may look back at the events of this week and acknowledge a mysterious hand at work, restructuring his church as he must himself step down oneday.
Will this diminish his feelings of harassment and persecution unleashed on his person and the Christian community; very unlikely. Whichever way you look at it this government just woke up a sleeping giant. This is a defining moment and every member of the RCCG and every Christian should heed the call. We should re-echo Adeboye’s words, “Enough Is Enough!”
There must be some truth behind the saying ,”let sleeping ‘Lions’ lie!”.
That is why I must ask the question again , who is afraid of the Church or rather who is afraid of Rev Enoch Adejare Adeboye and why? Why the sudden tumultuous Tsunami within the ruling party? Is this all about the 2 minute prayer of blessing on Gov Fayose by Adeboye?
I Am Richer Than Bill Gates – Adeboye
When you Pastor a church of between 5 to 10 million members you are in the top bracket of the worlds’ richest men.
Andrew Rice, writing in The New York Times, doesn’t call the RCCG a church but a movement, he said, ” the RCCG is one of Africa’s most vigorously expansionary religious movements, a homegrown Pentecostal denomination that is crusading to become a global faith”.The church’s leaders preach that in the future, “In every household there will be at least one member of Redeemed Christian Church of God in the whole world.
Apparently referring to his spiritual endowment and favour, the general overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye, once said he was richer than the world’s richest man, Bill Gates. Teaching on a topic, “Overflowing Cup”, Adeboye said that if Bill Gates needs shoes, he would have to go to the market to buy them, but that if he should announce that he needs shoes at Redemption Camp, the 1km auditorium might not contain the shoes people would donate to him. He made reference to “his” houses in the 188 countries where the RCCG have branches – obviously not referring to personal assets but the private residences of members of his church abroad, he said they were his houses. That’s been his attitude towards wealth – wealth is not a personal chattel but a shared communal asset; and perhaps that’s why he’s been able to keep his head above all forms of financial and moral scandal. People say it’s a miracle that a man who just started wearing shoes when he turned 18 yrs old, could sit on so much wealth and still stay humble.
A Church With A Monorail
Pastor Adeboye’s vision is colossal. According to two news sources Ynaija and Encomiums, plans are underway to construct a monorail in the new RCCG auditorium. This might infact be the first time in history a church will require such service. But there’s good reason for that, the new auditorium is 3 x 3 kilometres both in length and in breath, with an interior that spans 9 kilometres.
The 74 year old Enoch Adeboye currently preaches to the biggest congregation in the world – all seated in one place.
In 2005 the official membership of RCCG was 5 million members world wide, some have put the figure at 8 million members in 2016 . It’s been reported the new RCCG 3 x 3 kilometre auditorium seats 12 million people, when one adds the 1 kilometre old auditorium which seats 3 million people , that figure could easily jump up a staggering 13 million people all worshipping together.
He may not be the richest head of a non profit organisation in the world, however how many leaders of such corporate bodies can stand up in a meeting and ask 10 donor stakeholders to sponsor a project with $3m each bringing the total figure to $30m! That’s exactly what happened on the day he officially announced and launched the 3 kilometre auditorium.
Assets Of Half A Trillion Naira And No Rolex Watches!
Newsweek reporter Lisa miller wrote” Behind Adeboye’s extraordinary success is his reputation for honesty. While other Pentecostal pastors (including some Nigerians) have been accused of financial misdeeds or faking supernatural powers, Adeboye remains above the fray. Nigerian government leaders seek his input on pressing social issues. His appearance is straitlaced: he always wears a pinstriped suit, a gleaming white shirt and a bow tie”.
Yet with all the wealth he controls Pastor Adeboye still remains humble and unassuming, no gold Rolex watches or bespoke suits. No jewelries or baked Croc shoes. It’s reported the entire wealth and assets of the RCCG is well within the N550 billion range – half a trillion naira, this was 4 years ago, that figure could easily be N800 million today. For a man who only started wearing shoes until he turned 18 yrs – his story is a compelling one. What is however fascinating about Pastor Enoch Adeboye is, unlike others – wealth doesn’t seem to have had any particular fascination for him, his mission has always been to bring the genuine love of the Father to tired thirsty souls in sermons that essentially encourage and promises breakthroughs. He has essentially maintained a simple and almost ascetic life compared to other religious leaders.
Three years ago a magazine Encomiuns went on an investigative tour to Redemption Camp and put the entire wealth asset of RCCG at N500 billion, this was how the magazine described it, ” Sitting on top of the world largest Christian camp known as Redemption Camp, the camp is reportedly worth over 200 billion, the one million seater 1 kilometre auditorium is worth N7.7 billion, a private jet which currently is valued at N8 billion, a garden city valued at N1 billion, Redeemers University valued at N5 billion with its permanent site nearing completion, then a reported N20 billion… 3-kilometre auditorium, ultramodern branches scattered in over 125 countries pegged at N100billion, an annual offering and tithe incredibly close to N201 billion from its over 10 million worshippers from over 15,000 branches and a host of other unconfirmed sources..”
Pastor Adeboye’s assets have put him atop an enviable position to become a true revolutionary voice for genuine change in Nigeria.
However some Nigerians cannot reconcile his humble and simple personae with the trappings of wealth about him, they are convinced there’s more to it than meets the eye ; one of such items is his private jet valued at N8 billion. They feel it’s insensitive and indefensible especially with the current level of poverty in Nigeria.
To be continued:
Part 2: The Voting Power Of RCCG,The Attacks On The Church Under Buhari & The Private Jet Controversy
Barr. Ata Ikiddeh, Editor – in-Chief, Poet, Human Rights Activist