Thursday, January 12, 2017 9:40 am
By Edwin Dico Okugbo
Please lets not get this wrong. Jim Obazee is too small to have taken such a decision that forced Pastor Adeboye to step down. It was not his decision nor his implementation.
They tested the waters to see the reaction. They saw the reaction and pulled back and made Obazee the fall guy. Dont be distracted to start to put the thing on Obazee. That is the easiest way to lose your guard.
Keep watch. The people that made and implemented that decision are still very much around and active.
The FRC law was passed by GEJ in 2011 after the NASS made the law but that version of the law had no connection to Churches. No connection at all. The law was recently amended by the Buhari administraion and passed on the 16 of October 2016.
It is this version of the law that brought in the clause that sought to subjugate Churches. If you listen to Pastor Adeboye’s statement when he announced the new GO, he made that pretty clear. He said clearly how they have started to interfere in Church activities. He never ever made that complaint anytime during GEJ’s tenure.
I have also seen some people saying that the law was right and in tandem with what obtains all around the world. There is no bigger lie than that. Joel Osteen took over his father’s ministry. Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham, took over his father’s ministry. Kenneth Copeland’s children are already co-running his ministry even to the second generation. The list goes on and on. These are American preachers. The country whose democracy you follow. Same obtains in Europe. The only places you see such restrictions on ministries are in Islamic countries or communist countries.
The point here is that you cannot intefere with people’s personal ministries. If as a government, you believe there is any financial impropriety in any ministry, there are proper laws and channels for handling that. But what just happened was a step into the Christian community to see how they can weaken the community and disorganise it in preparations for future elections.
So this was not about Obazee and Pastor Adeboye made that clear in his statement. He said and I quote
“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. 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. Enroll 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 capitalize on our population. That’s going to change from now” the man of God said. The government has been showing increasing interest in church affairs”
If Pastor Adeboye thought for one moment that it was the handywork of one man, one insignificant unknown man called Jim Obazee, he would have simply called any of the big RCCG people in the corridors of government to sort him out. Dont forget the VP is an RCCG pastor. But this was not a one man affair. It was a plan by the powers that be. A plan which came just after Pastor Adeboye was verbally attacked and insulted by the APC, officially, for his statement to Gov Ayo Fayose.
And most importantly, some of us who shouted ourselves hoax did not shout because of Pastor Adeboye. No NO NO! We shouted because the laws didnt just affect Pastor Adeboye, it affected every Pastor and every ministry in Nigeria no matter how big or small. That law would have crippled Christian and ministry activities in the future and there was no telling where it would have led.
We must continue to stay on our guard. Dont be carried away by the sacking and “suspension” of the law by the President. A law cannot be suspended after it has been passed by the house. It has to be reviewed and changed or expunged, not suspended, (Whatever that means).
-Credit: Ena Ofugara