The startling furore that followed the resignation of Pastor Enoch Adeboye as the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), arguably, is not in the core interest of Nigeria as a nation. Having resigned as the General Overseer, Pastor Adeboye moved swiftly and lashed out at the government, denounced the FRCN Code that ended his tenure, and instructed his congregation to be ready for the 2019 general election. The Buhari government swiftly protuberance and sacked the Executive Secretary, Jim Obazee, of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN) and suspended the Corporate Governance Code. Where in the whole world could this happen? Another Pastor overtly prayed that God should breakup (if it’s His will) Nigeria. Perhaps, this pastor has forgotten that he amassed his wealth in Nigeria and many of his church members will suffer in the event of a breakup. We even had a human rights group called CASER threatened to seek a court order to compel Pastor Adeboye to reverse his decision to resign. This is laughable and a mere publicity stunt.
In the midst of this furore, many Christians have been mercilessly exterminated in the Southern Kaduna. The cattle rustlers and herdsmen are busy invading and annihilating innocent citizens in the southern States of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The Niger Delta militant groups are busy vandalising and destroying pipelines leading to a tumultuous environment. All these are pressing national issues which require urgent attention and the government’s resolute to end the crises and bring all perpetrators to book. The issue of Pastor Adeboye, therefore, is NOT a national issue. The government should not be getting involved in singular organizational issue. I wonder why our society is gradually being consumed by unreligious-acts.
Every right-thinking Nigerian (home and abroad) should face the fact that being a Christian or Muslim Cleric is NOT an automatic leverage to bypass the laws of the land. Is it acceptable for any Nigerian citizen to be above the law? Is religion a new antecedent in manipulating Nigerians? In the glimmer days of Jonathan government, the then CAN President Ayo Oritsejafor cunningly leveraged his position, got heavily involved in the then government, and wielded so much influence at will. The end wasn’t so glimmer for him. Now we have CAN (Christian Association of Nigeria) getting involve in politics. Is CAN actually a Christian organization or a politics-infested organization?
As a born and baptised Christian, l have always believe that Church leaders and pastors should focus entirely on the deliverance of souls and leave money, power, fame, wealth for the secular world. Execrably, majority of these Christian pastors and Muslim clerics’ use Churches and Mosques to enrich themselves and act as some kind of “god”
Many commentators have also questioned why the government is getting involved in Church business. Firstly, these so-called mega-Churches are basically Business Empire; they owned and manage schools, real estate, hospitals, agricultural farms and produce, stock/shares investments, other capital investments etc. All these businesses generates gargantuan amount of money. Secondly, they operate within the physical environment of Nigeria. In effect, they are using the resources, capital and generosity of their congregants and citizens to accrue wealth. Thirdly, some of these mega-Churches do fully comply with the laws and regulations in overseas countries notable, UK, France, Denmark, and USA to mention few. All non faith-related or non religion-related activities are subject to taxation as part of the Corporation Tax. In the United Kingdom, the Charity Commission monitors and regulates all registered Charities (including Churches and Mosques) and conducts statutory investigations. It is, therefore, ludicrous that some Church leaders in Nigeria accused the government of meddling in church affairs. The government has a legitimate right to monitor and regulate Churches and Mosques alike. It isn’t so complicated to identify the potential pitfalls in the event of non-regulatory or non-compliance regime.
For those readers who are genuinely concerned about the state of our nation, here is my laconic reading of our society. It is not by accident that religion and political power have taken the centre stage in our country. The colonial era in Nigeria witnessed many developments in the areas of governance, socio-economic, public management and infrastructures. All these fabrics were still intact even after the euphoria of independence. The twenty-nine years of military dictatorship (1966-1979; and 1983-1999) embedded in heavy-handedness played major part in this process of disintegration that systematically scaled down the economic and social fabrics of our nation. The long period of dictatorship rule gave ample opportunities to negative factors – mismanagement, pandemic corruption, bribery, nepotism, increase human misery, uninformed or poor decision-making process and the self-centredness of the ‘privileged’ few (I called them ‘Selected’ few) and the so-called cabals. Underneath this unsocial equation, many Nigerian pastors and Muslim clerics used religion to amassed wealth. The denigrating economic situation meant that Churches and Mosques are perceived as a solace to Nigeria problems. Many Nigerians now ‘worship’ Man and not the God Almighty. Sadly, many of these pastors lack the intellectual capacity to understand that material wealth is of this world and not of God-pronounced blessing.
To add salt to injury, majority of our politicians are also busy enriching themselves and going about behaving like some kind of uncivilized, unrefined bunch of opportunists. Is it morally acceptable to manipulate a larger number of people and still claim the high moral ground? If our successive governments had ensured consistency, both in the national development and general economic well-being of Nigerians, there would have been less reliance on Churches and Mosques and political godfatherism.
As l had enunciated in one of my write-ups, the World is going through a process of phenomenal development particularly in technology, commerce and political evolution. This has precipitated many governments to formulate strategy and policies with the provision of stable environment, both economically and politically, for their citizens. It is important that the Buhari government be seen to be dealing with issues or factors that technically prevents Nigeria from moving forward.
In conclusion, unreligious-acts and sentiments are now entrenched in many minds with shameful ways of life. Certainly, this cannot be the will of God.
Femi Amosun writes from England, United Kingdom. You can follow me on Twitter: @FemiAmosun1
You may also want to read my previous write-up:
Lock Up Fake Prophets of Doom and their Sponsors
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