Date360 has learnt how a new corporate governance code forced the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye to resign his position, but stays on as the General Overseer, Worldwide of the church.
The entire process of how Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) announced his retirement and installed a successor took less than thirty minutes, while stressing that fellow Pastors like Bishop Oyedepo, Pastor Kumuyi will also have to go.
However, nothing prepared his body of Ministers, whom he had gathered to give thanks to God this Saturday morning, another annual ritual in RCCG, for the surprise they got.
He began by telling the crowd that the federal government of Nigeria under President Buhari has, lately, formed the habit of interfering in the affairs of the Church.
He recounted how the government forced the RCCG to abandoned the robust retirement package for their Pastors, where full time Pastors who retired from the employ of the Church collects their full salary and benefits till death, to adopt a statutory contributory pension scheme which has resulted in Pastors, both those in active service and retirees, earning far less than they should have earned under the old scheme.
He now dwelt on the issue of how Christians are not taking advantage of their numerical strength to determine who becomes a political leader. He explained that the apathetic attitude of Christians has led to a situation where leaders are now imposed on them. His solution: “When you get home, tell every member of the Redeemed Christian Church of God to go and register for a Political Party. I want every member to be a Card carrying member of a political party.”
“You can register for any party of your choice, but by all means, register. If you register, you will have to attend your party meetings at the Ward level. That way you will be part of those to nominate the party delegates who will decide who will run for elections and be our leaders at the national level”. There was a roar of approval of this directive from the audience.
But there was a sharp contrast in the reaction of his ministers to what he has to say next. Tried as he did to downplay the impact and import of what he was to divulge, you could hear a pin drop in the large auditorium, which is three kilometers in length by three kilometers in breadth, reputed to be the largest in the world
“Part of government interest in Churches is that they have made a law that says General Overseers and Superintendents must not stay in office beyond a certain number of years. In obedience to that law, I am stepping down as the general overseer!”.
This time, the Ministers who initially thought they did not hear him clearly the first time were jolted to a live nightmare. And the whispers and murmurs of protests to this strange news were growing louder all over the auditorium.
But Pastor ADEBOYE was not done yet. “By the provisions of the law, I am not the only one affected. Fellow Pastors like Bishop Oyedepo, Pastor Kumuyi, Bishop Mike Okonkwo and others will also have to go”. By this revelation, most of the Pastors where now praying to God to wake them up and end this nightmare.
Adeboye continued: “So I am going to call on the new general overseer to step out so that you can pray for him. Pastor Obayemi, please step forward. The law also stipulated that every church must have a secretary and a treasurer.
So Pastor Odeyemi, step forward as well. We had a treasurer before only that we have never referred to him as such. Pastor Adeyokunu, please step forward. Three of you, kneel down and let the Church pray for you”.
In less than five minutes, the prayers were over and the three gentlemen were congratulated and asked to go back to their seats.
Welcome Pastor Joseph Obayemi, the new general overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God in Nigeria.
Pastor ADEBOYE was later to explain that he still remain the General Overseer of the Church outside Nigeria and that he will still conduct all the programs that the Church has been known for. Whether this will calm the nerves of the millions of the Church members worldwide, only time will tell.