Re looming religious crisis in Lagos.

Published by Daily Monitor based on its telephone interview with Bishop STV Adegbite.

Bolaji O Akinyemi.

On the looming PFN National and State’s CAN crisis in Lagos State. It is for me a matter of sleeping trouble woken by Yanga; Apologies to the Abami Eda, Fela Anikulapo Kuti.

Recently, I was led in hand by Rev’d Dr J.B. Odofin, a respected father of faith in Lagos and the Chairman Emeritus ECWA Lagos West District Church Council to the Home office of the CAN Chairman in Lagos State, Bishop S.T.V. Adegbite to resolve the seeming crisis between me and the CAN Chairman over his unethical political activities that I reacted to during the last General Elections’ campaign. My trouble for the church and the nation before now laid to rest on the intervention of Daddy J.B. Odofin, but I guess Mr Yanga is kicking at it!

I read a news headline on the looming religious crisis in Lagos by the Daily Monitor online, published as a result of Bishop Wale Oke’s refusal to ratify the charade of an election conducted in Lagos PFN.

Do I need to remind the public that critical stakeholders in the PFN first heard of the election and it’s outcome via the congratulatory message of the CAN Chairman to Rev’d Dr Toyin Kehinde in the media. In the said publication it was said that the ratification of the National Executive of PFN was being awaited.

To read again in the news the reaction of the CAN Chairman to the refusal of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria National Exco endorsing what I termed the hand of Esau and the voice of Jacob phenomenon of an election is disturbing. Claiming that the Lagos Chapter of PFN may be thrown into serious crisis as its National President, Bishop Wale Oke, has announced the annulment of the election of Rev Dr Toyin Kehinde, as the chairman of the state chapter vide a letter written to one of the leaders of the Pentecostal fold in Lagos is mischievous. Is Adegbite planning to throw PFN into crisis?

In the letter said to have been sighted by the Correspondent of Daily Monitor Online, Bishop Oke adduced many reasons; such as the lack of awareness before the election, the rebuttal issued by some of the contestants that they were not at the venue of the election and that the council that ought to superintend over the election was not properly constituted.

If the interview was conducted on phone with CAN Chairman, was he the one who made the letter available for sighting?

“Bishop Oke, in the letter, further directed that the incumbent Chairman, Apostle Enyinnaya Okwuonu, whose tenure expired in May 2022 to continue until June 30, 2024 when another election will be conducted.

But the Chairman of Lagos State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, who also doubles as the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission, Bishop STV Adegbite, has described the purported annulment as unacceptable and an attempt to use the Church for politics”.

I am surprised that Bishop Adegbite is accusing Bishop Wale Oke of politics. Let me refresh his memory, in my congratulatory message to him via his Whatsapp, on his appointment as the Executive Secretary Nigerians Pilgrims Board, I advised him to resign his appointment in Lagos so he can face his appointment in Abuja to serve his Principal meritoriously.

Aja ki roro titi, ko so oju ile meji, meaning no matter how sharp a dog is, it can’t guide two compounds.

Bishop Adegbite was reported to have spoken with the Correspondent of Daily Monitor in a telephone interview on Tuesday, where he said; “For us in Lagos, election has been held and anything short of that is not acceptable”.

“And anybody thinking that they can use the Church for politics will be vehemently rejected. Nobody can take Lagos from us. We’ll not accept that the election that was conducted and a winner emerged is cancelled. It’s not acceptable to us in Lagos.

The election has been held in Lagos, and Rev. Dr Toyin Kehinde has emerged. The Christian community in Lagos is saying no to another election. That’s manipulation, and we are not going to accept it, ” he fumed”.

Who are the “us” in Lagos for which the CAN Chairman was speaking for PFN Lagos; President Bola Ahmed Tinubu or Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu? Because it is public knowledge that the disgraceful defeat of President Tinubu in Lagos during the last election is been credited to the influence of PFN in Lagos through the non-indigene concentration in PFN Lagos. Let it be on record, it wasn’t PFN that rejected Tinubu in Lagos, but Lagosians. Those who were yelling and crying in Yoruba; “ebi npa wa o! We are hungry” at President Tinubu on his way for the Jumat Prayer on a certain Friday at the Central Mosque Lagos didn’t do so in their capacity as PFN members, nor as non-indigenes, of a certainty, they were Muslims, and are Yorubas by tribe. Adegbite should be reminded that the hungry needs food and not politics. If politics is over as the President pleaded with the Muslims Governors while hosting them to Iftar at the Villa. Same massage should be extended to appointees of his; like Adegbite.

Please, we need to ask Adegbite is Mummy Oluremi Tinubu as they say in the Redeemed Christian Church of God where she is Pastor at the National Headquarters the PFN family in Lagos to which CAN Chairman referred? May I remind CAN Chairman that he is a member of a Bloc of CAN that is not the PFN and should leave Lagos PFN to sort its affairs internally as a Bloc.

The publication stated; sources within the PFN said some power brokers in the group are opposed to the inauguration of Rev Kehinde because of politics of 2025 and 2027 elections when some groups wanted to perfect their plan to oust the ruling party in Lagos state, a plan which Bishop Adegbite also alluded to in an interview with our correspondent.

Let the deceived bear in mind, that the level of hunger was no where near what it is today when Tinubu was rejected in Lagos. With the level that his presidency had brought hunger to in the nation as a whole. It is untamed hunger ravaging the land unattended to that will oust the APC of Adegbite from power not just in Lagos but Nigeria.

“The group, according to sources, would prefer that the current chairman, Apostle Enyinnaya Okwuonu, who contested and got only two votes, should continue indefinitely, despite the fact that his tenure had expired in May 2022”.

The process is of essence in any election. If faulty process invalidates election results It is not about the man elected or not elected but the process. PFN National is simply saying the Lagos Political Formula of snatch it and run with it will not be brought into its Fellowship in Lagos State. Let it be known that I was one of the stakeholders who congratulated Kehinde, not for the credibility of a secret election, but because we felt with a good man like him fostered on us we can give peace a chance. But if in their wisdom our leaders at the National Exco after due diligence decided to annul the cult conducted election held behind the curtain to perpetuate the political party the people have rejected in Lagos State in power, then I am sorry for the cult of men behind this political shenanigan. Nobody should blackmail us into accepting their disgraceful drama in humility of Christian faith. It will be a privilege to see the long expected revolution activated from my constituency; the Church in Lagos State. Judgement the Bible has said will start from his house.

The report further said; “Also, some young Christian leaders may be warming up for a showdown because of the annulment”.

Which young people?

The ones loyal to them during the last election who won’t let us rest by begging to keep spirit, soul and body in one piece? Their people are hungry, how to feed them should be their preoccupationfor now!

“If such heist is happening within the Christian body, how do you think we can be a moral compass that we ought to be?” enquired the report.

If there is heist in the body of Christ in Lagos, Adegbite is the number one citizen. it is to him that Daily Monitor should turn for answer.

Christians in Lagos should be reminded that I wrote a Petition against him to the CAN President bothering on his partisan conduct during the last election. Adegbite is behaving to type as queried by my petition. I think it’s about time to mobilise forces in PFN to revisit that petition with the CAN President.

A poorly screwed propaganda published by Daily Monitor stated; “Already, the election has been concluded, and a winner emerged. What else do these leaders want? Even the incumbent Chairman, Apostle Enyinnaya Okwuonu, has congratulated the winner. Also, Rev Kasali, who alleged that he was nominated in absentia, has congratulated Rev Kehinde and plegded to work with him. Many other Pentecostal leaders that our reporters spoke with have also congratulated the winner since the news broke last month. So what’s delaying the process? ” said a source who craves anonymity because he was not authorised to speak on the matter. I beg your pardon! Congratulatory messages do not confer legitimacy on any electoral process, like I said. I am one of the people who congratulated Toyin Kehinde, for the good man and friends to many that he is and not on the credibility of the process of his election.

Daily Monitor! What a debased practice of journalism; how can you be this bias in reporting; “Another leader who spoke to our correspondent said it is a flimsy excuse that the electoral council was not properly constituted.

He said this was the same State Advisory Council (SAC) that elected Apostle Okwuonu in 2020. “The same council has now voted overwhelmingly for another candidate. How is it now wrong? “he queried.

Every line in Daily Monitor report of this news was pro Adegbite’s position in the interview conducted on phone. How come, there was no counter opinion reported on such sensitive matter? Who gave the Letter written to a PFN leader in Lagos to sight by a reporter who spoke with CAN Chairman?

Let it be known by those who want to set the church in Lagos on fire that the Pentecostals are the custodians of the holy fire that fell on the day of Pentecost. Fire, they will soon realise pass fire. We are waiting; ready, very ready for them!

Dr Bolaji O. Akinyemi is an Apostle and Nation Builder. He’s also President Voice of His Word Ministries and Convener Apostolic Round Table. BoT Chairman, Project Victory Call Initiative, AKA PVC Naija. He is a strategic Communicator and the C.E.O, Masterbuilder Communications.

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