By Tayo Ogunbiyi
THIS piece is written in response to a piece titled “The War Against G.O’’ in Abimbola Adelakun’s column of Thursday, January 12, 2017, in The Punch newspaper. From the outset, it is essential to make certain clarifications. One, though this writer is of the RCCG, this rejoinder does not in any way represent a response by the RCCG or Pastor E.A.Adeboye in respect of some of the issues raised by Adelakun in the said piece. Second, Adelakun’s fundamental right to freely express opinions on any issue as she deems fit is highly respected and appreciated.
Third, this writer has for long been, and will continue to be, a devoted reader of Adelakun’s column and genuinely admires her deftness and dexterity as a writer. In short, she is considered one of the best in her business. Fourth, the RCCG has established institutional frameworks to officially react to Adelakun’s piece, if it thinks it deserves such attention. Fifth, being a member of RCCG, this writer has useful information that is quite germane to the validity or otherwise of a few of Adelakun’s claims in the referred piece. Lastly, my interest in this issue is purely based on innate desire to further enhance public understanding and proper education on the subject.
Now, this piece will concentrate on just two aspects of Adelakun’s piece which are considered misleading and speculative. The first concerns what Adelakun terms Pastor Adeboye’s reluctance to release power, a contention she took to a rather alarming height by comparing Adeboye with African leaders such as Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe who ‘refuses to live out the rest of his days in dignity of senescence’ and the late President Umaru Yar’Adua who ‘had to be propped up on his sick bed while hired ventriloquists voiced his thoughts’.
It is important to stress that comparing Adeboye with such African leaders as cited by Adelakun is unfair to the clergy man and a reflection of lack of proper grasp of the concept of spiritual authority. For one, the leaders in question were voted into office and were to serve constitutionally permissible terms in office. But this is not the case with Adeboye who was never voted into office as the General Overseer of RCCG. His choice was divinely ordained and same goes for his tenure in office. RCCG as an entity is a divine creation of God who called the founder of the mission, late Rev. Josiah Akindayomi into the ministry. Indeed, according to existing literature on RCCG, it was God that gave the late founder, an illiterate, the name the church bears through a trance. The founder remained leader of the mission until God directed him to anoint Adeboye as his successor before he was eventually called to glory.
At this point, let me stress that this pattern of divinely designed leadership pact abound in the Holy Bible. For instance, God called Moses and gave him a specific assignment. Through this, Moses became the spiritual head of the people and he led them from Egypt to the wilderness. But his tenure in office and profundity of assignment were clearly determined by God. At a stage, when certain elements from the fold tried to rebel against his leadership, the Lord dealt brutally with them by commanding the ground to open and swallow them. The severity of the retribution validates the reality that God detest rebellions against his chosen leader. When Moses’ time was up, according to divine calendar; God was the one that chose Joshua to take over from him. This has been the pattern all through the ages: God chooses and determines the tenure of his chosen servants.
Let me digress a little by highlighting how the revered clergy came into the ministry. He was already a Doctorate degree holder in Applied Mathematics and a top ranking lecturer at the University of Lagos when he was called by God into full time ministry. By then, RCCG was the poorest among the poor churches of the day. So, when Adeboye quit his plum job as a lecturer for the uncertain option of being a full time pastor, it was a painful and sacrificial choice. I make allusion to this to emphasize the fact that Adeboye’s foray into the ministry was not motivated by affluence and influence.
It was strictly in obedience to the voice of the One who redeemed his soul. His continuous stay in office as the G.O. is, no doubt, still in perfect obedience to the voice of God. Those who know Adeboye recognize that he abhors all manners of ostentatious style of living and arrogance of power. So, comparing him to Mugabe and others is rather strange.
The second and final issue in Adelakun’s piece, which I will like to react to, concerns her claim on Adeboye’s successor. While it is true, as Adelakun claimed, that Adeboye once said that his successor was still in a “beer parlour, she, however, missed the point by trying to affirm Pastor Joseph Obayemi as Adeboye’s successor. For the education of Adelakun and others that hold similar flawed position on the recent happenings in the RCCG, it is imperative to state that Pastor Joseph Obayemi is not by any means, the successor of Pastor Adeboye. He was appointed as the National Overseer of RCCG, Nigeria and not RCCG Worldwide.
It should be stressed that RCCG has massive presence in over 190 nations of the world of which Nigeria is just one. While Pastor Obayemi oversees the Nigerian church for emerging constitutional expediency, Adeboye remains the General Overseer of the entire mission. So, this issue of a successor to Adeboye does not arise. As it has been earlier established, that end of the business would be dealt with as soon as the owner of the mission, the almighty God, deems it fit for the curtain to draw on Adeboye’s illustrious ministerial career.
On a final note, let me emphasize that while it is true that fake men of God abound in our society, it is the responsibility of every man to seek and discover God. Those that fall into the hands of fake men of God are mostly victims of their own lazy spiritual outlook. It is only those that know their God that fully understand this secret.
Ogunbiyi writes from Lagos.