This December’s “Go A-Fishing” itinerary last Saturday saw the General Overseer, Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye, criss-crossing towns and villages in Osun, Ondo, and Ekiti states, among others. At Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, Governor Peter Ayodele Fayose, and the traditional ruler, the Ewi of Ado-Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adejugbe, were among the dignitaries that received Pastor Adeboye.
As is characteristic of him, Pastor Adeboye prayed for Fayose, who had knelt down before him for prayer. Fayose is not the first Nigerian VIP to have so coveted Pastor Adeboye’s prayers. Presidents and other governors had done so, including former President Goodluck Jonathan and the current president, Muhammadu Buhari.
Outside our shores, it has not been different; the immediate past Prime Minister of Britain, David Cameron, attended a TRCCG programme in London and came forward to be prayed for by Pastor Adeboye.
The prayers that Pastor Adeboye said for Fayose have, however, drawn the ire of Mr. Jide Awe, the state chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC). Awe not only blew his top but also threw caution to the winds, making highfalutin statements, levelling unsubstantiated allegations, and calling the revered Pastor Adeboye names that must alarm every right-thinking person.
Whereas I am an Area Pastor in the said TRCCG, it needs be stated that the views expressed here are entirely mine and by no means represent those of Pastor Adeboye and or of the authorities of TRCCG.
First, a recap of Pastor Adeboye’s prayers for Fayose as was reported in the media: “We thank God for your courage, for your boldness. We thank God for your being willing to take risks so that your people can be protected. You have been a governor who knows when to say ‘enough is enough’ in defence of his people. And I am sure you know what I am talking about and I am sure the world knows. I don’t want to say more than that but be assured that we are praying for you and you will succeed in Jesus name. We wish all other governors who stand for their people, who defend their people and who know when to say ‘enough is enough’, success. We thank God for their life.”
I wasn’t there but I suspect that the entire congregation must have chorused “Amen”! For this prayer said not only for Fayose but also for all governors who live up to their oath of office to stand up in defence of their people.
Awe accused Pastor Adeboye of supporting what he called Fayose’s persistent insults on Buhari. Awe also tried to drive a wedge between TRCCG members and the pastor we all lovingly call “Daddy G. O.” He alleged that Fayose must have bribed Pastor Adeboye since, according to him, the Ekiti governor was capable of bribing angels.
He then attempted to set the family of the late founder of TRCCG, Rev. Josiah Olufemi Akindayomi, against Pastor Adeboye by asking them to call the pastor to order so he would not, in his myopic reasoning, tarnish the legacy of their father. However, hard they try to conceal the truth, it will out; so did Awe finally expose himself when he expressed the wish that Pastor Adeboye ought to be a supporter of the ruling APC since Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is a senior pastor in TRCCG!
Awe’s statement has done incalculable damage to APC. He brought no finesse to bear at all. He must have thought he was engaged in the usual banality between politicians where they trade abuses and insults and retire afterwards to beer parlours and prostitutes’ joints to throw banters; plot new assaults; and pick the next target.
Pastor Adeboye only spoke the truth: whether we like it or not, Fayose is the recognised face of the Nigerian opposition today and the voice of the voiceless. This is a fact which Pastor Adeboye merely recognised. He did not create it. Coincidentally, the clueless, fumbling, and wobbling APC government created the situation that Fayose is exploiting to the hilt. Fayose is not the only one who could have taken advantage of the situation but up to this point, he is the only one doing so. And it is un-Christianly to deny a man his due. Awe cannot drive a wedge between our dearly beloved Daddy G. O. and TRCCG members. He also cannot engineer any disaffection between the Akindayomis and Pastor Adeboye. This Mission is a covenant church and not a worldly organization where wives succeed husbands and sons succeed their fathers.
Fayose has been the Nemesis of Jide Awe and his political family in Ekiti. It is, therefore, understandable why Awe was beside himself with rage over what appeared to him like an endorsement of Fayose by Pastor Adeboye; more so when we consider the status, nationally and internationally, of Pastor Adeboye, both in spiritual and temporal terms.
Treating Pastor Adeboye’s “offending” prayer as a wake-up call and beginning to ask the appropriate questions so as to make the much-needed amends would have been much more sensible, just as God told an angry Cain in Genesis 4: 6 & 7.
Awe needs prayers and not more troubles. With what can Fayose bribe Pastor Adeboye? How much does Fayose have? And how much does Ekiti State as a whole have?
In 2009, Newsweek (USA) named Pastor Adeboye as one of the world’s 50 most powerful people. His citation said he is noted worldwide for his humility and holy living. There are certain legends you just do not dare to touch; for, as the adage goes, even a mad dog is reasonable enough to avoid the fire. Pastor Adeboye is one such legend.
Another was Mother Theresa of Calcutta: When she visited the United States of America in September 1994 and criticized the then US president, Bill Clinton, to his face, especially on his pro-abortion views, Clinton soaked in the criticism, simply replying that it is too hard to argue with a life so well lived. But then, Jide Awe is no Bill Clinton. Comparing both may be like comparing sleep with death.
•BOLAWOLE, former editor of The PUNCH, can be reached at 0803 251 0193, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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