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Why Adeboye quit as G.O. in Nigeria

PASTOR Enoch Adejare Adeboye has appointed Pastor Joseph Obayemi as the new  General Overseer of the  Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, in Nigeria. Adeboye remains  General Overseer, Worldwide, of the RCCG.

This clarification came hours after the social media went abuzz with news of the retirement of the septuagenerian Adeboye, who had led the church for some 35years.

Announcing the change in the leadership of the church during a ministers’ meeting after the RCCG’s monthly Holy Ghost Service, at the church’s new  auditorium held  in Simawa, Ogun State, he  explained that the  change was necessary following a  Federal Government policy which  instructed some of the General Overseers in the country who have used  more than two tenures in office to retire.

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Obayemi and Adeboye

The policy in reference is the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) of  Nigeria’s Code of  Corporate Governance, which was first put forward in 2015.

Surprise Announcement

In a surprise move, Adeboye announced to the  crowded ministers’ conference at about  10.25 a.m.  yesterday,  new appointments of those who will run the  affairs of the church.

The RCCG  leader explained that he was taking the decision in obedience to a  government regulation, saying, in his absence, Obayemi becomes the General Overseer who will now oversee the Nigerian church.

Adeboye, who is the spiritual leader of  the church, will now oversee the  RCCG globally.

He also announced that Pastor Johnson F. Odesola will be the church’s  Secretary General, while Pastor Joseph Adeyokunnu takes charge of the treasury.

Therefore, Odesola and Adeyokunnu will work with the newly appointed General Overseer in charge of RCCG Nigeria, Obayemi.

Adeboye, who had predicted surprises for the new year, stated  that  there is a government law that General Overseers of churches can only  serve for a stipulated period of time.

He then said: “We should always be on the look  out for ourselves. I don’t expect that anyone was going to ignore me.  Love you all. We need to intensify our prayers and please let’s not  shy away from politics.

“I see God raising influence like Daniel and his Hebrew brothers, men  who know God and shall be strong and do exploits. God bless you.”.

Earlier, Adeboye had announced a 40-day fasting and praying  for members of the church, beginning from  midnight  on  January 11, 2017 .

According to him, the fasting period starts each day at  midnight  and  runs to  6.00 p.m.  praying twice a day during morning devotion and  again at  5.00 p.m.  at the churches.

“If you want to do it day and night without breaking (just liquid) it  will be for 20 days, stressing that major prayer points will be  praising God and asking God for grace to please Him in every way  possible this year”.

The Law

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) of  Nigeria, Code of  Corporate Governance, took effect from Monday, October 17, 2016.

The aspect of the law, Non-For-Profit Organisations (NFPOs) Governance Code, 2015, which  Adejare implicitly referred to, seeks to promote the highest standards of corporate governance.

The following are stated in Section 9, which deals with “Position of the Founder or Leader”:

“9.1. The Founder or Leader of a NFPO occupies a special position in  the Organisation and is  committed to the success and longevity of the NFPO. Accordingly, a  Founder or Leader  should not take on too many responsibilities in the organisation or  have an indefinite term  in the running of the organisation.

“9.2. Where for any reason, a Founder or Leader of NFPO also occupies  any of the three  governance positions of Chairmanship of the Board of Trustees, the  Governing Board or

Council, and the Headship of the Executive Management (or their governance  equivalents), the following provisions shall apply before the end of  the organization’s  financial year in which this Code takes effect.

“9.2.1. The Founder or Leader shall cease to occupy these three  governance positions  simultaneously. This is to ensure the separation of powers and avoid possible

concentration of powers in one individual.

“9.2.2. The Founder or Leader may however choose – subject to the  agreement of the  organization’s apex authority as expressed in the Annual General  Assembly, Annual

Meeting, Annual Stakeholder Engagement, Annual Conference, Annual Synod, Annual  Fellowship Assembly or their equivalents – only one of these three  governance positions subject to his current tenure. This is to ensure a clear division of  responsibilities at the  head of the organization between the running of the governing body and  the executive responsibility for the management and fulfilment of the organization’s mission.

“9.3. Where the Founder or Leader has occupied all or any of these  three governance positions  for more than ten years, or is aged seventy years or above, the choice  in section 9.2.2  above should only relate to the Board of Trustees as in section 9.4(c) below.

In the case of religious or cultural organisations, nothing in this  code is intended to change  the spiritual leadership and responsibilities of Founders, General  Overseers, Pastors,  Imams and Muslim Clerics, Presidents, Bishops, Apostles, Prophets,  etc. which are  distinguishable from purely corporate governance and management responsibilities and  accountabilities of the entities”

According to records, only 89 out of the 23, 216 registered  churches in the country complied as at last year.

Section 39 of the Code deals with  “Sanctions“39.1. Compliance with the provisions of this Code is mandatory.

Accordingly, violations of the  provisions of this Code will occasion both personal sanctions against  the persons directly  involved in the violation, and sanctions against the NFPOs involved in  such violation.

“39.2. Where sanctions have been imposed on any NFPO or person for the  violation of this  Code, the NFPO is precluded from making any reimbursements to that  person for the sanctions.”

Last year, some pastors, lawyers and workers of some pentecostal churches in the country had  instituted a suit against the FRC,  regarding  plans to effectuate the “Not-for-Profit Code 2015”.

They were pressing for the enforcement of Order II of the Fundamental Right  Enforcement Procedure Rules 2009, and Articles 8 of the African Charter  of Human and Peoples Right.

They also claimed that the “enforcement of the Code amounts to quasi-duplication of the work  of the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, which is saddled with the responsibility of registration  and monitoring of compliance of charitable organizations/groups; that  the term of reference being muted and promoted by the second and third  respondents i.e. term of reference in section 1.1 of the 2015 Code as  well as 8-40, specifically, sections 8,9,10 and 37 of the code are  illegal and unconstitutional being inconsistent with section 7 and 8  of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria Act Cap F42, Law of  Federation, 2011 setting up the third respondent among others”.

Others to quit

Meanwhile, there were indications, yesterday, that leaders of some prominent pentecostal churches in the country, who have either served 10 years at the helm of affairs of their organisations or are above 70 years may follow the Adeboye example by also  quitting the headship of their churches in Nigeria.

They include the Presiding Bishop of the Living Faith World Outreach, David Oyedepo; Bishop Mike Okonkwo of The Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM); Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor of the Word of Life Bible Church, Warri; Pastor W. F. Kumuyi of Deeper Life Bible Church and Pastor D.K. Olukoya of the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries.

The Appointments

Until his surprise appointment as the Nigerian Overseer of RCCG,  Pastor Joseph O. Obayemi, a financial expert, was an Assistant General  Overseer and the Pastor-in-charge of RCCG Region 2.

Pastor Johnson Odesola, who, until yesterday was the Special Assistant  to the General Overseer in charge of Personnel and Administration, will  now hold the position of General Secretary of the Nigerian church.

Pastor Odesola, who spoke to Sunday Vanguard last night, urged  members of the church to remain steadfast and be more prayerful, and  refrain from spreading unfounded rumours capable of derailing  established authorities.

ADEBOYE: A Profile

Pa Enoch  Adejare Adeboye was born on March 2, 1942, in Ifewara, Osun State.  Pastor Adeboye had his B.Sc. in Mathematics at University of Nigeria  Nsukka, and subsequently got his PhD in applied mathematics from the  University of Lagos, and worked as a lecturer in Mathematics at the  universities of Lagos and Ilorin, before going into full time  priesthood in 1984.

After joining the RCCG in 1973, he began working to translate the  sermons of its then Pastor and founder, Rev. Josiah Olufemi  Akindayomi, from Yoruba into English.

In 1981, Adeboye was appointed General Overseer of the church.  He took over from Papa Akindayomi, who had died the previous year.

For three years he performed the role part-time, still lecturing at Unilorin.  He finally gave up his university position to preach full-time.  The church, which was not well known prior to Adeboye’s ascendancy, has  grown phenomenally, to become Nigeria’s biggest, with branches  globally in about 190 countries, including more than 14,000 in  Nigeria.

Adeboye has stated that his aim is to put a church  within five minutes  of every person on Earth.  He married Adenike, now 68, in 1967. She was born on 13th July 1948.

RCCG  was  founded  in 1952 by Rev. Josiah Akindayomi (1909–1980)  after he had been involved in a number of other churches. Rev.  Akindayomi chose Adeboye as his successor.

Adeboye was ordained a pastor of the church in 1975, and his appointment as  leader (General overseer) of the church was formalised by the  posthumous reading of Akindayomi’s sealed pronouncement.

In 1990,  Redeemed Christian Church of God Bible School was founded.

The newly appointed RCCG leaders are:

Overseer – Pastor Joseph Obayemi;

Secretary – Pastor Odesola;

Treasurer – Pastor Adeyokunnu

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