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Adeboye Steps Down, Oyedepo, Olukoya, Kumuyi, Others to Follow

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It was a mixture of surprise and anxiety on Saturday for ministers in the Redeemed Christian Church of God when the respected cleric and General Overseer of the church, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, announced a new leader for the church arm in Nigeria.

Adeboye made the declaration at the church’s Annual Ministers Thanksgiving held at the Redemption Camp in Ogun State.

Adeboye started his speech at the service by telling the stunned ministers that he initiated a pension scheme for the church’s retired full-time pastors that would enable them earn 100 per cent of their salaries as pension.

He reportedly said that government had been meddling with the affairs of churches in Nigeria and he had to discontinue with the scheme when the government introduced a contributory pension scheme which the church later joined.

Ministers present at the gathering told one of our correspondents that Adeboye said the government also interfered in the administration of the church by stipulating mandatory office tenure for general overseers of all registered churches in the country through a regulation.

He noted that this regulation also extended to clergymen like Bishop David Oyedepo of the Living Faith Church Worldwide International aka Winners Chapel, Pastor W.F. Kumuyi of the Deeper Christian Life Ministry and Bishop Mike Okonkwo of The Redeemed Evangelical Mission, among others.

FRC regulation

It was gathered that the Financial Regulations Council had stipulated a maximum period of 20 years for the heads of all registered churches, mosques, and civil society organisations.

The FRC established by the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria Act, No. 6, 2011, under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, is responsible for, among other things, developing and publishing accounting and financial reporting standards to be observed in the preparation of financial statements of public entities in Nigeria; and for related matters.

Governance Code 2016 of the Act encompasses three sectors: the private, the public and not-for-profit. It is the not-for-profit sector, sometimes referred to as the Benevolent Sector, the Third Sector or the Civil Society Sector, that religious bodies fall under.

The code read in part, “The founder or leader of a NFPO (not-for-profit) 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.

“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 organisation’s financial year in which this code takes effect.

“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.

“The founder or leader may however choose – subject to the agreement of the organisation’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 organisation between the running of the governing body and the executive responsibility for the management and fulfilment of the organisation’s mission.

“Where the founder or leader has occupied all or any of these three governance positions for more than twenty years, or is aged seventy years or above, the choice in the section above should only relate to the board of trustees as in section below, except the constitution of the organisation otherwise provides.’’

Obayemi: RCCG’s new ‘Daddy GO

The code read in part, “The founder or leader of a NFPO (not-for-profit) 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.

“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 organisation’s financial year in which this code takes effect.

“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.

“The founder or leader may however choose – subject to the agreement of the organisation’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 organisation between the running of the governing body and the executive responsibility for the management and fulfilment of the organisation’s mission.

“Where the founder or leader has occupied all or any of these three governance positions for more than twenty years, or is aged seventy years or above, the choice in the section above should only relate to the board of trustees as in section below, except the constitution of the organisation otherwise provides.’’

The information gathered showed the law would cause leadership changes in other churches, where their general overseers had spent more than 20 years in that capacity.

Kumuyi, Oyedepo, Olukoya, others to follow

Some of the general overseers to be affected by the regulation include Dr. Daniel Kolawole Olukoya of the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries, who has spent 22 years as the general overseer; Bishop Mike Okonkwo of The Redeemed Evangelical Mission (35 years); Pastor Kumuyi (43 years); Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor of Word of Life Bible Church (29 years); Rev. Chris Okotie of the Household of God ( 29 years); Kingsway International Christian Centre’s Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo (24 years); Winners Chapel’s Bishop David Oyedepo (35 years).

Others are Pastor Chris Oyakhilome of Believers’ LoveWord International (26 years); Pastor Samuel Abiara of Christ Apostolic Church (39 years); Pastor Sam Adeyemi of Daystar Christian Centre (21 years); Pastor Tunde Bakare of Latter Rain Assembly (27 years); House on the Rock’s Pastor Paul Adefarasin (22 years), among others.

When contacted by one of our correspondents, the Public Relations Officer of the Deeper Christian Life Ministry, Mr. Segun Babatope, declined to speak on whether Pastor Kumuyi would also step down like Pastor Adeboye did.

He referred our correspondent to the church secretary, who also declined to speak on the matter.

Babatope said, “I cannot speak on behalf of the church. We are not fully aware of what Pastor Adeboye said and we cannot comment on rumours.”

Also, calls made to the mobile of Rev. Chris Okotie were not answered. He did not also reply the text message sent to his mobile as of press time.

Similarly, when contacted on Saturday, one of Pastor Olukoya’s media aides, Mr. Idowu Ajanaku, did not respond to calls made to his mobile phone, neither did he respond to the text message our correspondent sent to him.

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Dele Adesina, who is an ally of Bishop David Oyedepo, said that he needed to read the FRC’s code to give “an informed opinion” on the issue.

How the ministers’ meeting ended

Sources said after his speech at the meeting, Adeboye introduced Pastor Joseph Obayemi as the ‘new overseer’ of the church, Funsho Odesola as the new church secretary and Joseph Adeyokunu as the new church treasurer.

Adeboye reportedly said, ‘‘At least, nobody can stop me from being a general overseer in other countries of the world.’’

By the pronouncement, Adeboye ceases to be the General Overseer of the RCCG in Nigeria while he remains the church’s spiritual leader worldwide and general overseer of its international arm. The church has branches in about 190 countries.

The clerics, who were newly appointed into key positions in the church, were not allowed to speak to the gathering. But Adeboye asked the ministers to pray for them and he also did the same.

A statement reportedly issued by Odesola after the meeting stressed that the new structure was particular to Nigeria alone as Adeboye remained the spiritual leader and global missioner of the church.

Before now, there had been expectations in the church that Adeboye would name a successor after he clocked 70 — the stipulated retirement age by the church.

In a statement credited to Leke Adeboye, Adeboye’s last son and personal assistant, he cited the FRC’s law as the reason for the church’s decision, adding, however, that Adeboye remained the General Overseer of RCCG worldwide.

Adeboye is now 74. He became the church’s general overseer in 1981 after taking over from the church’s founder, Pa Josiah Akindayomi.

Our correspondent gathered that at the service, Adeboye asked the ministers to tell all members in their parishes to join any political party of their choice.

The revered cleric noted that by joining political parties, they would be able to partake in the making of vital political decisions at the ward level in order for the country to have good representation.

He also noted that their involvement in politics would check imposition of candidates.

Lawyers’ speak on FRC regulation

Speaking with one of our correspondents, a human rights activist and lawyer, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, who commented on the FRC law, said churches, mosques and other not-for-profit organisations, as long as they are registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission, were bound by the new financial regulation targeted at ensuring financial transparency and seamless succession.

Adegboruwa who is also an RCCG pastor, said, “The plan of succession must not be to the benefit of a family member. By law, churches are called incorporated churches with a board of trustees. It cannot be run by a family. Pastor Adeboye, of his volition, decided to obey the regulation by handing over to a successor. I must also state that the confusion being created by some people that Pastor Adeboye is the general overseer of the RCCG Worldwide is unnecessary. There is no such organisation as the Redeemed Christian Church of God Worldwide. He is the Global Missioner and Spiritual Leader of the Church. There is nothing like RCCG Worldwide.’’

There were reports on Saturday that the Federal Government had suspended the not-for-profit governance code of 2016. The human rights activist and lawyer explained that the law was suspended in relation to the public sector and not for organisations like churches and mosques.

He said, “There was a stakeholders’ meeting where churches, mosques and civil society organisations met with the government. We actually challenged the regulation at the Federal High Court and we lost. We decided to comply with the regulation because we didn’t want the government to see Christians as people who do not want to follow a seamless succession system. We also do not want government to see us as people who have something to hide about their finances. The RCCG is a transparent organisation and that’s why it decided to comply.

“This (regulation) is not just about Pastor Adeboye. It concerns all the churches registered in Nigeria. Any church leader who has spent 20 years has to hand over to somebody else.”

Also, Lagos-based lawyer, Mr. Jiti Ogunye, stated that the agency’s regulation for religious organisations was still in force.

Another legal practitioner, Moses Alao, said that the FRC regulation provides that a religious leader of a registered religious organisation should step down after 20 years in office or on attainment of age 70.

He said, “Whichever comes first, it is either the religious leader has turned 70 or has spent 20 years or more as the head of the organisation, he has to go. The person will stop being involved in administrative issues of the religious organisation. He will only be a figure head with no real authority. Pastor Adeboye, in the case of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, will still be the spiritual figure head but there will be a general overseer (a position he had relinquished).’

 

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Government

President Muhammadu Buhari Appoints New Service Chiefs as Buratai, Others Resign

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President Muhammadu Buhari Appoints New Service Chiefs as Buratai, Others Resign

President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed new service chiefs in an effort to bring the growing insecurities in Nigeria to an end.

The appointed service chiefs are Major-General Leo Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff; Major-General I. Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral A.Z Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff; and Air-Vice Marshal I.O Amao, Chief of Air Staff.

Femi Adesina, a presidential spokesman, stated in a statement issued on Tuesday.

According to him, the appointment was after Buratai and other service chiefs resigned and immediately retired from service.

The resigned and retired service chief were the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas; and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.

President Buhari thanked the outgone service chiefs for their dedication and commitment towards securing and protecting the lives of Nigerians.

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University Of Ibadan (UI) Goes Digital, Releases Timetable for Virtual Academic Session

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University Of Ibadan (UI) Goes Digital, Releases Timetable for Virtual Academic Session

University of Ibadan (UI) on Friday announced it is going ahead with resumption on February 20 despite the second wave of COVID-19.

In a statement released by the school, the First Semester of the 2020/2021 academic session will commence virtually on February 20, 2021.

The virtual academic session will last for 13 straight weeks and end on Friday May 12, 2021, while the matriculation ceremony will hold on Tuesday March 16, 2021.

The University of Ibadan also scheduled one week for the Finalization of Continuous Assessment, to begin from Mon. 17 May and ends Friday 21 May.

The rising number of COVID-19 cases has compelled the Senate to approve the virtual academic session in an effort to ensure the tertiary institution abides by the protocols established by the Federal Government to curb the spread of the pandemic.

“It, therefore, agreed that the 2020/2021 First Semester lectures will be delivered online. In this regard, students will not be accommodated on campus,” a statement from the school said.

“Senate also approved the cancellation of the 2019/2020 session. The next session is, therefore, renamed 2020/2021 Academic Session. Consequently, students who have been admitted for the 2019/2020 session will now be regarded as the 2020/2021 intakes.

“Kindly note that online opening of Registration Portal and Orientation Programme for the 2020/2021 intakes may commence ahead of the Sat 20/02/21 date indicated above,” the statement said.

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House of Representatives Impeached Trump Over Capitol Invasion

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House of Representatives Impeached Trump Over Capitol Invasion

The United States House of Representatives on Wednesday impeached President Trump for the second time after instigating the US Capitol invasion.

Led by Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, 232 representatives, including 10 Republicans, voted to impeach the outgoing president against 197 that voted for him to remain in the office for the next six days when he would handover to the president-elect, Joe Biden.

The ten Republicans were Representatives Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the party’s No. 3 leader in the House; Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington; John Katko of New York; Adam Kinzinger of Illinois; Fred Upton of Michigan; Dan Newhouse of Washington; Peter Meijer of Michigan; Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio; David Valadao of California; and Tom Rice of South Carolina.

Speaking before the vote, Pelosi said “a constitutional remedy that will ensure that the Republic will be safe from this man who is so resolutely determined to tear down the things that we hold dear and that hold us together.”

“He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love,” she said, adding later, “It gives me no pleasure to say this — it breaks my heart.

Republicans, who unanimously stood behind president Trump in 2019 during his first impeachment, were divided this time over the attack on Capitol.

A Republican representative from California, Kevin McCarthy, said “The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters,” Mr. McCarthy said. “He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.”

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