Adeboye steps aside, announces new Nigerian General Overseer
A new year shocker came the way of millions of members of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), yesterday, when the General Overseer (G.O), Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye, announced a new leader for the church in the country.
Adeboye, clad in a blue patterned batik material, at the Ministers’ Thanksgiving Service, announced three names and urged members to pray for them.
The new General Overseer of the church in Nigeria is Pastor Joseph Osuolale Obayemi, while the new church Secretary is Pastor Johnson Folorunsho Odesola and the treasurer, Pastor Joseph Adeyokunu.
Adeboye, who has been the GO of the church since 1981, when he was ordained by the founder of RCCG, Rev. Josiah Akindayomi, said though the new GO, Obayemi will oversee the Nigerian arm, he remains the GO of RCCG worldwide. He said the church now has presence in 192 countries globally.
Just like what happened in the banking sector between 2009 and 2010, when the Federal Government through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), after removing some banks Chief Executive Officers (CEO) for alleged financial impropriety, went ahead to announce a 10-year tenure for banks’ CEOs, same appeared to be playing out gradually in churches in Nigeria.
Adeboye, at meeting with ministers, which took place in the church’s new auditorium, Shimawa, Ikorodu, Lagos, explained that the Nigerian regulation now limits the tenure of church GOs and “this will affect other General Overseers like me, including Oyedepo of Winners; Kumuyi of Deeper Life; Olukoya of Mountain of Fire, among others.”
It was gathered that the announcement was informed by the new legal requirements of the Financial Regulations Council, guiding all registered churches, mosques and civil society organisations, which give a maximum of 20 years for any leader to be in charge.
Under the law, GOs are not permitted to handover the leadership of the organisation or religious establishment to their immediate families
On the choice of Obayemi as the new GO, Adeboye, who was listed among the top 50 most influential people in the world in 2008 by Newsweek Magazine, said the new GO and others mentioned had been prepared for years by God for the task.
According to him, Obayemi has been part of the mission’s Salary Review Committee; member of in-Land Mission Committee and has represented the church at different times on the executive committees of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) and Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) fora.
Odesola, the new secretary is an Assistant General Overseer and is the pastor-in-charge of the Church’s headquarters in Ebute Meta.
Obayemi was until his new appointment a member of the governing council of the church.
Adeboye said from the 28 prophecies the Lord revealed to him on December 24, 1979, concerning the church, the 27th came to pass in November 2016. He called on the RCCG members in Nigeria to register with any political party of their choice and become card-carrying members.
He explained that RCCG is influential in Nigeria and globally, saying such must be maintained. He said members must have cards showing they belong to political parties “so that when they are holding meeting at the ward level, you are there to choose a delegate and contribute your own quota to the development of your community and Nigeria as a whole.”
Adeboye said as at last year, the church had spent about N500b on scholarship for children in the church. He announced that the RCCG yearly special fasting and prayer programme will begin on January 11 and ends February 19 (40-days), saying that as many members that can have White Fast can do theirs for 20 days. White fast is one done with fruits and food without salt, sugar and oil.