Apprehension has engulfed the Lagos chapter of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) over the impending emergence of a new chairman.
The last occupant Bishop Sola Ore passed on in 2021 leaving his vice Apostle Eyinnaya Okuwonu to complete his term.
The body is set to elect a new chairman in June, a development that has created uneasy among church leaders in the Lagos Pentecostal fold.
Some PFN church leaders, who spoke with The Nation, expressed worry over one of the chairmanship contestants accused of throwing money around to buy favours.
They said the PFN leadership should investigate four-year sermons and activities of all contestants so that Christians in the State would know that the best person is leading them.
In their private groups, virtual meetings and discussion, they said it would be disastrous for the State to make mistakes in choosing any character known to be shady in the terrestrial and spiritual milieu to be chairman.
In a WhatsApp group meeting, Pastor Mike Ojo said: ‘We are silently observing the developments to see where the tide will blow. We wonder if the church fathers in Lagos would pander to the revival or burial of the image of the pentecostal Church by the choice they want to make in the weeks to come.
“One of the characters showing interest is well known for his shady deals within and outside Nigeria. There were reports of him impersonating the children of one of the founding fathers of the Pentecostal movement.
“He would deprecate the supernatural and miracles by telling people to touch his sweat and make payment to see the power of God in their lives. He was alleged to be sleeping with women in his Church and found in shady relationships with men and women of questionable characters.
“Suddenly, he came into a questionable wealth which he flings about as offerings to buy Church fathers so he would be reckoned with and chosen as the chairman of Lagos PFN. We are watching the development to know if the Lagos PFN would further drown its image or rescue it.”
Apostle Okunmade O. Isaac, in Ikorodu said this is the time for the Lagos movement to assert that eternal life is weightier than money.
“There has been speculations that this character is going about throwing the weight of his money to become our leader in Lagos. Some of us have decided to watch and see the credibility of our leaders.
“We don’t elect our leaders. We cede the power to people we regard as fathers. A body will sit on Tuesday to check the image and records of those interested in leading the pentecostal body in Lagos.
“This body will recommend two names to the South West chairman, and the chairman will present the names to the National President, who will pick one name.
“In the first place, this process of selecting a state chairman is questionable and flawed. You cannot place an organisation as big as Lagos PFN, the hub of the Nigerian Pentecostal movement, in the hands of one or two people.
“There should be a proper selection method where more people, even the Church as a body, would be involved. This imminent selection of Lagos chairman will show the credibility of this process.”
Pastor John Mike Nliam of a Pentecostal church in Okokomaiko, raised concerns the PFN fathers in Lagos should bring out the profiles of the candidates and do a thorough investigation of their activities and contents online, rather than just sitting in their offices to pick a name to lead such an office so holy.
Also speaking on the contestants, Bishop Simon Bode Ololade of Power of God Bible Church in Sango Ota said he has refused to associate with the pentecostal body because of suggested craze for money, power and influence of some of the members.
“Just anybody, once you can dole out the cash, can be ordained a Bishop. Being a bishop has been elevated to a status symbol, especially in the South West.
“Someone with a very dappled pedigree was consecrated a Bishop. Today he is scheming to be the Lagos Chairman. He has been giving offerings all over the place to be selected.
“He was also said to have been a fundraiser for Lagos PFN recently, where he attempted to work himself into the hearts of Lagos PFN big wigs. All these shenanigans are known to us. ‘But we watch if money will buy him the job.”
Pastor Tola T. Okeowo, one of the RCCG parishes in Egbeda, Lagos prayed that the image of the Pentecostal movement, which is currently challenged by the activities of shady men like this archbishop, will not plummet any further.
“It is time to build our image, have a strong body that can stand its own anywhere, especially now that the nation is going into a serious political era and the Church must dictate the pace. Any attempt to sell our leadership to fundraisers and exploitative characters would bring negative results,” he said.
Credit: The Nation