RCCG: Buhari fires officials, suspends FRCN code that made Adeboye step aside

It’s no news Pastor Enoch Adeboye no longer serves as general overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) in Nigeria.

The revered man of God was forced out of office by a code of conduct the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN) designed.

Under that code, leaders of churches registered as charities cannot stay in their administrative posts for more than 20 years or after age 70. They also cannot pass such leadership to family members.

Adeboye, who was made general overseer in 1981, stepped aside ahead of his 75th birthday on March 2, but he remains the overall head and “Global Missioner” for RCCG.

While announcing a Nigerian leader for RCCG, Adeboye reportedly declared the FRCN forced his hands. He was also reported to have warned the government not to meddle in “the affairs of God”. He also urged his ministers to tell RCCG members to get active in politics so as to determine how government deals with Christian organisations.

Yemi Osinbajo: Some say Pastor Adeboye may have used his influence with the pastor VP to prevail on Buhari.
Yemi Osinbajo: Some say Pastor Adeboye may have used his influence with the pastor VP to prevail on Buhari.

It seems the possibility of losing the Christian voting bloc, a powerful one in a country where there are more churches than factories, has forced President Muhammadu Buhari’s hands.

“President Buhari has approved the immediate removal and the replacement of the Executive Secretary and the reconstitution of the board of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRN),” spokesman Garba Shehu said in a statement on Monday.

“He has appointed a Chairman and a new Executive Secretary for the council. The new Council as approved by the President has Mr Adedotun Sulaiman, MFR as Chairman.

“Mr. Sulaiman was a former Managing Partner/Director of Arthur Anderson and later, Accenture. He is a Chartered Accountant and a product of the University of Lagos and Harvard Business School.

“The President has also approved the appointment of Mr. Daniel Asapokhai as the Executive Secretary of the Council. Mr. Asopokhai is a partner and a Financial Reporting Specialist at the PricewaterHouseCoopers (PWC), Nigeria. He is a product of the University of Lagos and the University of Pretoria.

“President Muhammadu Buhari has also instructed the Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment to invite the nineteen ministries, departments and agencies of the Federal Government and private sector organizations specified in the FRC Act to nominate members of the board of the council.”

And…

Yes, the code that forced Adeboye to step aside has been suspended.

Adeboye: Many RCCG members and non-members were furious with Adeboye's "exit". They accused Buhari of fighting against God and his Church.
Adeboye: Many RCCG members and non-members were furious with Adeboye’s “exit”. They accused Buhari of fighting against God and his Church.

The decision was swift. It came from Buhari’s table 48 hours after Adeboye announced his “exit” on Saturday. That’s a record for a president who would barely blink, except at public rage, when terrorist herdsmen massacre fellow Nigerians like cows.

Some say Adeboye, whom reports say is furious with FRCN, may have used his influence with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to prevail on Buhari who is currently in The Gambia trying to persuade a stubborn loser into conceding defeat. Osinbajo is a top pastor in RCCG.

Will Adeboye now reclaim “RCCG General Overseer, Nigeria” title? We wish we could say. We don’t even know where this will lead.

Written by Rotimi Akinola

Nigeria is not a country. It's a mindset.