The Presiding Bishop of City of Refuge Ministries International, Lagos, Bishop Oscar Ossai has appealed to people to respect the age of the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, (RCCG) Pastor E.A Adeboye, his years of labour and the work God entrusted into his care. He made this appeal in his statement on the social media.
Bishop Ossai, in the statement he titled, “In Defence of Christianity,” expressed deep love for Pastor Adeboye, and said he recognized the reach of his ministry and the RCCG in this season Church growth worldwide. The cleric however pointed that it was an error and a very dangerous trend to equate the RCCG phenomena growth worldwide with the Church in Nigeria or Christianity in Nigeria.
He explains: “RCCG is not the Church in Nigeria or equivalent to the Nigerian Christianity. Writers please take note. It is actually a human way of thinking to equate size with God’s work. Wherever two or three gather in His name, He is there in the midst of them is the real definition of Church ‘stricto senso’” he said.
Bishop Ossai stated this as a response to an essay that allegedly blamed Pastor Adeboye and Christianity in Nigeria for the mounting crises in the country under the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led government of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, a Pastor in the Redeemed Christian Church of God.
The bishop exonerated Pastor Adeboye, the RCCG and the Church in Nigeria at large from President Buhari’s election as Nigeria’s president in 2015. He particularly stated that Pastor Adeboye, who is fondly called Daddy G.O, was non-committal publicly in the events leading to the election of the retired General Muhammadu Buhari as Nigeria’s president in his first term election in 2015.
“The 2015 General election, which has become our Achilles heel, needs closer observation. RCCG and G.O. remained non committal publicly as it were. I was a part of the meeting. There was never a time a joint position was taken on that election notwithstanding the involvement of Pastor Yemi Osinbajo. There was no announcement publicly or privately to the best of my knowledge where the Church in Nigeria at large or the RCCG was specifically mandated to support Pastor Osinbajo. It is therefore unfair to be categorical in addressing the Church in Nigeria or even RCCG given the national crisis of leadership currently rocking the APC led government of the country. The crisis is that of mounting corruption in high places, mounting insecurity especially Southern Kaduna killing fields. In effect, if the government of the day fails, it is wrong to blame Christianity in Nigeria for imposing the government as the essay under review portends,” he said.
The cleric said many people, including him saw clearly the challenges that would engulf the Nigerian polity by a support for General Muhammadu Buhari and cried out, “but many were blinded by the mantra “Anything but Jonathan Good Luck.”This was in the build up to the 2015 elections .That is over now and we should move on” he recalled. Ossai said it became a double jeopardy and untenable to lump everyone together in defining the challenges in the nation and the role of the Church. He noted that the real problem becomes the culture of using a strong brand as a representative of a population without recourse to other views. “And where the error of such sampling error manifests, we must be courageous enough to accept the error instead of discrediting a whole population. I hold this view strongly. As a people we have no regard for minority view,” the cleric remarked.
The Bishop of City of Refuge described Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, as a spare tyre that can only become useful when the main tyre cannot function. His words: Prof. Yemi Osinbajo is a member of a political party. The Party mandated him to run on a joint ticket with PMB. He however ran as a deputy which is more like a spare tyre .Unless and until the main tyre cannot function, then and only then can the spare tyre becomes of any use. We must keep this fact in view in analyzing our national question. And let me make bold to add that a failure of the Vice president, in the event that a failure is actually the issue, does not mean a failure of the Church or Nigerian Christian as a body.”
Bishop Oscar Ossai hammered on need to accord respect to Pastor E.A Adeboye, and also on the need to respect people and their convictions. “Daddy G.O. Pastor E A. Adeboye has his personal approach to issues of life. I am personally different. That difference does not discredit Daddy G.O, RCCG, Nigeria Christianity or the Church. Daddy G.O. is given to personally and privately rebuke of those in high political offices. That is how he operates. We must protect him from the” wiles” of the enemy .We must learn to respect people and their convictions. These my contrary views ought to be in the public space as well so the court of public opinion will see all the angles and choose the angle she deems fit in these trying times. Meanwhile brethren, God is in His temple. Let the earth be silent .God is at work. We shall see the final product and very soon too,” he finally concluded.