Following the separate Pastors’ Conferences held by factions of the leadership of the Christ Apostolic Church last week, it is evident that the church is yet to reach a compromise on how to end the crisis which has been rocking the church for decades.
Tribune Church News gathered that the church at separate venues held its annual Pastors’ Conferences at the popular Ikeji-Arakeji campground and Alasepe, Ikire, both in Osun State and at CAC Oke-Ife, Agbowo, Ibadan, Oyo State, with separate leaders in charge.
In a bid to shed light on the development of the of the unification movement, a faction of the church, which held its version of the conference, at CAC Oke-Ife, Agbowo, Ibadan, Oyo State, led by its president, Pastor Samuel Ogundare, lamented that some youths of the church at the helms of leadership are responsible for the frustrations over the unification of the church.
Ogundare, during his opening speech at the church, last Tuesday, noted that his faction of the church and several others were open to the move for unification,but for the obstacles posed by the anti-unification group.
“This year’s anniversary of the CAC Pastor’s Conference was a sober period for all members of Christ Apostolic Church in Nigeria and Overseas as it clocked 31 years of discord in our church, yet the solution is not insight, what is our joy?
“It was on record that during the time of the founding fathers of this church – Pastors I.B. Akinyele, D.O. Odubanjo and Apostle J. A. Babalola- all of blessed memory, there was no rancor, bitterness, rivalry, and animosity within the hierarchy and members of the church. In fact, some of us, though very young then, are living testimonies to the kind of peace and spirit of oneness that pervaded the time and which we are enjoying today. Others who were not as old to witness this period must have read it in the records that Satan had no place in their midst because of their unity and love for one another,” he added.
Ogundare further lamented that it was unfortunate that the situation of the church today is nothing to write home about due to the long period of separation in the church, noting that, “Though the immediate past president, Pastor Abraham Akinosun made efforts to unite the church through a unification committee, but the effort was stalled due to his retirement. I pray that the Holy Spirit will lead the committee to achieve success. It is sad to note that, the administration that took over from Pastor Akinosun has not made any effort for a progressive unification process.”
Meanwhile, the recently installed president of the church, Pastor Samuel Oladele, who spoke at a different venue cautioned politicians and the government that it would be wrong and unethical for a Northerner to seek to become Nigeria’s president in 2023.
Oladele, during a press conference on Thursday to kick off the annual conference of the church at Ikeji Arakeji, Osun State, cited the unwritten zoning agreement among the political class, insisting that any Northerner who attempts to run for the presidency in 2023 does not love Nigeria.
He said: “In a country like ours with so many religious and ethnic nationalities, we cannot do away with zoning. It has always been like that. The presidency should rotate between the North and the South. That’s not a perfect arrangement either. Talking about the North, it is not one. The South is also not one either. To allow peace to reign in this country, I want to say that anybody among the Northerners interested in the presidency again in 2023 after President Muhammadu Buhari, does not love this country.”
He also took a swipe at President Buhari, describing him as a disappointment. He recalled the euphoria that greeted his ascension to power, stating, however, that the Buhari in government is totally different from the Buhari that people expected.
“Like most Nigerians who admired him, we had high expectations of his performance and turning things around; judging by his antecedent and his profile as a former head of state during the military era. But he has disappointed everybody who once loved and admired him because what is happening in Nigeria today defies logic,” he added.
He decried the spate of killings and terrorism in the country, insisting that he was to blame for the problems in the country because the buck stops at his table.
Also, another faction of the church, led by Pastor Henry Ojo, who also held its factional Pastors’ Conference at CAC, Ile Anu, Alasepe, Ikire, Osun State, however, lamented that Nigerians usually fail to appreciate their leaders’ efforts towards socio-economic growth and unity of the country until after they might have left public office.
Speaking at the factional conference with a separate theme, “The Feast of the Holy Spirit: Now is the Time”, Ojo noted that there is growing indiscipline in Nigerian churches because many presiding pastors are not born-again.
“In CAC, we have decided to impose disciplinary measures on any pastor caught in any immoral act or indiscipline. Some of them have been suspended for engaging in financial misappropriation, sex scandal and other misdemeanors.
“Apart from the effects of COVID 19 pandemic, the on-going problems of insecurity had also been creating fears in attending various programmes in many of our centres. To stem this trend, this calls for dynamic services of ministers so as to create enough courage in our church members to heal their fearful minds,” he added.
Ogundare, however, charged President Buhari not to be discouraged in finding a lasting solution to security challenges of the country, just as he urged him to reorganise the security system and be honest in dealing with all Nigerians.