THE Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), on Thursday, said the sacked Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN), Mr. Jim Obazee, had vowed to remove the General Overseer of the church, Pastor Enoch Adeboye.
This revelation was made by Head of the church’s Media and Public Relations, Pastor Segun Adegbiji, who also confirmed that the embattled Obazee was a zonal pastor with RCCG and, at a time, refused to honour Pastor Adeboye’s summons over alleged infractions.
According to Adegbiji, when the General Overseer noticed some infractions and sent for the then zonal pastor, he (Obazee) immediately replied that he was in his office and if Pastor Adeboye really wanted to see him, he knew where to reach him.
Obazee had allegedly refused to suspend the implementation of the FRCN regulation that requires heads of all registered churches, mosques and other non-profit organisations to serve a maximum of 20 years in office and thereafter hand over to someone from outside their families.
Obazee reportedly insisted that only an official gazette would stop him. Pastor Adegbiji further said that the recent changes announced by Pastor Adeboye, last week, which caused a stir in the polity, were informed by the provisions of the FRCN Act, explaining that the General Overseer does nothing without consulting God.
According to him, “God may have decided to carry out the reforms for a purpose though such appointments were not new to a growing church like RCCG which has branches in 192 nations of the world.
“The newly appointed country overseer, Pastor Joseph Obayemi may remain the overseer in charge of Nigeria operating from his current regional headquarters in Somolu in Lagos.
“The national headquarters of the church remains in Ebute Metta, Lagos, while the global headquarters is at the Redemption Camp, but the new country overseer, Pastor Obayemi may not immediately move to the Ebute Metta headquarters because it will be administratively inconvenient for him to operate from the headquarters of another region.”
He corrected the impression that the General Overseer, Pastor Adeboye had resigned and appointed a successor, saying: “The General Overseer has not stepped down. He is still the General Overseer of the church and the announcement has not diminished his schedule across the globe.”
He also corrected the impression that the new national overseer was a Special Assistant to the General Overseer, adding that Pastor Obayemi, who will now oversee RCCG’s 28 regions in Nigeria, was one of the seven senior pastors promoted Assistant General Overseers and members of the Governing Council, during the 2016 convention of the church last August.
Pastor Obayemi was a deputy in charge of Finance and a member of governing council in RCCG, before his appointment as the new Country/national Overseer of the church.
RCCG, with 14 parishes before Pastor Adeboye’s entrance, has grown to become one of Nigeria’s biggest with branches in 192 countries.
According to the PRO, the church may not have so designated them but most pastors overseas are actually regarded as country overseers, who act as liaison between the church and their host countries.
With the sack of Obazee and the dissolution of the FRCN Board, President Muhammadu Buhari may have temporarily saved the jobs of many prominent Pentecostal church leaders who have since passed the 20-year threshold.