Buhari Is Using Financial Reporting Law to Harrass Adeboye, Kumuyi, Others
Ekiti State governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, on Sunday, accused the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari of harassing the country’s church leaders with the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria Act 2015.
He listed the religious leaders being harassed as the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye; the General Overseer of the Living Faith Church, Bishop David Oyedepo; the General Overseer of the Deeper Life Bible Church, William Folorunsho Kumuyi among others.
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But the Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), Jim Obazee, on Sunday, also revealed that out 23, 216 registered churches across the country, only about 89 churches have complied till date, noting however that the council would be unrelenting till the right thing is done.
Fayose, who spoke at the 53rd birthday thanksgiving service of his wife, Feyisetan, held at the Governor's Office Chapel, Kado-Ekiti, said that the government must thread softly on this path to avoid tragedy of monumental proportion
"There is one thing every government must not do, the moment you face the church of God, you will fail. The God of Adeboye, Kumuyi
will bring down all the enemies in this government.
“Somebody must tell them, there are certain things you don't do. They are going from frying pan to fire. This government wants to subdue the church, God will subdue them. They are ridiculing leaders of the church, God will rubbish them. The same church they had deceived to get power, they are saying that we now have the ring, who will remove it from our hand, the Lord will cut off the hand that wears the ring.
“APC is behaving in this way, But God is the creator of the ring and the hand, God will amputate the hand. Ayo Fayose is anointed of God. I have warned and I'm still warning, take your hands away from the administration of churches, you are killing Christians, The Lord will rise against you. By rising against the church, this government has failed. As anyone that rises against God will fail. By using Laws against the church, they have started to crumble.
" Christians are being slaughtered in Southern Kaduna and noble men cannot talk because of fear of incarceration. Remember you are here today, tomorrow you would not be here again. We must condemn what is happening here today," he said.
FRC's Obazee however declared that church leaders must be ready to prepare their accounts if they must keep other people's money.
"In keeping other peoples' money, you have to prepare account. That is why churches fought mess badly, took me to court as a person and then my office too. Mosques and orthodox churches freely complied, but those Pentecostal churches, called me to ask questions.
They said: 'This church is church of God and we are accountable to God.' And I told them: 'Very good, so you must take this church to heaven, you can't operate it here. when public funds are involved, government needs to ensure proper accountability.
Religious organizations are ordinarily set up as 'not for profit' and they remain institutions of public character. The challenge, however, is a trend where churches and mosques start dabbling into non-charity ventures like schools, hospitals and so on.
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"When you set up a church, your motive is to ensure that people are well focused to go to heaven. Then the money in the church should be targeted at ensuring that people helped to do that. If you want to set up a school, then it should be free for all your member's children. If you charge any money, then you are in the same league with other schools outside that are paying taxes to the government," Obazee further said.
He continued that "if you set up schools, hospitals and the likes under a church, there is a high likelihood that you will engaging in non-charitable activities within charity. If you are doing that, then what stops Dangote from setting up a mosque and having all his cement, rice and sugar under it.
"That is actually what some churches and mosques are doing," he submitted.