By Olaolu Oladipo, Lagos
Christian leaders have met in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital with a resolution not to obey any form of regulations from the Federal Government on how to run their churches.
Speaking on behalf of others, a popular preacher, Bishop Wale Oke emphasised that they would neither obey nor challenge the law in court, adding that they would wait for the government to hurl them to prison for their refusal.
The preacher, however, absolved President Mohammadu Buhari from the development, saying he did not have foreknowledge of the law. He commended him for taking action immediately he got knowledge of it.
Oke said Buhari has tremendous respect for Christianity.
They called for outright repeal of the edict by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) which limits tenure of church leaders in Nigeria to 20 years, among other new regulations.
Oke said the new leadership structure in the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) as announced by the General Overseer, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, was a routine restructuring in the church.
He explained that Adeboye announced the new decision of the Governing Council of the church to appoint an Overseer for Nigeria while he (Adeboye) remains the General Overseer and Chief Missioner of the church.
The decision, he said was to enable him concentrate more on overseas missionary works.
Oke described the new law as an error, anti-Christ, warning that any attempt to dictate for the church would put the country on fire.
“We won’t go to court, we won’t obey, and we will expect them to hurl us into prison. We are very determined and focused about that. What they want to do is to strike the shepherd and see the sheep scatter. That is the game plan of the devil but God will never allow the gate of hell to prevail against His church.” Oke said.
He added: “It is an anti-Christ move and an unfolding Islamic agenda. It is totally unacceptable. Therefore, we want it abolished and cancelled. No government will try it and succeed.”
He said all Christian leaders in the country have made up their mind to direct church members to be actively involved in partisan politics at the grassroots level to enable them participate actively in governance.
According to Oke, the country would have been on fire if the president did not act on time.