Some celebrities and other Nigerians, on Monday, staged a protest at the Redemption Camp on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway to seek the intervention of the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, in the current state of insecurity in the country.
The protest, organised by the Creative Industry Group, was staged to appeal to Adeboye, who is one of the richest Nigerian Pastors, to exert his influence to speak on the security challenges plaguing the country.
The protesters, including Charles Oputa, popularly known as Charly Boy; Felix Duke; Friday Igwe, popularly known as Baba Fryo; Eedris Abdulkareem and Mykel Parish, alleged that Adeboye had been silent on the state of the nation.
The Chairman of the group, Duke, while lamenting the rate at which people were being killed and kidnapped in the country, urged the RCCG GO to speak up for the masses.
Duke stated, “A lot of people are dying; our women are being raped; men are being kidnapped and killed; children are being slaughtered and no one is talking about these. Any government that wants to change the orientation of the youth usually uses entertainment; so, we celebrities have decided to use our followership to influence people to speak up for the underprivileged.
“We believe that the RCCG is the biggest church in Nigeria and Adeboye has a lot of influence in the country; if he speaks up on the country’s security challenges, President Muhammadu Buhari will listen to him. The Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, is his ‘son’; he (Adeboye) also has a lot of ‘children’ in the National Assembly, so his voice is very important.
“The people whom we met at the Redemption Camp all understood that the fight is not about us, but it is for the betterment of all Nigerians and the unborn children. We want him (Adeboye) to speak up so that efforts can be made to put an end to the killings. Even if he just makes a statement, it is ok.”
Igwe urged Adeboye to exert his influence to intensify efforts to secure the release of Leah Sharibu, who has been in the captivity of the Boko Haram terrorists for so long.
He said, “Adeboye has a loud voice; when he speaks, the government listens; so we want him to at least talk to the Vice-President, Yemi Osinbanjo, on this Ruga settlement issue and the killings of innocent people by Fulani herdsmen. We have also been too relaxed on the release of Leah Sharibu; so, we want him (Adeboye) to talk about it. We are not protesting that he is a bad person; we just want people to hear his voice on these issues.
“When we got to the Redemption Camp, the security guards tried to stop us from coming in, but we found our way in and kept protesting till we got to a point where the police used an armoured personnel carrier to barricade us. We continued protesting on that spot until the National Overseer, RCCG, came to speak to us and gave us an assurance that our message would be delivered to Adeboye. But we told him that if we didn’t hear from him, we would come back again.”
When contacted, the Head of Media and Public Relations, RCCG, Olaitan Olubiyi, said the protesters’ complaints would be delivered to Adeboye, whom he said had embarked on spiritual preparation for the forthcoming convention of the church.
Olubiyi stated, “When the protesters came, we attended to them because Pastor Adeboye was not available. We are preparing for our convention and our General Overseer has already embarked on his own spiritual preparation for the convention. The National Overseer Pastor, Joshua Obayemi, spoke to them and assured them of Pastor Adeboye’s commitment to the progress and peace of Nigeria.
“It may not be true that he (Adeboye) has been silent; during the last Holy Ghost Service, there was a time devoted to talking about the evils and dangers of blood. shedding and bloodletting; Pastor Adeboye even led the whole congregation in prayer for mercy for Nigeria and that was aside the prayers that are always offered at the various parishes.
“Much more importantly, Pastor Adeboye made it clear at the Holy Ghost Service that happened some four days ago before today’s protest that as a middle member of the Christian Association of Nigeria and the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, the leaders of these two associations had issued statements on these matters.
“As a leading member of these associations, how would it look if he should make another statement when the leadership had spoken? But in any case, we have told them that we would forward their complaints to the General Overseer and he would respond appropriately.”