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Pastor Adeboye’s N20 billion auditorium suffers setback

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‘Omo Onile disrupt construction, demand more money’

Work on the N20 billion three-kilometre auditorium of the Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye-led The Redeemed Christian Church of God suffered a huge setback few days  back as land owners popularly known as Omo Onile invaded the construction site and disrupted the ongoing work.

Pastor Adeboye

Pastor Adeboye

Insiders squealed to us that this is not unconnected to the wrangling among the family members who felt the church acquired the land too cheap and that only few family members enjoyed the largesse. And that before such a big project could take place, the clergy should pay a huge amount of money. We gathered inability to reach a consensus led to the temporary halt.

According to our source, Daddy G.O decided to tow the path of peace and is still negotiating with them. We learnt the trouble began last year on the site which is in Agufoye village, Ogun State. The land was acquired for N215 million in 2003, from members of the Agufor Family of Agufoye village who are the original owners. Evidence of the acquisition was contained in an Ogun State revenue receipt dated July 29, 2009, and N35 million was paid for government’s survey with Ogun State government receipt No. 0536521.

However, trouble began when some people fraudulently obtained another survey plan and invited land grabbers to claim a portion of the land. This resulted in a clash between agents of both parties.  We were informed that Pastor Adeboye opted for peace and negotiated some portion of the land they had earlier paid for. But they demanded for more land and another payment claiming they should pay the other members of the family headed by one Alhaja Ramota Akinlabi, who is a sister to the baale. According to our source, the case has been dragged to court.

Meanwhile, we also gathered that the vision for the project kept expanding as the 71 year old clergy once again called the architects, informing them that the idea of the light rail should not be confined within the auditorium alone but connected to the camp so as to decongest traffic right from the entrance to the auditorium.  We reliably gathered that this will cost him several millions of naira which had been approved.

On Monday, August 4, 2014, we contacted one of the ministry’s spokesperson, who refused to disclose his name but admitted the details.

“Yes, it is true that Omo Onile caused a setback on the new auditorium project of RCCG but all is well. Daddy G.O intended to show the worshippers the level of development during the forthcoming convention but it was disrupted by that development.  However, another issue is that he is embarking on a light rail that will transport worshippers from the entrance to the new auditorium. These are some of the latest development on the issue, but will be resolved very soon.”

Enoch Adejare Adeboye is the General Overseer of Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG). He had his B.Sc. in Mathematics at University of Nigeria, Nsukka and subsequently got his PhD in Applied Mathematics from the University of Lagos, He worked as a lecturer in Mathematics at the universities of Lagos and Ilorin. After joining the RCCG, he began working to translate the sermons of its then pastor and founder, Rev. Josiah Olufemi Akindayomi, from Yoruba into English.

In 1981, Adeboye was appointed General Overseer of the church, taking over from Papa Akindayomi, who died the previous year. For three years, he played the role part-time, still lecturing at Ilorin, until giving up his university position to preach full-time.

The church, which was not well known before Adeboye took charge, now claims branches in over a hundred countries, including more than 14,000 in Nigeria. Adeboye has stated that his aim is to put a church within five minutes reach of every person on earth. He is the national president of RCF (an interdenominational fellowship in all the campuses in Nigeria). In 2008, Newsweek magazine named Adeboye one of the 50 most powerful people in the world. He is married to Foluke Adeboye, also a pastor, with whom he has children.

He recently endowed four Nigerian universities: Obafemi Awolowo University, University of Lagos, University of Ibadan, University of Nigeria with professorial chairs in Mathematics to the tune of N50 million.

-FEMI OYEWALE

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