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By Fred Chukwuelobe

Pastor Idowu Olusola Iluyomade is the senior pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Region 20, City of David and Head of the Apapa Family. The church is nested in the highbrow Victoria Island and is the worship place of the “BIG BALLARS IN TOWN,” apologies Flavour. Late Herbert Wigwe worshipped there regularly and was one of their biggest donors.

I think the City of David was carefully set up for the high and mighty who live and work on the Island. It was meant as ‘a show of power’, or coincidentally so. Although the poor and the struggling attend it too, they go there for networking; to take advantage of the big ballers and solve their challenges.

Pastor Iluyomade has been the presiding pastor for as long as I can remember. I attended the church twice, not as a redeeemer, but to honour two friends who marked the birth of a child after 20 years, and another who celebrated 40 years of his life on planet earth.

Pastor Siju and Pastor ID of Region 20, City of David, Redeemed Christian Church of God, V. I. Lagos

Of the two occasions, I was more irked by the preaching of the pastor on the child’s dedication. Throughout the church service, the pastor never said anything about the child knowing and serving God. He never prayed for the child to be useful to society. He spent time telling us how the child was going “to be rich in Dollars, in Pounds, in Euro, in Yen.” He never mentioned Naira. I guess he saw the future and knew there was no future for our local currency.

I was incensed. Trust me to voice my frustrations out there and then. Surprisingly, of the six of us sitting at one corner of the mega church, everyone of us was angry, and anger we expressed.

So, when I learnt that late Herbert Wigwe and his family attended the church, I simply said ‘na dem dem.’ I immediately figured out that the funeral ceremony of his unfortunate death along his family members and friends would be an opportunity for the living to be told about the vanities of life. Unfortunately, those who were expected to preach the gospel went on their own vanity fare: pastor Iluyomade and his wife, Siji.

We lost him! Amb. Uche Okeke, DG NIA, who stood in for Ndigbo during the Obasanjo government. With sorrows in our hearts and tears in our eyes, we look up to God for direction and consolations. ADIEU NWACHINEMELU.

By the way, those who attend City of David tell stories of the ostentatious lifestyle of the pastor’s wife. They talked about her eye lashes, dress sense, and her general obscene disposition to life. That’s not my business. It is that of those who do not see through the facade of these men of God and their church business.

Now, let’s talk about the trending party the wife of the pastor organized. It was held with pomp and circumstance while the bodies of their benefactors were yet to be interred. The choice of the music was carefully made to celebrate the BIG BALLAERS IN TOWN. And the big ballers danced to the reigning Flavour number while the bodies of their colleague BIG baller and that of his family members were still in the morgue and dead cold!

They danced. They made merry. They had fun. They cared less. Life must go on, many have said. It didn’t matter to those saying this if their bodies or that of their family members were the ones in the morgue. Selfishness. Callousness. Insensitivity. Mockery. Add your own.

GODDY JIDENMA FOUNDATION 8TH BIENNAL PUBLIC LECTURE was held recently in Muson Centre, Lagos with Prof Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of African Bank (Afrexim),4th from left, as Distinguished Guest Lecturer. Cross-section of guests with the host, Dr. Ije Jidenma (5ft from left) and others during the occasion

To me, the celebration could have been scaled down if it must go on. They were insensitive and callous. They urinated on the souls of their dead members who were the benefactors of the church. They placed money above human life. They placed enjoyment above the dead. They had no qualms.

Even if the party had been planned centuries away, it could have been postponed in honour of the dead. The living has tomorrow to party. The dead has no more future.

Reports indicate that the Wigwe family is so incensed that they have asked the church not to be part of the obsequies of their loved ones.

It is a lesson for those who think these churches care about humanity. They don’t. They care about BIG donors. They care about money. They care about the networks they create. They love BIG BALLARS. That’s why Flavour came handy.

No matter what anybody says, how would the Iluyomades feel if the tables were to be turned? It was shameful. Yes, life must go on. But we also must honour the dead.

I support the Wigwes. I endorse their aghast. I wish the nonagenarian father of Herbert, Shyngle, could surrender his pastorship of that church. I wish the church could redeem itself by sanctioning pastor Iluyomade and his partying wife.

Redeem should redeem itself to win back the trust of those who think it is truly the Redeemed Christian Church of God.

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This is my personal opinion and I am entitled to it. If you must respond to it, do so respectfully. Don’t come here to spew gibberish of why I should not touch “your Anointed.” We are all Anointed Children of God.

I do not blame men of God who rub mud on the faces of their followers. I blame their followers who surrender their lives to them thinking they were assigned by God Almighty to preside over the affairs of man. No, they are not.

We abuse God. We abuse religion. We have lost our humanity just for the sake of money.

May the souls of those who perished in that helicopter crash continue to rest in peace. Amen!

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