The Lagos Chapter of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria has said its leadership will not succumb to tribal bigotry and divisive tendencies being championed by an unknown group called the Pentecostal Association of Nigeria and Diaspora.
The group, led by one Apostle James Jesulere, had on June 26, in a publication on Sahara Reporters made sundry allegations against the fellowship.
PAND in the report indicted the national president of the fellowship Bishop Wale Oke, It indicted the State Chairman Apostle Enyinnaya Okwuonu, and some unnamed leaders of the fellowship at the state and national levels.
Part of the allegations is that the Chairman of the Fellowship, Apostle Eyinnaya Okwuonu, had stayed more than 8 years in office and was reluctant to go.
It also made allegations of financial impropriety against the PFN while also stating that the Igbos in Lagos were poised to take over the Lagos PFN.
But in a statement made available to Church Times on June 30. signed by the Publicity Secretary of the Lagos PFN, Apostle Tonye Oliver, the fellowship dismissed the report describing it as “ungodly and demonic attempts to foist” on the fellowship “the great evil of bigotry.”
The state of things
To set the records straight, the fellowship stated that “Apostle Enyinnaya Okwuonu became the Chairman of the Chapter following the unfortunate demise of our beloved Bishop Sola Ore two years into his second tenure.
“As Vice Chairman he (Apostle Eyinnaya) completed Bishop Ore’s tenure which lapsed in 2022. In other words, Apostle Okwuonu has only served two years as State Chairman and not 8 years as falsely claimed by this fictitious Bishop”.
The fellowship explained further that “Apostle Okwuonu is very well qualified to serve for at least another 4 years if it pleases the national leadership to appoint him.”
It noted that the purveyors of the Sahara Reporter story do not understand that in Christ Jesus we do not pander to ethnic, social or gender divides.
The fellowship however added, “As a fellowship, we have well laid out constitutional principles as well as traditions that guide how our leaders are called into service.”
According to Lagos PFN, the unknown group is trying to create an ethnic divide in the fellowship for political reasons and thereby divide the Body of Christ.
“This is seen by the infusion of terms like ‘obidients’ and the references to the issues of the politics of the day, and as a fellowship, we refuse to yield to such attempts
“We do not have a Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa, or any other ethnic Church, we have one Church over whom Jesus is Lord. Our leaders are not chosen based on where they come from but rather on who they are in Christ Jesus.
“We see this as an attempt to manipulate and corrupt the processes by which our leaders are chosen and put pressure on our national leaders to now tow the lines of ethnic politics. It is a thing of shame that ethnicity and bigotry have become a thing in our days and all because of politics.” the fellowship stated.
Deeper Life in charge of PFN secretariat
On the allegation of financial impropriety by the group, Lagos PFN said, “On the Secretariat building project, it is pertinent to state that the building including the funding is handled by an independent Committee headed by the Deeper Christian Life Bible Church Lead Architect, who are the primary financiers of the project.”
The PFN according to the statement “has no hand in the disbursement of the fund. A simple inquiry will confirm this.”
The Fellowship then called “on all leaders and members of the Church in Lagos State to refuse to be corrupted by the sentiments expressed in the publication.”
It urged them “to hold on to the truth of the Word and walk in harmony and love as commanded by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”