Pastor Enoch Adeboye, the general overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, Worldwide has revealed how a new legal requirement set up by the Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government led to him stepping down as the head of the church in Nigeria.
New legal requirements was announced by Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, guiding all registered churches, mosques, civil society groups, etc requiring that heads of such organisation must step down after serving for 20 years.
This new action affects almost all the top Christian clerics in Nigeria like Bishop David Oyedepo of Winners Chapel, Prophet TB Joshua of The Synagogue Church of All Nations, Pastor Williams Kumuyi of the Deeper Christian Life Ministry, Bishop Mike Okonkwo of The Redeemed Evangelical Mission, and many other revered clerics in the country.
“The need for the action is as a result to the new legal requirements set up by the Federal Government of Nigeria through its (Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria), guiding all registered churches, mosques, CSOs etc. It allows leaders of religious organization(s) to have a maximum period of twenty years to lead their organization(s). In retirement, they are not permitted to hand over to their families amongst other rules,” Pastor Adeboye wrote on his Facebook page on Saturday, January 7, 2016.
Meanwhile, Pastor Adeboye at the thanksgiving service where he made the announcement to step down and named a successor, urged the church leaders and other church members to participate in party politics.
The revered man of God challenged the church ministers to go back home and get themselves involved in party politics. He also named Pastor J. O Obayemi, an assistant general overseer, as the new overseer of the church in Nigeria.
“All of you should get back and encourage your members to join parties of their choice, get membership cards and be very active at the ward levels,” Adeboye said.
“So let me introduce to you your Overseer, he is Pastor Obayemi, you know RCCG is in over 193 countries of the world and I know they will not reject me when I visit,” he added.
One of the senior Pastors who spoke on the condition of anonymity but gave insights into the new appointments said the new overseer would only be in charge of Nigeria while Pastor Adeboye would still be overseeing the church on a global scale.
Pastor Enoch Adeboye assumed the leadership of the RCCG Worldwide in March 1981 at the age of 36, as at the time, the church had just established the first overseas parish in Ghana.
The New Corporate Governance Code
The Corporate Governance Code For Not-for-Profits was revised on October 2016 with specific targets being founders and leaders of non-for-profit organisations.
Reminiscent of the Central Bank of Nigeria rule of 2010 which targeted the heads of banks of Nigeria, this law required that any leader or founder of a non-for-profit in Nigeria should resign after spending “more than 20 years (in office) or is age 70 years and above”.
The law acknowledges the “spiritual role” leaders play in religious organisations, but added that these roles are “distinguishable from corporate governance and management responsibilities”.
In essence, the new government policy is telling churches and religious bodies how to operate and set up its internal leadership structures.
It also said that to ensure the founder/leader’s continuous advisory and spiritual role, the organisation can create a Board of Trustees (BOT) and make the founder/leader the first or life chair. But, every registered non-for-profit in Nigeria is already required by law to have a board of trustees.
See excerpts of the code below:
Adeboye already occupies the position of “Chairman Governing Council” and “Chairman Board of Trustees” of RCCG Worldwide as stated on the church’s website.
Hattip to Signal