Living Faith Church International, also known as Winners Chapel has issued a statement concerning the video trending showing Dr. David Oyedepo, president and presiding bishop, placing a curse on terrorists who attack Christians and churches.
The church says the comments were made in the “heat of the Boko Haram crisis” and offers a position different from what the respected cleric said in the video which can be traced to 2014.
Bishop Oyedepo is seen in the video placing a curse on Boko Haram and their sponsors and praying for the breakup of Nigeria if that is what will end the bloodshed.
He said he heard that there was a plan to attack his church, and told his members to resist such plot and “spill the blood” of those behind it.
But speaking through Sheriff Folarin, chairman of the church’s editorial and media board, Oyedepo said he cannot make such utterances at the moment in light of the challenges the country is experiencing.
He said mischief makers were circulating the video to make it look as if he was commenting about the recent happenings in southern Kaduna.
Oyedepo said he has not made any comment, “either in private or public”, about the crisis in Kaduna state, which he described as his second home.
“The video from which the quotes were taken is a 2015 video at a Sunday service in the heat of the Boko Haram crisis, when churches, including our northern assemblies were under frequent attacks. This was before the present administration took office,” read statement signed by Folarin.
“The message bears no relevance to today’s happenings; not even developments of 2016. The reporter(s) made the 2015 message look like a 2017 church service message. The trending video is NOT a 2016 or 2017 video.
“To this end, we can unequivocally and authoritatively say that this quote, the report and other similar reports do not fit the context of the Kaduna crisis or any developments whatsoever in the last one year.
“Bishop Oyedepo has not said, either in private or public, anything related to the Southern Kaduna killings: not now, not hitherto. If there has been anything done, it has been prayer for peace and unity of Nigeria. The intent of the original author(s) or fabricators is best known to them.
“For the records and for posterity, Bishop Oyedepo will not say any of those things in view of current dire straits in which Nigeria has found itself. There are too many problems at hand, which require divine intervention. He will not add to the throes and utter such divisive words.
“As a father of the nation and a Pan Africanist in his own right as a religious leader whose ministry spreads across the continent and beyond, he is a huge believer in the corporate entity called Nigeria and has been a messenger of national love, hope, peace and unity.
“While he feels for the victimised people across the length and breadth of the country and his heart goes to them, he has always worked with government at all levels to keep Nigeria safe and strongly unified.
“The Living Faith Church Worldwide (Winners’ Chapel International) has never been a Yoruba church, or a Southern Nigeria church; it has always been a church for all Nigerian church, a platform where all persons of all walks of life bond in the name of Jesus Christ. For those who may not know, Bishop Oyedepo’s first major break in Christian ministry was in Kaduna, his second home, where he is a friend and father to millions of people of all religious and ethnic backgrounds.
“Indeed, our church has been a catalyst for the Nigerian hope and dream and with its two universities and numerous secondary and primary schools nationwide, the church has made it possible for Nigerians to come closer as one people to rebuild our fatherland.” (NAN)