NigeriaAt59: Religion Must Not Be Used As A Divisive Tool, Says Oyemade

The Senior Pastor of Covenant Christian Center and Convener of The Platform, Poju Oyemade.

 

The Senior Pastor of Covenant Christian Center and Convener of The Platform, Poju Oyemade, has called on Nigerians not to allow their religious orientations or leanings to create division in the country.

Speaking at the Covenant Place, Iganmu to mark the nation’s 59th Independence Anniversary, the cleric asked citizens to instead use their religious beliefs as tools to appeal to the conscience of both the leaders and followers.

“The religion of this nation must not be used as a divisive tool but a tool to appeal to the moral conscience of men.

“We have heard from them that know that when men gather to steal public funds, the issue of tribe and religion is not taken into consideration,” he said.

He added that “the seed of our dream for a better Nigeria requires nourishment from this earth, institutional knowledge gathered all over the years.”

He recalled that when former United State President Barack Obama was launching his campaign for the presidency in 2006, he acknowledged the importance of faith.

The realisation that faith is important, according to Pastor Oyemade, perhaps explains why America is technologically and economically advanced.

“I think we make a mistake when we fail to acknowledge the power of faith in and around people. If we are going to speak to the people where they are, we must understand that Americans are religious people.

“90 percent of Americans believe in God, 70 percent are affiliated to organized religion and that 38 percent call themselves committed Christians. This is probably the most advanced society in the world,” he said.

Rape Allegation: Poju Oyemade Calls For Justice, Stronger Structures In Churches

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The Senior Pastor of the Covenant Christian Centre (CCC), Poju Oyemade, has called for justice regarding the allegations of rape involving the Founder of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo.

The call follows a recent interview by Busola Dakolo – photographer and wife of popular musician, Timi Dakolo in which she alleged that Pastor Fatoyinbo had raped her when she was a teenager.

According to Oyemade, on hearing the news, he immediately contacted the spiritual leader which he said he believes Pastor Fatoyinbo defers in authority to, to wade into the issue and bring about a decision.

“He informed me his position. It was that Pastor Biodun should first step down from the pulpit indefinitely, suspend 7 Days of glory and make a public statement. These he made known to him directly in an hour,” Oyemade said.

Read Also: COZA Pastor, Biodun Fatoyinbo Takes Leave Of Absence

When asked of his opinion, the CCC pastor noted that at the foundation, governing structures in Pentecostal churches are not strong enough to ensure that an erring member is sanctioned.

Beyond that, however, he said he had three objectives in mind – Justice, Healing and Redemption.

He also went further to apologise to all those who have been “abused and exposed in our independent Pentecostal structures”, adding that the church will seek to build stronger structures.

Read his full statement below.

My position on the case

I have been asked by many well-meaning people about my position concerning the accusation of rape made against Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo.

I could only watch the tape by Busola Dakolo for a few minutes, it was difficult to sit through it. From what I heard it is impossible not to be heart broken and sympathise with her.

She must have gone through a lot and then to sit to tape her experience must have been very painful.

She is today a wife and mother of three to have to relive a 20yr old experience.

I immediately contacted the spiritual leader in the Body of Christ I believe Pastor Biodun deferrs in authority to, to wade into the issue and bring about a decision.

He informed me his position. It was that Pst Biodun should first step down from the pulpit indefinitely, suspend 7 Days of glory and make a public statement. These he made known to him directly in an hour.

This should serve as the first step. He informed me that was the position and asked my opinion.

We had 3 objectives in mind.

1. Justice
2. Healing
3. Redemption.

I have been informed that the decision to step down and cancel the 7 days of Glory have been made.

It is apparent that the manner in which our Pentecostal Churches were/are born with an individual receiving a call directly from God and we all operating largely as independent bodies, our governing structures are not as strong as in the orthodox church settings with the exemption of Pentecostal denominations where you are appointed a pastor and can be easily sanctioned.

This, however, makes it imperative that we go an extra mile to show a high level of compassion and sense of responsibility for people placed under our care or else what has brought our great growth may be what will destroy us.

For those who have been abused and exposed in our independent pentecostal structures, I deeply apologise and we will seek to build stronger structures through peer reviews and in our relationships.

Thank you and God bless you.

The Platform Was Aimed At 3,000 – 5,000 people, Now We Have Millions – Poju Oyemade

The Senior Pastor of the Covenant Christian Centre, Poju Oyemade, has said that the flagship programme titled “The Platform” was aimed at getting a viewership of about 3,000 – 5,000 people.

Pastor Oyemade explained that from the inception of the programme in 2007, there has been massive growth which has now gotten the attention of about a million people.

“Our goal was to have a gathering of about 3,000 – 5,000 people when this vision matures.

“From hosting a few thousand Nigerians when the first edition held on the 1st of May 2007 to then tenths of thousands at later further editions and now millions of people both outside the nation and within the nation”.

Pastor Oyemade revealed this on Wednesday during the 2019 May Day edition of The Platform.

READ ALSO: Awosika Gets Another Standing Ovation After Motivational Speech At The Platform

He said the programme has evolved to a full-scale global media event, adopting the range of key media challenge and technology to broadcast the message far and wide.

“The event which was later named The Platform was conceived in 2007 as an offshoot of a small seminar that I used to run when I was a student at the University of Lagos.

“It was designed to bring experts and inspirational figures from different works of life together, for them to share their expertise, their knowledge, experience, challenges with the purpose of inspiring, educating, and challenging people into greater heights in terms of enterprise development that was our first thought as a way of celebrating May 1st which was workers day.

“So the initial thought, when we had the first Platform which was May 1, it was to celebrate workers day.

“Then on October 1, we later added another event. And this was targeted at national development. The idea behind it was to start a public conversation over the set ideas we believed could push our nation forward.

“This is why we called it The Platform which was simply a stage to promote ideas. We believed that if certain progressive ideas entered the public consciousness and conversations, they will eventually become public policies.

“Seeing that will be the only way for the political elites to retain power by following through on those ideas”.

Some of the Speakers at the event were Founder and Editor Chief Pando Daily, Sarah Lacy, Founder and President of the African Institution of Technology, Dr. Ndubuisi Ekekwe, Professor Dr Anil Gupta, Ndidi Nwuneli, Chairman Board of Directors, First Bank, Ibukun Awosika, Founder and Chief Consultant of B Adedipe Associates Limited, Dr. Biodun Adedipe.

You Don’t Need To Occupy Any Political Office To Bring About Change – Oyemade

Convener of The Platform, Poju Oyemade, says Nigerians don’t need to occupy any political office before being agents of change.

Speaking on the theme, “Beyond Politics,” at The Platform organised by the Covenant Christian Center in Lagos, Oyepoju called on people to be problem solvers.

 

“You don’t need to occupy any political office to bring about change,” he said on Monday.

Oyepoju, who is also the Senior Pastor of Covenant Christian Center, said the church has decided to sponsor people who will embark on community projects that are of benefits to Lagosians at the grass root.

He explained that such people must not be holders of any political office or members of any political party.

“We have decided that as a church, we are going to sponsor the best of community projects that will be carried out by individuals who are not holding any political office,” he stated.

LIVE: Oyemade, Others Discuss Governance, Politics On ‘The Platform’

Professionals, pastors, among others are currently discussing governance, politics and the importance of getting involved in Nigeria.

The event is organised by The Covenant Christian Centre and is aimed at facilitating National Development.

Pastor Poju Oyemade, who is the convener of the event, while giving opening address emphasised the importance of young Nigerians getting involved in governance.

He said the lowest form of power in a democratic setting is power for an electorate to cast his or her vote.

Speakers at the event include Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

Others include presidential aspirants, Kingsley Moghalu and Fela Dorotoye.

2016 Budget To Go Into Full Operation In Few Days – Osinbajo

The Federal Government has re-assured Nigerians that the 2016 budget is expected to go into full operations in the next few days.

This assurance was given by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo who was a guest speaker at the 12th edition of ‘The Platform’, an annual national discourse put together by Covenant Christian Centre, at the Federal Capital Territory Abuja.

He said: “We expect that the budget will go into operation in the next few days.

“This year, isn’t it so interesting that we are all paying attention and we know what exactly is going on?” he asked.

Technology Innovation Hubs

Reeling out some of the government’s plans to 2016, Vice President further told the gathering that technology innovation hubs would be established across the country.

The target, according to him, is to have two Super Hubs – one in Lagos and the other in Abuja – and six Regional Technology Hubs in the six geo-political zones – South-east, South-south, South-west, North-west, North-central and North-east.

“In partnership with several major technology companies, the hubs will be fully resourced to the infrastructure and capacity building tools.

“Each hub will be designed to produce relevant innovative technology solutions to a wide range of business, commercial and government problems,” Professor Osinbajo stated.

He further stressed that the government of Buhari was completely and irrevocably committed to change, but warned that it may not be easy.

“Though the early signs may be confusing and sometimes discouraging, there has never been a better opportunity than now to turn the country in the direction of success.

“What we must do is not to blink. No shaking. Let us stay the course, keep our focus and see our country turn around,” the Vice President urged Nigerians

Diversifying The Economy

Professor Osinbajo also said that besides fighting corruption, the Muhammadu Buhari’s administration would create jobs for the people by further diversifying the economy.

“We will deepen the diversification of the economy.

“The big areas of focus are agriculture, agro-allied value chains, solid minerals, petrochemicals, technology and entertainment.

“We need to be completely self-sufficient in production of rice, wheat, tomato and several of the products that drain our foreign exchange.

“This country can feed itself, produce enough.

“All that we need to do is focus on those who are producing and remove the obstacles on the way of giving people who are producing money or resources that they need directly,” he stressed.

At the event, nation building, and not just nation formation was also identified as the solution to the socio-economic problems confronting Nigeria.

This suggestion was made by the convener of the platform, and Pastor of Covenant Christian Centre, Poju Oyemade.

The platform is an annual national discuss for promoting national growth and economic development.

The theme for this year is, ‘Nigeria, What Is In Your Hand? Tapping Into Our Dead Economy, Looking beyond Our Oil-driven Economy’.

I Never Knew I Would Be Known Globally – Don Moen

Don Moen American Gospel Music Artiste, Don Moen, has said that he never knew he would be known globally.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise on Saturday, Mr Moen said: “In the early 80s, one of my wife’s sisters wrote a letter. In the letter, she was praying for my wife Laura and me, she said: As I was praying, I saw Don standing in front of thousands of people leading them into God’s presence and writing songs that suits the heart of kings.

“I said to Laura that , honey, your sister is a wonderful lady, but she is not a prophet because there is no way I’m going to stand in front of thousands of people.

“I couldn’t speak in front of 15 people without getting nervous,” he emphasised.

Answering a question on what else he does aside singing, Mr Moen said “I have been a music executive for 20 years. I was the Head of the Labour and Integrity; finding the song and the artistes. I wasn’t an artiste at that time.

Ron Kenoly, also a guest on Sunrise Saturday, speaking on how he started his journey said: “Let me put it in a few words spoken by a Pastor who introduced me once, he said: If the bible were to be written today in Nigeria, integrity music, Don Moen and Ron Kenoly would have a place in the scripture.vlcsnap-2016-03-26-12h50m35s66

“I think that capitalises all that the Father has done in us and through us, but it has not been without test, challenges, trials, a lot of prayer and a lot of honest seeking the heart and the mind of our heavenly Father.

Mr Kenoly, being spirit filled, said that all the songs himself and Moen wrote were directed from God.

“Before recording a song, we always find out what the Father really wants to be done. I never considered ministering worship music as what I would do while I was in the military.

“When I was in the Air Force, I was always singing secular music and I won several contests,” he added.

Nigeria should use its religious diversity to integrate Africa and Europe-The Platform

Nigerians have been advised to use the strategic location of the country and its religious diversity in integrating the emerging democracies of the Mediterranean-North Africa and Europe.

This was made known by a Professor of Politics and International Affairs from Princeton University, Anne Marie, who spoke at the 2012 edition of the Platform 10.1, affirming that Nigeria’s strategic positioning and her pivotal role in regional integration coupled with religious diversity, must be used as an advantage.

Prof Marie, who was a former Director of Policy Planning and also worked with the US State Department as an adviser to the Secretary of State, noted that the emerging democracies in the Middle-East will fast-track development in the region and across North-Africa, plus being a feature of today’s globalised world, the business trend will want to spread.

“Nigeria is well-placed enormously when you think of regional location” she affirmed, adding that Nigeria is the best-placed nation in all of Africa to unite the European and North Africa as it (Nigeria) contains both Muslims and Christians that make up the other two continents.”

She noted that Nigeria as a strong member of the Africa Union and the West Africa sub-region with its religious diversity, is best positioned to be the anchor of the investment trend on the African continent.

Professor  Marie, also stated that the country can also be anchor of the Euro-Africa transactions, which she envisage will grow tremendously in the near future.

The 2012 edition of the Platform; an event focused on Nigeria’s potentials and positioning in the new world order, also highlighting the place of entrepreneurship and re-engineering the nation’s existing asset to maximise the infinite potentials with elements of good governance in democracy annually.

The convener of the Platform, Pastor Poju Oyemade, of the Covenant Christian Church, called on Nigerians to look beyond their challenges and get the right information to build the much-need infrastructure, because “Nigeria is a geographical location that is powerful and full of potential” he stated.