Monday, September 29, 2014 1:36 pm
The Nigerian Women in Clergy (WIC), a faith-based women group, has expressed concerns over the spate of criticisms surrounding Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, Prophet TB Joshua and Pastor Chris Oyakhilome by some Nigerians.
Mrs Nonnie Robertson, president of the group said the group was worried about the kind of comments made by Nigerians about the activities of the three clergymen, urging Nigerians to rather reflect more on issues plaguing the country.
Criticisms of the three clergymen were triggered by some events around them: Oritsejafor’s private jet ferried $9.3million dollars, suspected to be laundered money to South Africa on 5 September. The money has been seized, with the Nigerian government now belatedly claiming that the money was its and that it was meant to buy arms to fight the Boko Haram insurgency.
Oyakhilome ran into marital crisis, with his wife of two decades suing for divorce, on grounds of adultery charge against the husband.
Joshua on his part had his multi-story guest house collapsing like a pack of cards, killing 115 people, 84 of them South African pilgrims. Nigerians were scandalised that a man that claims to have sooth-saying powers could not foresee a building crashing in his Synagogue Church. And what’s more, the critics found Joshua’s fabricated lies about a terrorist strike by a mysterious plane, even more scandalous and puerile.
Now a church group wants Nigerians to leave the clergymen for God, to deal with in His own way.
“We have observed with great concern the manner in which Nigerians are overtly engrossed in various scandalous cases involving some prominent leaders in the body of Christ. This is the time for serious intercession for the country. Nigeria is at a crossroad, the power tussle is more spiritual than political.
“The body of Christ is under attack physically and spiritually worldwide. We must focus on the issue at hand,’’ Robertson was quoted as saying.
The statement said it was not in any man’s position to pass judgment on the three clergymen and therefore called on Nigerians to desist from making such comments.
“Nigerian Women in Clergy have added their voices to the ongoing crisis plummeting churches and men of God in Nigeria, by calling on God to take control of the several allegations flying around His servants.
“Nigerians should tread the path of caution by allowing God to judge his own case instead of dragging the body of Christ in the mud.
“While we do not condone or approve of any of the cases, we urge Christians to desist from judging these pastors as God will judge them eventually,’’ Robertson was quoted as saying.
On the controversial $ 9.3 million seized in South Africa, the group urged for caution and called for a thorough investigation rather than scandalising Oritsejafor.
“We must not allow the dust of the allegation stain our relationship with God as a nation.
“Pastor Ayo is a man of God; he knows God and will always know the position of God if he has erred, so let’s leave him, God and the authority to handle the matter,’’ the statement urged.
On Joshua and Oyakhilome, the group said: “As provocative and disturbing as what they were said to have done may be, we cannot at this juncture draw conclusion, as our wisdom may fail us.
“Nigerians ought to leave the matter to God who will adequately attend to them at his appointed time.’’
It said Nigerians already had a lot of challenges confronting them and should not create extra problems that would sap their energies, time and resources.
The statement called on Nigerians not to be consumed by the problems but to prepare for the forthcoming elections by ensuring that they participate actively in activities leading to the polls.
The statement also decried the spate of killings in the country in the name of insurgency, kidnapping, ritual killing and many others.
“On the situation of things in the country we are not oblivious of the deterioration that has characterised our beloved country in almost every facet of our polity.
“The spate of wanton shedding of innocent blood is unprecedented, our women and girl children are raped indiscriminately.
“We must always engage and operate in spiritual warfare and advocacy, having been mandated to raise our voice for the voiceless woman; we will continue to advance against the wickedness in the land,’’ the statement read in part