The founder and presiding Bishop of the Living Faith Church, David Oyedepo, has lambasted the Muhammadu Buhari-government over plans to rule over “any church in the country”.
Buhari had on August 7, 2020, signed the Companies and Allied Matters Act 2020 signed into law.
President Buhari had signed into law CAMA 2020 to replace the 1990 Act, which is now the primary legislation governing companies’ creation and supervision in Nigeria as it affects both citizens and foreigners intending to or doing business in Nigeria.
It is geared towards supporting the government initiative to improve the ease of doing business in Nigeria.
According to the CAMA 2020, the Nigerian government can appoint members of a trustee to supervise any organisation or business venture, in which it interpreted that churches fell within.
Reacting during a service at the headquarters of the Church, Canaanland, Ota in Ogun State, Bishop Oyedepo warned that the church is not a business venture that government officials and policies can influence.
He said: “Just before we leave, there was this sinister document that came on a name, Company and Allied Matters Act. And the same thing that was done some years ago, when the Holy Ghost instructed me to warn the people, is repeated here. One, this is one most undemocratic policy forever.”
Speaking further, the popular clergyman stated that the brain behind the Act must have woken up from the wrong side of the bed.
He said, “Let me quickly correct…the church is not a company. You better understand. That registrar general has the power to remove trustees of the church and close the church’s account, and that does not require any court validation.
“Well, I know this must be from someone who woke up from the wrong side of the bed. Please, note this is a warning from the Lord so that I can be free from your blood. This will never work! Now, please note that church runs on patterns delivered by God. He said that you do all things according to the patterns shown to you on the mountain. Moses went to the Lord, set a man over this congregation, not to the government.
“Government has no power to appoint people over churches. No power at all. In case you are not aware, this is a secular nation. Freedom of worship is part of our fundamental human rights in this country. This is a sinister, demonic attempt to stifle the church. The church is one of the greatest assets of this nation today. Please, be warned! I have that prophetic obligation wherever the gang-up may come from, be warned. Be warned.
“Judgment is closer than ever. Be warned. I have been still. God said, and I have long held my peace. But now will I rise as a travailing woman. Anybody that may have been bought with the money, whatever the thing it is, that is part of this deal, it is poison you’re toiling with.
“The bad news for all of them is that it will not work. Amen. Halleluyah. This will never work. I’m waiting for a day where anybody by whatever name will appoint a trustee in this ministry.”
Meanwhile, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has dragged the federal government of Nigeria to court over the controversial CAMA.
The Christian umbrella body had previously expressed reservations about some provisions of the law signed by President Buhari on August 7, 2020.
A statement signed and made available to Naija News by the CAN General Secretary, Joseph Bade Daramola, said the body has gone to court to challenge the legality or otherwise of the just gazetted CAMA over some provisions which CAN is not comfortable with.
It is understood that the Association resolved to go to court after all attempts to convince the Federal government why it should not intervene or interfere with the management of the Church in the country through any of its agencies failed.
The suit No FHC/ABJ/CS/244/2021 between the Incorporated Trustees of Christian Association of Nigeria and 1. Corporate Affairs Commission and 2. Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment was filed before the Federal High Court, Abuja.