LAGOS, JANUARY 11, 2017 – Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN, says Christians in Nigeria will not fold their arms and allow the Federal Government to tamper with the freedom of worship in the country in view of the controversial Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRN) code barring church founders from exceeding 20 years in office.
Pastor Enoch Adeboye, General Overseer, the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, fell prey to the code when he announced a new General Overseer for the church in Nigeria on Saturday, an act that threw the nation into confusion.
As a result of the contentious code, Jim Obazee, the man at the centre of controversy was sacked by President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday as Executive Secretary of the FRN board.
However, PFN said, even though it was happy that the controversial code had been suspended, attempt to meddle in the affairs of churches by government was unacceptable.
PFN, in a statement signed by its National President, Dr. Felix Omobude on Tuesday that the body welcomed the decision by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment to suspend the Corporate Governance Code issued by the FRN, one of the parastatals under its supervisions, pending what it calls “a detailed review, extensive consultation with stakeholders and reconstitution of the board of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria.”
“The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) had consistently expressed its concern at the non-inclusive process that brought about the code and the all-pervasive nature of it, especially as it relates to activities of the not-for-profit sector whose activities are already regulated by provisions of the law under which they were registered.
“The PFN had maintained that in view of the inability on the part of the Financial Reporting Council to achieve the necessary buy-in from concerned stakeholders on the code of governance and address legitimate concerns raised by many, it was wrong for it to have proceeded to enforce its implementation,” it said.
The body said it was concerned among many others, with respect to portions of the suspended Code interpreted by some to have limited the tenure of Pastors and other spiritual leaders.
“We are confident that all the contentious issues will be reviewed under the process ordered by the Government. While the PFN respects the right of the appropriate government agency to make laws for the good of all. PFN states emphatically that she will not sleep on her right especially as it affects our freedom of worship.
“The PFN appeals for calm, restraint and understanding on the part of all Christians and for continued prayers for the year 2017 to be one of greater peace and prosperity for all Nigerians,” it said.