From Taiwo Oluwadare, Ibadan

Pastor Oladele, the President of Christ Apostolic Church, Nigeria and Overseas, has called on the government to publicly identify and shame confirmed terrorists, their sponsors, and their accomplices. Speaking at a meeting with journalists over the weekend ahead the Church’s General Council meeting, Pastor Oladele emphasised the need for decisive action against terrorism, stating that it is possible to win the fight against terrorism if there is a determined will to do so.

Responding to questions on the recent spate of kidnappings in the country, Pastor Oladele expressed deep concern over the deteriorating state of security in Nigeria. He called for a collaborative effort, both locally and internationally, to combat terrorism and banditry. Pastor Oladele also noted the need for a reevaluation of the nation’s security architecture, urging the government to prioritise the safety and well-being of Nigerian citizens above all else.

Regarding the ongoing calls for the restructuring of Nigeria, Pastor Oladele acknowledged the shortcomings of the current governance structure. He expressed support for a revisiting of the regional governance system, which allows each region to develop at its own pace based on available resources. Pastor Oladele also highlighted the necessity of decentralising essential services, such as policing, to ensure more efficient outcomes. He further emphasised the need for a change in mindset among Nigerians, stating that a change of heart is essential for any system of government to be effective.

When questioned about the issue of kidnapping, Pastor Oladele emphasised the importance of governmental will in combating this menace. He called for the arrest and prosecution of individuals found to be promoting banditry, terrorism, and kidnapping, stressing the need for deterrent measures to be put in place. Pastor Oladele suggested that naming and shaming these individuals would expose their actions to the world and discourage others from engaging in criminal activities.

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Addressing the issue of impersonation within the Church, Pastor Oladele expressed his disbelief at individuals who continue to parade themselves as leaders when they have no legitimate authority to do so. He cited legal pronouncements that have declared their actions invalid and expressed confidence that the law would address this matter accordingly.

Regarding the upcoming General Council meeting, Pastor Oladele explained that it is the highest consultative body of the Church. He outlined the purpose of the meeting, which includes reviewing the Church’s performance, receiving reports from various departments, and providing a platform for stakeholders to offer comments and suggestions. He clarified that the meeting is open to representatives from the Church in Nigeria and overseas.

Responding to a question about the ordination of pastors, Pastor Oladele emphasised that ordination should be based on needs rather than the demands of individuals. He highlighted the Church’s commitment to human capital development and ongoing training programs for ordained pastors. While acknowledging the desire of many evangelists to become pastors, Pastor Oladele emphasised the importance of adequate training and retraining before considering another round of mass ordination.

Closing his interaction with the media, Pastor Oladele urged members of the Christ Apostolic Church to remain steadfast in their faith and continue to pray. He encouraged them to play their civic roles as responsible citizens and advocate for good governance. Pastor Oladele reminded his followers that no matter the difficulties they face, they should maintain hope and look forward to a brighter future in the coming kingdom. He also called on the affluent members of the Church to share their blessings and bring joy to others through acts of kindness and generosity.