May 19, 2024

Lagos Crisis: PFN our room, CAN our house, said Akinyemi

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By: Gbenga A. Adekola.

“PFN our room, CAN our house” was the closing statement of Dr. Bolaji O. Akinyemi at the State of Our State (Lagos); a special All Pentecostal Stakeholders meeting which he convened by through his signature forum named ‘Apostolic Round Table’ and hosted by The Senior Pastor of A Torch From Heaven Ministry, Bishop Joe Ighalo.

Ighalo has warned the Chairman of the Lagos State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Bishop Steven Adegbite to steer clear of the internal affairs of the state’s chapter of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN).

Bishop Ighalo stated this during a press briefing on Tuesday titled: “State of Our State; Our Stand” in Lagos.

Ighalo said that the Bishop Adegbite-led Lagos chapter of CAN should not bring politics into kingdom matter, especially when it has to do with the Lagos State chapter of PFN.

According to the cleric, there is no doubt that CAN is the umbrella body of PFN but that the body should be allowed to handle its internal affairs.

“Why would you want to destroy PFN and keep CAN going? this is against the mission of the founding fathers of the PFN,” he said.

It would be recalled that the issue between CAN and PFN began when the national body of the PFN failed to ratify the election of Pastor Toyin Kehinde, the acclaimed winner of the February 5, 2024 Lagos PFN Chairmanship election.

The PFN national body did not ratify the election as it said that there were anomalies in the process.

Subsequently, the Lagos CAN Chairman; Bishop Adegbite, reportedly led a media protest against the development which prompted Bishop Ighalo to say that CAN does not have any constitutional right or power over PFN and warned that they should not interfere with the affairs of the PFN.

Ighalo stressed that the office of the PFN President is a papacy influence in the pentecostal circle and no true Pentecostal must allow the office to be insulted.

During the media questioning session, the publisher of Christian Benefits; a Pentecostal stakeholder by all standards gave alluded to the divisive nature of the Person of the CAN Chairman and his collaborators in PFN. According to him, their only purpose in the body is partisan politics. They have come this far because we gave them the opportunity of a handshake which has now become an embrace but it isn’t too late to demand purity in politics.

Chris Irekamba asked the question; what is the sin of Adegbite? Ambassador Ayo Akintayo, Publisher of the Three Arms News took the floor and volunteered his expertise of peace in the interest of the kingdom and “wowed” by his contribution, Dr Bolaji O Akinyemi drew the curtain on further questioning and contribution. It was agreed that a Pentecostal Stakeholders’ Peace Committee, PSPC is in order to reach out to the parties concerned.

Just when the meeting was dispersed, Apostle Dr Dave Odi came in and since a handful of pressmen were still around. He took the advantage to speak with them. He said he saw the notice of meeting online and for the integrity of Dr Bolaji O. Akinyemi and his contribution to the church in Nigeria, it was worth attending. “That’s actually why I came” he noted.

The Senior Pastor of Agape Worship Center, Ojodu Lagos, Dr. David Odi said that as far as he was concerned, Lagos State is one of the most organised states in Nigeria in terms of economy, leadership and ministry, adding that this must be respected.

Dr Odi noted that those who are behind the issue are trying to create a crisis that doesn’t exist so that whoever is voted into office would owe them allegiance.

“There’s no fight or crisis in Lagos PFN. I don’t even know any other person who is interested in the position,” Dr Odi said.

The cleric said that he believed that the current chairman of the Lagos State chapter of PFN has served his term and on his way out, and that Pastor Kehinde is not dragging the position with anybody.

“I don’t know any other person that is being fielded for the position.

“People behind the crisis are those who have peculiar interest in filthy lucre that the Bible talked about. Some people are driven by hunger for money. They are doing this because of the 2027 general elections in the nation,” he said.

According to Dr Odi, some people want to make Pastor Kehinde believe that they fought for him to get into the office.

He however, said that nobody is fighting to bring anybody in.

However, judging by the result of the annulled election, it won’t be right to say there were no other interested candidates apart from Toyin Kehinde who was said to have 6 votes. The ballot had 4 names on it, which included Kehinde, Femi Paul who had a vote and Enyinaya Okuwonu, the incumbent Chairman who is to maintain status quo till the next election scheduled by the National Exco for 30th of June 2024, who had 2 votes in the annulled election. There is also Yomi Kasali who had a media engagement to present his position against the outcome of the annulled election. He queried; how can you have no vote in an election you declined to be a candidate on the ground that it’s not following the pattern that PFN is known for? Which has always been an appointment made by the constitutionally designated body and not an election.

Many questions are begging for answer! Will Kehinde’s election stand Or the annullment?

Are we to look up to a new election?

If it’s a new election who and who are the candidates? And if it’s an appointment as Yomi Kasali opined based on the pattern of PFN; Who will that appointee be?

The Convener of Apostolic Round Table, Dr. Bolaji Akinyemi who coordinated the Pentecostal Stakeholders meeting, in his contributions, said that nobody is interested in throwing fire into his house to burn it down because the person would want to live in the house continually.

He then said that “PFN is our room” and “CAN is our house,” and stressed that the matter would soon be resolved amicably.

PFN Stakeholders Committee was later constituted to liaise with those that are involved in the matter.

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