Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, the outgoing President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, has made a shocking revelation, stating that the problem with the church today is that most Nigerian pastors are actually not men of God because they were never called by God, hence, the cause for the problems in the church today.
In a recent chat with the Punch, Oritsejafor expressed disapproval over how these so called men of God have now transformed the church of God into a money-making venture and living lives that attract attention as a result of their extravagance, adding that this was one of the reasons why kidnappers now see the church as a place to make money.
According to Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor;
“They are simply persons primarily motivated by personal gain, commercially minded people. The duty of the church is to preach morality not materialism and because Nigerians are very gullible; they are easy victims of deceit. They fall prey to some of these pastors or prophets of doom. The way they live gives a wrong impression of what should be in a church of God. There should be no room for material possessions.
“I am not saying a man of God should not live a life of comfort but it should be a life of good comfort; that is why kidnapping is now a common thing even in the church.
“It is unfortunate that we are having this kind of problem because most places of religious gathering, particularly of the Christian faith, are seemingly reducing their faith to commercials. So many people think they have money and most of them live a flamboyant lifestyle.
“As such, the kidnappers mistake them for money men but there is nothing there. The kidnappers would be kept at bay if they stopped preaching prosperity and allowing dirty money to go into the church coffers. I also think the church is losing its moral values. The values are disappearing gradually.
“We should preach values and not materialism. I think the churches themselves should look inwards and correct the poor impression they are giving people outside that there is money in the church, whereas there is none.”
Airing his opinion on the Kaduna State preaching bill , Ayo Oritsejafor it is not a decision to be made by only the Governor of the state, Nasir El-Rufai hence, the need for him to organise a meeting of all stakeholders in the state with regards to religious activities before hurrying off to the State House of Assembly for any bill. He warned that “we have to be very careful if there is any bill intended to wear religious colouration”.
Ayo Oristejafor also recalled that when Sharia was introduced into Nigeria, the country was lucky to have had a Christian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, who tamed it. “Nigeria would have been engulfed by the conflagration. Sharia would have been misunderstood”, he said. The former CAN President further stated that:
“There are already enough laws in the statue book that take care of what Governor El-Rufai has in mind. I have no objection if he wants to curb noise pollution in the name of religion. I quite agree if this is the basis. But in a situation where it is meant to tackle extremism, libel, sedition, incitement and more, there are enough laws in our statute book for this. Doing otherwise is not good for him.
“I have tremendous respect for him for he was the person bold enough to say that there should be no more street begging. Yes, that was a sensible thing because even in the Islamic countries such is not allowed.”
Speaking about the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor said the present condition of Nigeria is only a process aimed at improving the economy and well being, adding that he was glad with the slogan ‘change’, although there is need for consistently praying for the nation and the president if we must see the physical manifestation of the change.
The clergyman went on to say that Buhari’s reformation should be holistic and not aimed at specific persons or sectors, ading that “It is a welcome development to fix Nigeria as a noble country. Buhari’s polices may be too hard for Nigerians but with time they (the policies) will pave way for true democracy, Buhari should keep Nigerians abreast with the economic reform policies and ensure they are well structured”.