Pastor Daniel Olukoya: Why Are You Fighting Your Church Members? By Temitope Thomas

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But come to think of it, doesn’t Olukoya need deliverance from the spirit of vengeance? Why is he chasing people who once called him Daddy?

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Sometime in December 2023, I visited a mechanic workshop on Olasimbo Street, Onike, Lagos, where the headquarters of the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministry, popularly known as MFM, is located. The workshop is right opposite one of the properties of MFM and people from the church headquarters moved in and out of a building which is either the healing or music school of the church. I can’t remember now.

One incident that caught my attention that morning was the action of a house owner on Olasimbo Street. The man could not move out of his house because his gate had been blocked by an MFM vehicle. After waiting for some minutes without the arrival of the driver of that vehicle, the man lost patience and shattered the windscreen of the vehicle. He also deflated the tyres and asked the church to meet him at the police station. His action attracted a crowd; the church members who tried to pacify him but failed watched in pity.

While analysing the issue, one of them said the man’s action was borne out of jealousy. He said they hated Dr Daniel Kolawole Olukoya, General Overseer of MFM, but the Man of God has continued to thrive despite hatred. He gave the impression of Olukoya aligning with the Bible in Matthew 11:29, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart.” But in reality, Olukoya’s actions portray him as the exact opposite of that Biblical portion.

Let’s make no mistake, if the history of Pentecostalism were to be told in Nigeria today, Dr Daniel Kolawole Olukoya sits comfortably in the rank of the first five. A distinguished scholar and General in the Lord’s Army, Olukoya commands admiration and deep respect. He is in the class of Pastor William Kumuyi, General Superintendent of Deeper Christian Life Ministry; Bishop David Oyedepo, Living Faith Church Worldwide; Pastor Enoch Adeboye, Redeem Christian Church of God, among a select few.

With a first-class degree in Microbiology, Olukoya is no doubt a distinguished academic. His ministry is also doing well across the world, meaning he has literarily conquered both academic and religious worlds.

However, it is sad that among the names mentioned in the first paragraph, Olukoya is the only one who is found on pages of newspapers and blogs over issues that could supposedly be resolved amicably. In Exodus 14: 14, the Bible says, “The LORD shall fight for you, and you shall hold your peace”. But that portion is probably missing in Olukoya’s Bible. Just last week, two explosive interviews were released on YouTube and the reputational damage that these videos have done cannot be recovered, no matter the PR stunt.

Yes, there are persons who fear and respect Olukoya and would not care to watch or listen to what Barrister Davidson Adejuwon, Chief Legal Adviser to Mountain of Fire Miracles Ministries (MFM), dismissed as lies. But anyone who watched the videos would wonder why the approach Olukoya used against members who fell out with him nearly two decades ago is being sustained till now.

In 2008, Caleb Oloruntele, former Head of Traffic Ushers at MFM Headquarters in Lagos, was arrested alongside Femi Jimoh, a one-time Pastor of the church. The duo did not regain freedom until 2016, meaning they spent 9 years of their lives in trouble over allegations which the court discharged and acquitted them. According to the narrative, they were framed by the church authorities. Many attempts to make Olukoya and the church reconcile with them failed.

As I type this, Richard Akintunde, former lead backup singer of Olukoya, is in detention over allegations of cyberbullying. This shows that Olukoya has sustained the same repressive measures against members who fell out with him. This is in addition to several court cases filed against those who left MFM. So, where’s the forgiveness? In Oloruntele’s words, “Olukoya preaches forgiveness and repentance but he practices none.”

This reminds me of what was said about the late TB Joshua by one of his former disciples. In a 150-minute-long investigative report carried out by the BBC Africa Eye, titled “Disciples: The Cult of TB Joshua,” which featured testimonies from former disciples and church workers, Paul Agomoh said TB Joshua preached forgiveness but never forgave.

One after the other, church members whom Joshua fell out with exposed the decades-old rot at The Synagogue Church of All Nations. Agomoh disclosed that he had to go into hiding for nearly eight years, after his initial attempt to expose the activities of the late prophet.

“I was the first prophet of the Synagogue church, and I spent more than a decade in the Synagogue between 1995 and 2006. And I just want to thank the BBC. This is a journey I started in 2009. I released a video with Sister Bisola, ‘The Deception of the Age’. When I left there, the incident that led to my leaving is not a story I can finish here. It is a terrible experience. I decided to leave. When I left, I could not sleep, I could not rest.

The burden was so much on me. I had to move out with the help of some pastors in ministry, and my friend, Samuel Odugbesan, who lost his arms working with an electricity company.

“We brought this out, but a lot of people said ‘Agomoh has come, he is blaspheming against our man of God’. They started chasing me everywhere. For a good eight years, I lay low, not doing any ministerial job, not doing any public jobs. I lay low, just with the help of a few pastors. About three years ago, was when I started coming out gradually. I was pursued everywhere, from here to Cotonou, you know these are the nearest places you can run to, from Cotonou to Ghana, back to Lagos, I was running,” he had said.

I know for a fact that the last thing Olukoya wants is to be compared with a man like TB Joshua whom he no doubt feels needs deliverance. But come to think of it, doesn’t Olukoya need deliverance from the spirit of vengeance? Why is he chasing people who once called him Daddy?

Richard Akintunde, Femi Jimoh, Funke Asekun, Maureen Badejo, Sunday Olowoyeye. We can go on and on.

In his over two-hour account of his ordeal, which he linked to Olukoya, Pastor Jimoh said, “He never believed that a father could hand his son over to the dogs.”

The height for me was when Oloruntele said if he had known, he would have continued with Islam, the religion of his father. He got converted to Christianity and spent years working for MFM but today he is half dead as a result of the trial the church exposed him to.

Pastor Jimoh said at a point in his journey, he had to return to Islam in order to drink water in the cell as they were left thirsting for hours until the time when the Muslim faithful wanted to pray. GO, sir, forget the sycophants trudging you on, search your conscience and ask yourself if the body of Christ truly deserve this from you. Are you not supposed to be the ambassador of faith? How far can you and your policemen go to tame your enemies? Truth be told, you are fighting a lost battle. You can use all your connections and wealth to intimidate and ruin lives but the truth cannot be hidden. You can’t ever cow people into silence.

Even General Sani Abacha with all his powers failed in his mission to suppress critics. I have a strong feeling that you can never crush those you oppress into silence. The underdogs would always live to tell their story. Nigeria is a country with numerous challenges on several fronts. It is disheartening that men like Olukoya who ought to inspire confidence under this dark atmosphere are walking an ignominious path. I won’t be surprised if Olukoya sends his policemen after me over this piece. Woe unto the men who can tame the body but can’t crush the soul.

Temitope Thomas sent this piece from Manchester, United Kingdom

Charles Akpeji
Charles Akpejihttps://naija247news.com
Charles Akpeji has over 20 years experience in journalism and he is Naija247news Taraba Correspondent. He lives and works from Jalingo, the state capital.

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