Private jet: Adeboye’s defence stirs debate on social networks….Punch

THE interview granted by the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, to  Qatar-based private broadcasting channel, Al Jazeera,stirred a heated debate on social networks on Sunday.

In the interview conducted by Al Jazeera’s Mohammed Adow, Adeboye justified his ownership of a private jet, saying it is necessary for efficiency in his assignment.

Adeboye is one of the increasing numbers of Pentecostal pastors in Nigeria that have acquired private jets. Many Nigerians have criticised these pastors arguing that they are  being insensitive to the poverty among their members.

But Adeboye while fielding questions from Adow, said acquiring a private jet was a necessity for him.

“There are things you need, which you must have if you are to be efficient. If you have to oversee churches in 160 nations, you can’t do that on a bicycle,” Adeboye said.

However, Adeboye’s justification for his ownership of a private jet has divided Nigerians on various social networks as some shared his opinion while many opposed him.

A member of a popular online forum, nairaland.com,  Onyianyi, argues that it was wrong for Adeboye to own a private jet when the majority of his members live below the poverty line and wallow in abject poverty.

He says, “I’m not a member of any of these Pentecostal churches but Adeboye is one pastor I respect so much. This time around he got it wrong, there’s no reason for a man of God with millions of impoverished followers to be cruising in a private jet.

“After all, are they more committed in this ministry than Jesus Christ? Our Lord Jesus never used a private boat or a private camel during his time. Yet he could easily command one to his usage. Christ, though very rich, chose to live a poor life so that his message can easily get across to the poor.”

Apparently replying Adeboye on his explanation that he cannot oversee his churches in 160 countries of the world using a bicycle, a member of the forum, Olumide, says Adeboye could simply connect his subordinate pastors manning the churches overseas via video-conference.

“As if he (Adeboye) doesn’t have the money to video-chat with the pastors of the branches of the church! At least, that would save him money,” Olumide notes.

Commenting on punchng.com, a reader, Zoemed, says Pastor Adeboye’s defence was not good enough.

Zoemed  explains, “I had expected a better defence rather than this ‘I need a plane to do a better job of supervising churches under my ministry’! What are the roles of Subordinate pastors? The Catholic Archdiocese of New York alone could buy many jets for the Pope but they spend most of their money on helping the poor, providing hospital care and welfare for the downtrodden.

“Our Pentecostal churches cannot even build hospitals and affordable schools to supplement the little we have.”

Rising in defence of Adeboye, a visitor to punchng.com, Adeola, says the pastor’s acquisition of a jet was necessary, given the erratic services provided by airlines in the Nigerian aviation industry. She notes that   flight delays and cancellations were a setback to Christian ministry, adding that the work of a pastor was more tasking than that of a nation’s President.

She says, “For a man to visit 160 countries in a year is never a joke. Why shouldn’t he have a jet if his church can provide it? You and I know how ‘sound’ our aviation industry is. For a minister of God who is billed to preach in a particular place with other programmes following to have a flight delay or outright cancellation without prior notification, is a loss that cannot be quantified.

“Holding of crusade is different from political gathering, which many of you understand better. The mandate given to these ministers is urgent, the time is short and it covers the entire world. This is more than that of the President. Leave them alone as they will give account of their stewardship to God.”

Reacting sharply to the critics of Adeboye, Genes Donald, also states on nairaland.com, that Pastors must not live in penury all in the name of propagating God’s word.

“I go with you sir (Adeboye). These people think we should ride bicycle, just to propagate God’s word? Who says pastors must be paupers? Some people just reason from the anus! Ride on Pastor,” Donald says.

On punchng.com, Macsam states, “Having a jet is not bad for the RCCG, and it doesn’t mean that they are not doing charity work. For instance. I  have benefited from RCCG scholarship.

“I didn’t know any pastor I just obtained the form and went for the interview. I went to my village for something; I just got a call that I was selected. They pay me N250,000 every session and they do it for so many students every year. So stop condemning RCCG for acquiring a jet, it is for efficiency

JD:I have stated my reaction to this in an earlier comment.The reasoning of those who think the acquisition of the private jet is noble is exactly why we are in the mess we are in today.this kind of thinking that has put logic on its head is why our country has been completely run aground.the hopelessness in our situation is that even the so called men of God have joined the fray.Heaven help us all!

28 Comments

  1. I think RCCG have done better than any other Church in this country, know few people that have benefite from RCCG scholarship

      • JD, you wrote at the end that you have stated your reaction to this in an earlier comment. Please direct me to the link. Thanks.

          • uncle jimmy your april 28th guest on the Discuss was ‘so out of this world’ for me.she is amazing.My family,peers and pimps nickname me ‘iron lady,.They say i am a disciplinarian.could you please get your last sunday guest(aunty TOYIN ALAO)to give me a download on etiquette as it relates to different aspect of lifestyle?could you also help with her number pleaaase?would appreciate this for life. ..esther(counsel,UBANI CHAMBERS)

    • Really RCCG scholarship? is that the price of Good example in leadership and lifestyle to you?
      Did Awolowo, Catholic Church, Baptist, church or Methodist, Give scholarship to just a few?
      I wonder what explanation you would have for the fact that RCCG also got 20Billion Naira worth of import waver from OBJ administration; an administration that we all know was not honest in the management of the resources of this country.
      and if you think it through a lot of companies folded up during this period of time that could have survived given a little percentage of what RCCG got from the Govt, Tax Payer’s money. Why give scholar ship when there are no jobs for graduates?
      Or what explanation you would have for the fact that RCCG fraternizes with the presidency, but never publicly speak out against corruption in government.

      It’s becoming clearer that the church is the number one problem of this country…

      Ask yourself; couldn’t Mandela have lived with apartheid in SA? I mean he had a thriving Law Career and could have made money & given scholarship to a few. The same goes for Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr to mention a few. But no these were men who understood, what leadership by example and lifestyle meant. How many of them have or had private jets?
      Let’s leave the men and talk about churches; I, like many of the children in my generation, was born in a catholic hospital, my mother trained in one as a nurse…I have friends whom were born in Methodist and Baptist hospital. These same missions mentioned above stood in the gap to provide good education for many of our fathers and mothers even when the government of country was not facing up to the responsibility of educating the masses.

      Ask yourself; the Christianity we talk about, the hospitals we were born in and the education of many of our father who paid for it? If the head of the catholic, Baptist and the Methodist mission had chosen to procure luxuries with church funds what do you think this very country would be like today?

      And then tell me how a pastor who owns a private Jet would be able to tell a politician to not steal from the purse of his state, country or his office to be able to afford such luxuries too. The truth is even if he says it nobody will take him seriously. The doctrine of necessity that applies to his situation can also be adopted by any politician who wishes to own a jet too.

      Think about the future of your children and your grandchildren in this country, they should not have to go apply for scholarship to RCCG to go to school. RCCG should show example of and publicly preach prudence to our leaders in govt, so that things like education can be free for all..

      I could go on and on about this, but let me just conclude that if we were to set religion aside and live by just morality, I believe our religious leaders should do better than this; how then much more when we now put religion into it?

      • Tolu,

        It is great to know that there still exist a certain percentage of folks (albeit small that is) that have not been brain washed and turned to(according to Apostle FELA )- zombies.

        Take a drive along Lagos -Ibadan expressway, and you will see lands that should be used for feeding Nigeria and the world now turned to miracle centers.

        The one that makes me weep the most is the former industrial areas in Oregun, Apapa-Oshodi etc have now been transformed into churches.

        The only thing we produce and export in Nigeria now is religion.

        But i believe it is time we take our country back, from all criminals whether in politics or behind the pulpits.

        God Bless Nigeria

        • I am not against churches been built in every corner of our streets, but i got concerned when i see alot of people been jobless and also always rushing every month to get miracles and salvation.
          Fos christ sakes, instead of building more churches why dont they channalize those funds into the energy we lack so much in this country.
          In lagos especially, whers its been blessed with wind , water and sun.
          acquiring a large land by these churches is alot of money and building is ahole lot of money.
          I only think in simplicity not to analyse that, churches should invest in improving the country, in a little way afterall little drops makes rivers and oceans.

  2. its very unfortunate that we have allowed religious sentiments to take over our sense or reasoning in this country. no wonder the church unlike before is silent over the issue of corruption in the country now.these are people we are suppose to run to for refuge but they have failed us.its not their fault though, its we that run to them otherwise all these mess will not be happening. we only know that they purchased private jets, what about the running cost and maintenance. its jets we are talking about and not cars.”suffering and smiling”.

  3. He claims he needs a private jet to better serve his congregation, even Jesus refused a horse and opted for a donkey…..what is wrong with pastors flying commercial airlines like the members of their congregation? Even the Pope of the catholic church with over a billion members in over 270 countries fly’s Alitalia whenever he travels!!!!

  4. am not suprised at Jimi’s comment because he is an old fellow of the confra ( the pryrate). We knew him at Ife.RCCG Maternity Hospital at Ebutte Metta is partronized even by muslims at very affordable charge. What has the the confra done for its members.Jimi should go and sit down…..he ll soon be given a political assignment and he will be quite like Reuben Abati.

  5. God saw this coming when he said judgement will start from those on the pulpit.
    Oversea other branches my foot, the pope ought to have a fleet then!
    Nigerians are easily deceived, open blindness.

  6. One of the foremost apostle of Jesus Christ, Apostle Paul wrote in I Corinthians 6:12 “All things are lawful for me; but not all things are advantageous. All things are lawful for me; but I will not let myself be brought under authority by anything”. He also said that if the food you are eating even though its lawful but will stumble those of your brothers who are weak, he would not eat it. 1 Cor 8:12,13. The principles in those bible verses show that we need to take into consideration the feeling of others when we want to make a decision even if the decision may not be wrong in its entirety. The bible says a Wisdom is with the modest one. A modest person is cautious, judicious and careful; he does not insist on his own preferences, neither does he make such remarks as saying that he cannot run his ministry on a “bicycle”. I thought that was sarcasm as its best.My heart tore when I read this comment ” “I’m not a member of any of these Pentecostal churches but Adeboye is one pastor I respect so much. This time around he got it wrong, there’s no reason for a man of God with millions of impoverished followers to be cruising in a private jet.” quoted from Punch. If this man of God has applied the principle found in God’s word, this man would not have made that heartwrenching comment. The bible has forewarned: Rev 18:4. Let the reader use discernment.

  7. It is most ridiculous why people will defend the indefensible, a clergy owning an aircraft? I believe this is sacrilegious no matter the public perception of who is involved. It is sad that as intelligent as Nigerians are, when it comes to the issue of religion most of us are fools. I am just imagining what Christ will be using today if he were to be alive and have the same mind set like our so called men of God. Even the Queen of England and the PM use BA.
    For me a long time ago, I have classified our politicians and clergy as same of same. i detest their extortionist tendency. The bible is easy to understand for the discerning than for me to be fooled.
    They find it difficult to speak the truth to power, they are part of the organised conspiracy to keep our people perpetually poor.

  8. He needs the private jet to oversee over 160 branches worldwide. I am highly disappointed in Adeboye’s defence. Pls someone should ask him how many times he travels to this countries in a year. This man spends almost the whole year in Nigeria conducting one holy ghost service to another. Ego led him to buying the private jet.

  9. Only God can judge our leaders, be it political leaders or religious leaders, as far as I am concern majority of our leaders are insincere to the masses, Nigeria is blessed with countless numbers of natural resources, but few ones are enjoying the resources, while majority are suffering, we all know this and our leaders pretends as if all is well with the citizens. God won’t spare you guys. Mr. JD please ride on. Nice day

  10. I will rather reckon with a confra man who is ready to speak the truth rather than a man of God who sees the truth and decided to close his eyes… Mr. JD pls ride on jooo. We dey gbadun you jooo

  11. He has not finished supervising the ones in Lagos alone he wants to be junketing? I once had a Deaconess friend from The RCCG who would smoke a stick of cigarette before going out to preach in the Parish she was overseeing when her Pastor was away, she even got pregnant before her wedding to another pastor! So what is all the hulla ballo about? Ejoor lef me make I drink water drop cup

  12. its really sad that the heads of oenticostal churches have resorted to self aggrandizement rathe than assist the needy in the society. in his days jesus looked out for both the jews and the gentiles.

    the message of christ is not about prosperity alone.
    God help us all.

  13. JD, its all deception there is no man of God. Like we do say, Jesus knows his ppl. I had an encounter with a pastor of the RCCG some years back who requested i sow into his life a property which belonged to my late wife. She went on hols outside the country and died a day to her return leaving behind 4 kids. When i turned him down explaining my situation he sent two of his friends to my house the next day threatning hell and even “juju” c what i mean.

  14. I reckon, the G.O. could have opted for chartered flights which would be available for his travels and still cost much less. I work with a multinational and our regional board supervises more than twenty countries with use of a time-share flights.

    That would be more prudent and serve as a mark of stewardship. Jesus fed 5,000 but still had his disciples pick up the left-overs.

    Video- conferencing is efficient but do we have infrastructure to deploy it for multi-state usage? Video chats on Skype are still frustrating in Nigeria but that is not to say the church cannot leverage on technology. Kumuyi already deploys satellite transmissions for some meetings/services (for those who say that members need to connect with their leader), other churches in Nigeria can go beyond this and maybe decongest our expressways.

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