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‘Most Pentecostal Churches Have Their Roots In Aladura Church’ – The Nation

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Aladura Patriarch & Primate of The Church of The Lord, The Most Rev Dr. Rufus Ositelu, speaks with Adeola Ogunlade on issues of interest to the church and nation. Excerpts:

The Church of the Lord Aladura seems to be conservative and media-shy. Is this a deliberate policy?

The Church of the Lord (TCL) worldwide was founded on May 17th, 1925 but officially inaugurated on July 27th, 1930. It is one of the foremost African Indigenous Churches, a member of the World Council of Churches (WCC), All African Conference of Churches (AACC), Christian Council of Nigeria (CCN) and of course Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).

TCL is neither conservative nor media-shy. As a matter of fact we have a deliberate policy of partnering with the Media in our divine mandate to evangelise, reach out to the faithful and also advise the government on issues affecting the Polity when the need arises.

Aladura Churches have a huge image crisis with many associating them with diabolical practices. Are you worried about it and what are you doing to change the tide?

I am not worried about it because I know it is a matter of time before they come crashing like a pack of cards as some of them have done and are doing even as we speak. Anything that is not of God can never stand the test of time. You can see that the Church of the Lord is not involved in any of these alleged atrocities, even though we belong to the body of White Garment Churches. As a matter of fact, this was the major reason why God directed me to bring White Garment Churches together under one umbrella (United Aladura Churches) for the purpose of discipline and propriety.

Many don’t seem to remember the Aladura movement is responsible for Pentecostalism in Nigeria. How can the old glory be restored?

Many do not actually know the Churches behind the Great Revival of 1930. They include: Faith Tabernacle, Ibadan; The Church of The Lord, Ogere and Precious Stone Church, Ijebu-Ode.

The Faith Tabernacle later metamorphosed into different organisations, which are The Apostolic Church (TAC) and Christ Apostolic Church (CAC). To the glory of God only The Church of the Lord Worldwide that has remained as a single entity from then till now.

Unknown to many, most of the foremost Pentecostal Churches had their roots in the Aladura Churches. I enjoin the Aladura fold to remain focused, steadfast on the path of righteousness, continue to lead by Christ like leadership by examples and with time the old glory will surely be restored.

Banditry, kidnapping and criminal activities have taken over all parts of Nigeria. How can the government tackle worsening insecurity in the land?

The primary function of any government is the protection of lives and property of its citizens. Peace is cardinal for development. There can be no meaningful and sustainable development in an atmosphere devoid of peace. The pathetic state of the nation’s security remains a serious source of concern and must not be allowed to continue. The way forward is first of all a review of the country’s security architecture. A major panacea for the myriad of challenges confronting the nation is restructuring- political restructuring: parliamentary system with a ceremonial president to showcase the various cultures in the country rotational.

Five or six regional governments with regional and neighborhood policing, economic restructuring: fiscal federalism, where the regions manage their resources and only pay taxes to the Federal Government. In a nutshell we should go back to the Constitution of the First Republic and update it. It is the antidote for ensuring good governance, fairness, equity, justice, religious tolerance, and peaceful coexistence in the country.

The present presidential system is too expensive and leaves little or no room for adequate development. Under true federalism, the regional governments will be able to develop their regions at their own pace and thus generate healthy competition, where the regions will not have to go to Abuja to collect allocations.

With 2023 around the corner, are you disturbed governance seems to have taken the backseat for politicking?

Nigeria is battling with the need for a purposeful and dynamic leadership. Unfortunately the political leaders are engaged in politicking rather than ensuring good governance. The country needs leadership by example.

What would people find in the Church of the Lord Aladura that may be difficult to find elsewhere?

Our tenets and the adherence to our tenets. Our spirituality is unique. Our practices and observances cannot be found totally in any other church. It may also interest you to know that TCL not only has ordained women bishops but also ordained women archbishops. This is a major unique achievement of The Church of the Lord and we give God all the glory.

Is prayer enough to save Nigeria? If not, what else do we need to do to fix the country?

I believe strongly in the efficacy of prayer. Prayer is the master key. Jesus Himself prayed and commanded us to pray so as not to fall into temptation. Luke 21:40. However prayer alone cannot solve Nigeria’s problems. Leadership needs to be equitable and also yield to the demands of the people. You cannot be doing wrong things and expect good results. You can only reap what you sow.

We are reaping the fruits of the performance of our political leaders in the past years. Going forward the government needs to be more aggressive, proactive in its fight against corruption. Corruption in Nigeria has become endemic. It is a hydra headed monster that has eaten deep into the socio-economic and political fabric of the society

It cuts across the whole country at all levels, the federal and state governments, agencies and parastatals of government etc. I believe the EFCC and  the ICPC should be strengthened and empowered in order for them to fight corruption more effectively. More stringent measures and policies should be put in place. Perpetrators no matter how highly placed should be brought to book and prosecuted.

You are an expert in data processing and management, do you still find time to utilise your expertise in view of your spiritual responsibilities?

The world is now Information Technology driven and has become a global village. The Church cannot be an exception. My knowledge of IT has contributed tremendously to the administration and growth of the Church. It has been a great source of knowledge and impetus for the unprecedented achievements in the life of The Church of the Lord over the last twenty years. To God alone be the glory!

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