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Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Nigerian Multi-Millionaire Pastor Recommends Prayers To Overcome Nation's Challenges


Bishop David Oyedepo, the founder and presiding bishop of the Living Faith Church Worldwide (aka Winners Chapel) has urged Nigerians to unite and pray for Nigeria so that the numerous challenges facing the country can be surmounted. He said this at the commencement of the annual Winners Chapel convention, Shiloh 2015, titled "From glory to glory."
I will get right to the point here. Mr Oyedepo is a direct beneficiary of the corruption that is a huge cause of the challenges he is asking his congregation and Nigerians to pray about. He benefits from the patronage of numerous politicians, top civil servants and bank executives, and the top dogs in the private sector. His political connections grant him import waivers that cost Nigeria millions of dollars in revenue. These are the people who steal Nigeria blind, and they in turn contribute heavily to his church, just like they do to Nigeria's retinue of prosperity preachers. His church, like a lot of others also have schools, from nursery to university, which are priced out of the reach of the poorer congregants who contributed enthusiastically and generously to build these institutions with the hope that their children and wards could attend. Nigeria's education sector is marred by the absence of competent teachers (who are not only underpaid, but also owed months and even years of salaries), paucity of infrastructure, and teaching materials, while its universities are plagued by incessant prolonged strike actions by academic staff.
Mr Oyedepo, who is rumoured to be Nigeria's richest pastor, was banned from entering the United Kingdom just over a year ago over allegations (which are true anyway) that the monies being fleeced from his congregants in the UK were sent to Nigeria to fund his flamboyant lifestyle. The prosperity preachers in Nigerian are in some perverse competition to outdo one another in flamboyant living, owning palatial homes, exotic cars, designer clothing and accessories and private jets, with Oyedepo himself reportedly owning four. They also invest the monies they collect from tithes and offerings in hotels, publishing, agriculture and other lucrative ventures, and their kids attend the best schools abroad and are inevitably groomed to take over their parents' empires; Oyedepo's first son currently heads the UK arm of the ministry.
Sometime in 2010, Mrs Faith Oyedepo, was absent for many months and was rumoured to be receiving treatment at an undisclosed hospital and location. She later resurfaced, having lost a lot of weight and denied being ill. Last year, while on a trip to South Africa to see her other son who heads that branch of the ministry, she reportedly tripped and fell and nearly had her leg amputated as a result of her injuries. She returned to a tumultuous welcome at last year's edition of shiloh and ended her testimony thus: "when you are confronted with challenges, nobody will be there with you; it is just you and your God. If you have a wonderful relationship with Him, you can conveniently make your request and be confident of a positive response." The fact that Mrs Oyedepo's leg injuries from an apparent minor fall could nearly result in an amputation strongly suggests that she is diabetic.
Mr Oyedepo is a proponent of divine (faith) healing, and at this year's edition of shiloh, like in all others before it, there will be thousands of testimonies from attendees, from those who have received "breakthroughs" and healing for some ailment, to those who were finally able to secure an elusive job, a life partner, or had a child after years of trying. I wonder why Mrs Oyedepo still has a chronic condition when all Mr Oyedepo has to do is heal her.