FG suspends controversial Corporate Governance Law …We’ll make our stand known soon – CAN
The Federal Government has suspended the law which forced Pastor Enoch Adeboye to step down as the Nigeria General Overseer of the Redeemed of God (RCCG).
The Financial Reporting Council (FRC), under Jim Obazee, had directed Not-For-Profit Organizations (NFPOs) – including churches and mosques – to comply with a corporate governance code stipulating a term of 20 years for heads of such entities.
It was by this provision that Adeboye, who had spent over 20 years as GO of RCCG, named Pastor Joshua Obayemi to head the Nigerian church as national overseer while he remained the worldwide general overseer of the church.
On Monday, President Muhammadu Buhari fired Obazee and approved the reconstitution of the board. Also, in a statement same day, Constance Ikokwu, media aide of Minister of Industry. Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, said the law has also been suspended, in order to review it.
The code issued by the FRCN has been suspended pending a detailed consultation with stakeholders and reconstitution of the board’ he said.
In a statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the president named Daniel Asapokhai as Obazee’s replacement and appointed Adedotun Sulaisman, as board chairman.
Meanwhile, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Monday, night, brushed aside the Federal Government’s suspension of the new corporate governance code.
In part B of the NFPO’s code, published on the FRCN website, financialreportingcouncil.gov.ng, the federal agency listed them to include homeless shelters, hospitals, clinics, rights groups, paramilitary (scout, brigade, etc), philanthropic organizations, schools, temples, church, mosques, synagogue, seminary/Bible college, any other religious body, mission or society, among money others.
General overseers, founders and leaders of religious organizations, including churches and mosques, who have been in the saddle up to 20 years or more, or who have attained 70 years of age are affected by the now suspended FRC code.
CAN President, Mr. Supo Ayokunle, who spoke through his spokesperson, Mr. Bayo Oladeji said the association will study the new law and react appropriately.
“We are aware that FRCN’s secretary, Jim Obazee has been sacked and that, the new corporate governance code has been suspended
“At the right time, we will talk; we will make our position known, soon. This government should respect the church because the church has not been against government but the government has been against the church.”
Oladeji added that CAN leadership would likely meet on the matter next week since Ayokunle is presently out of the country.
A cleric told our correspondent that government cannot regulate succession in Churches. “CAN has its succession procedure in its constitution and some of these churches have existed for centuries, before the birth of Nigeria in 1914! These churches have procedures for running their organizations.
“The excesses of some churches and general overseers should not be encouraged but, not to the point where government would now decide succession plans of each denomination. It will simply cause crisis…” he warned.