The presiding Bishop of Winner's Chapel, David Oyedepo, has made some mistakes over the issue of Company and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), a law that requires the government to check the financial activities of religion bodies.
Several Christian bodies have condemned the which has been signed into law on the ground that government should interfere in the internal affairs of churches. The Christian Association of Nigeria has been at the front in the agitations for an end to CAMA.
Bishop Oyedepo, yesterday, talked tough again over the law. It wouldn't be his first time of passing comments that reveal his anger on the CAMA.
As reported by the Sahara Reporters, the popular pastor called the policy undemocratic. He didn't state the reason why it is not democratic though.
He argued, "Just before we leave, there was this sinister document that came on a name, Company and Allied Matters Act. And the same thing that was done some years ago, when the Holy Ghost instructed me to warn the people, is repeated here. One, this is one most undemocratic policy forever."
But Oyedepo is wrong with this assertion. The bill passed through the normal processes before it became law. No part of the proceedings was jumped before it was finally approved.
In a democratic system, the lawmakers are expected to review a bill before passing it on to the president for his assent. Specifically, on 10 March, 2020, the Senate passed the CAMA bill. This was done before the bill became a law.
So, Bishop David Oyedepo made a mistake by calling the law "undemocratic". The statement is just misleading.
The law would ensure that the government appoint some trustees for religion bodies so as to control the financial activities. But Bishop David Oyedepo thinks that the law is targeted at churches alone.
Though churches have been the ones calling for an end to the law, every religion is affected and the government, apparently, wants to sanitize the whole system. Pastor Adejare Adeboye was at the Presidential Villa in August, 2020 perhaps to convince the president to drop the law.
Bishop Oyedepo said, "Let me quickly correct..the church is not a company. You better understand. That registrar general has the power to remove trustees of the church and close the church's account, and that does not require any court validation."
The Company and Allied Matters Act doesn't target churches alone. But it appears like only churches and their leadership seems agitated about the matter. And this is a mistake that Oyedepo is making.
Since money is being generated in the churches, it is pertinent for a proper control. Churches have establishments including schools and government should have some rights over the establishments just as it controls other private institutions.
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