It was just as Jesus Christ preached; that there is need to care for the poor and less-privileged in society by those God has favoured with His grace. Leader and Representative of God in INRI Evangelical Spiritual Church, Primate Elijah Babatunde Ayodele, on February 14, 2021 during the annual thanksgiving of the church empowered the less privileged people and journalists with variety of gifts. JOHN SILAS reports.
Speaking at the Thanksgiving event at the church’s headquarters in Ejigbo area of Lagos, Ayodele stated that when God provides for him genuinely from well-meaning Nigerians, he remembers the poor. “When God provides for me genuinely from well-meaning Nigerians, and say Primate I dash you this, I quickly remember those who do not have. I have never had any criminal record in this world. The international community has searched me before they made me there representative,” he said.
The Primate gave out cash, cars, tricycles and other items; he also facilitated the award of scholarships and jobs to hundreds of youths. Widows were also empowered; the poor were given various forms of assistance, while some lucky religious devotees were aided with funds to go to the holy lands for pilgrimages.
Primate Ayodele did not discriminate between the beneficiaries as both Christians and Moslems were empowered, apart from Christians who will be travelling to Jerusalem, there were Muslims who also got funds to go to Mecca.
In appreciation the media, Primate Ayodele gave out a jeep each to two journalists, Lukmon Akintola of Octopus News and Folorunsho Hamzat of the Status News, an online outfit. Further, ten journalists got N200,000 each from the church leader. He also announced the donation of a bus to NTA 10, Lagos.
Speaking at the presentation, Primate Ayodele told the journalists not to see the gifts as bribes. “You should be free to criticise me if I do wrong. What I am doing here is a directive from God. He gave me all I have and I should share what he has given me with those who don’t have,” he said. He assured that those who didn’t get this year should be hopeful. “Next year, it could be your turn,” he pleaded.
He spoke further “Our own church is not for commercial purpose, people keep accusing pastors, I only talk about my own, I don’t take tithe from anybody, I only do what is right with my sweat and when government came up with CAMA, I stand against it, and I say no government. I stand alone to fight against injustice irrespective of where you are coming.
“I tell the government the truth; you are my friend if you can listen to warnings. We need prophets in our nation.
“When we make prophecies, don’t think we make prophesies for popularity, I have gotten a lot of popularity since 1994, but beyond prophecies since 2002 we have been empowering people, policemen, there is no police station in this local government that I don’t give something tangible at least two times a year, road safety and many more, we support churches, I am not a businessman and I will not be one, I don’t have a company but the source of my income is in the hand of God,” Ayodele said.
He said that he loves Nigerian pressmen, “They are very important to me in my earthly mission. In Nigeria today I am one of the important pastors that you can pick your phone and call directly, I respect all Nigerian pressmen.”
The height of the day’s activities was the hoisting of the United Nations’ flag at the church premises, as, according to Amb Nabit Kapoor, head of delegation from the International Association of World Peace Advocates, IAWPA, Primate Ayodele was being honoured by the UN for his enormous contributions to world peace, particularly in Africa.
The IAWPA chief was accompanied by Amb Blessing Palmberg, Amb Emmanuel Nkweke, among a host of other important personalities.