The General Overseer of Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, regarded as the shepherd of the largest Pentecostal Church in Nigeria, stormed Ikorodu and Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTEC) in a different spiritual style on Christmas eve, December 24, 2018, for an event tagged, “Let’s Go A Fishing.”
The great man of God, who is humble in spirit and flesh and the shepherd of a great flock of members, is regarded by his followers as a demi god. Like the woman with the issue of blood in the Christian Bible, his followers believe that if they could see, hear or touch him or his garment as the woman did to Jesus, they would be blessed or healed of any infirmity. Thus, many Redeemed Church members see Adeboye as their God here on earth; hence, anywhere he goes, large multitudes gather to feel him, believing that the moment they hear his voice or touch him, their problems would be over.
No wonder, as early as 6a.m to 7a.m, the field at Lagos State Polytechnic in Ikorodu had been filled up with people for the event scheduled for 10a.m. Over 5000 people had assembled to wait for Pastor Adeboye, only for them to hear at about twelve (12) noon that the great shepherd would not come personally but send an able representative, Pastor Joseph Obayemi, the General Overseer, Redeemed Christian Church of God (Nigeria). It wasn’t only the crowd at the Polytechnic ground that was disappointed by the news but also the powerful team waiting for Adeboye at Oba Shotobi’s palace. Everyone was distraught that this renowned world Christian Leader, who had attracted Obas, Chiefs, Baales and important dignitaries to the Ayangbure palace, would not show up after all.
The Redeemed Church G. O. was said to have been travelling round the country from town to town, state to state on his missionary work and was unable to make it to Ikorodu on this December 24, 2018. It was not deliberate or intentional. Pastor Adeboye’s representative, Pastor Obayemi, arrived Oba Shotobi’s palace at about 1p.m with his contingent. He was welcomed by the powerful team of traditional rulers, including Oba Shotobi, Oba Kasali of Igbogbo and other high and lower Chiefs as well as eminent sons of Ikorodu.
After the national anthem was played, Pastor Obayemi apologized to the distinguished personalities, stating the reason Pastor Adeboye, who loves and respects Ikorodu people, could not come himself, even as he had wished to be physically present. A brief introduction was carried out of the personalities present by Pastor Nat Adejuwon, the Pastor in charge of Region 26. Then, Oba Shotobi spoke of his encounter with Pastor Adeboye in the past, praising the vision and mission of this great man of God from the South-West, whose ministry is now recognized globally. He wondered how Adeboye could cope with the extensive tours of the country through the bad roads and rough terrain of our nation at his age, yet remaining strong.
Oba Shotobi prayed that God will continue to uphold and strengthen him. He appreciated Adeboye for the love he has for Ikorodu; hence, Ikorodu people’s wish
uphold and strengthen him. He appreciated Adeboye for the love he has for Ikorodu; hence, Ikorodu people’s wish to see him personally during this occasion. He thanked Pastor Obayemi for coming to represent his master when people were almost losing hope of their coming.
In his speech, Pastor Obayemi repeated the apology for his master’s absence, telling the audience the great passion Adeboye has for Ikorodu and how he had personally scheduled it that he would be physically present to deliver the key message of the programme, “Let’s Go A Fishing’ but circumstances prevented his presence. He admitted that Adeboye’s shoes are too big for him to step into; hence, he is a mere representative, who is carrying the spiritual mandate of his master to be at this event. He noted that Daddy Adeboye had been going round the country preaching and that it is only the grace of God that had sustained him at his septuagenarian age to still be standing. This is why he could not make this visit personally.
Having come with the spirit of his master, Pastor James asked the audience to give their lives to Christ so that their souls can be saved and to confess Jesus as their personal Lord and Saviour. The visiting cleric later had group photograph with his hosts before he went into a brief private session with Oba Shotobi and his wife. The visit of Adeboye’s team coincided with the yearly Christmas party Olori Kudirat Shotobi holds for children at the palace. The children had assembled for the event; so it was auspicious for Pastor Joseph Obayemi to join the party briefly, and to pray for the children to mark the Christmas festivity.
Meanwhile, the crowd at the LASPOTECH play ground was still waiting for Pastor Obayemi and his entourage. But the visitors first drove to the Board room of the institution to meet with the Rector of the institution, Mr. Samuel Sogunro and his team. Pastor Obayemi knelt down at the Board room and prayed, thanking God for the historic visit and for this tertiary institution of great technical learning. The Rector, in his brief speech, thanked God for the institution, which celebrated its 40th anniversary recently, and how God had upheld the institution till today as it offers about sixty six (66) courses and continues to grow bigger and bigger in the comity of higher education.M
Mr. Sogunro said that the polytechnic has hosted the General Overseer of Deeper Life, Pastor Kumuiyi, that of Mountain of Fire and Miracles, Pastor Olukoya and the one for Foursquare Gospel Church; hence, everyone was anxious to have Pastor Adeboye to visit the school. After praying for the development and growth of the institution and blessings upon the staff and students of the Polytechnic, Pastor Joseph and his team moved to the Poly ground, where the multitude had been waiting for more than eight to nine hours.
The visitors were welcomed with thunderous ovation. Again, Pastor Joseph had to apologise and explain why Adeboye was unavoidably absent, and how he had empowered him spiritually to represent him and to deliver his message of Christmas good tidings to the people, telling them to key into the impartation of the spirit of God in him so that they can experience the signs and wonders they had expected. He shared the word of God with the multitude, reminding them that Jesus is wonderful as He is called in the Bible (Scripture), noting that the birth of Jesus was wonderful while his resurrection was exceedingly wonderful as well. Thus, the blood shed by Jesus at the cross of Calvary for the whole world to be saved was and is still wonderful.
He quoted some scriptures – John 1:5; 2Corinthians 5:17; John 5 and others to buttress his message of good news, after which he prayed for the people as well as made alter calls for those, who had decided to give their lives to Jesus. Many trooped out to answer this call for soul salvation. Pastor Joseph, who told the audience he was still heading for Iyana Ipaja on the same mission, was applauded and appreciated by the audience. As the visiting cleric left Ikorodu, officers and members of RCCG Region 26 stayed back at the LASPOTEC field to continue the programme. To show the faith people have in Adeboye, organisers of the event had lined up the sick along the route they anticipated Pastor Adeboye would pass through for the sake of healing.
Worthy of note was the role played by Pastor Nat Adejuwon of Region 26, the Provincial Pastors, Protocol Officers, Ushers and all the workers of Region 26. Also, the wife of the Publisher of Oriwu Sun, Deaconess Abiodun Dawodu Olowosago, who was one of the coordinators of the programme, played a major role. She was at the Oba’s palace to assure the Kabiyesi and dignitaries of the visit and to communicate with her Regional Pastor, Pastor Nat Adejuwon and the entourage until they arrived at the palace. She was also among the entourage that visited the LASPOTEC Rector and his principal officers at the board room, where Pastor Joseph was received.
It should also be recalled that Pastor Obayemi laid hands on the sick lined up along his route as well as blessed anointing oil and handkerchiefs that people brought for impartation of power. Despite Adeboye’s absence, many still believed they received God’s blessings from this event.