Nigeria – GAAICOM wades into PFN Crisis –Reconciles Igbo Bishops and Pastors
Written by Obinna Akukwe (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The crisis between gospel ministers of Igbo extraction especially under the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) is about to end as the foremost Igbo Clergy Group, General Assembly of all Igbo Christian Organizations and Ministers ( GAAICOM) has waded into the long standing feud on the requests of Pa Pastor J J Emerson, the father of Pentecostal revival in Igbo land.
The leaderships of PFN in Igbo land has been in crisis due to the intractable differences among its leaders and members such that the fire of revival is gradually fading in Igbo lands.
Bishop Paul Nwachukwu, General Superintendent of Grace of God Mission is yet to reconcile with his erstwhile deputy and now founder of Throne of Grace Mission, Archbishop Dr Austin Nwodika over events that occurred in 1998. While Nwachukwu believed that he is protecting the sanctity of the church of God from corruption, Nwodika was of the view that the former used an event as an excuse to push him out in a vineyard they jointly established and labored for, after 25 years of service.
Bishop Mike Okonkwo, General Superintendent of The Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM) and former National President of PFN is still finding it difficult relating with Rev Dr Uma Ukpai, the Uyo based crusade evangelist. Rev Dr Uma Ukpai has severally accused him of working against his election as the PFN National President at the Uyo Biennial Conference of 2013 where he lost narrowly to Bishop Felix Omobude . He accused Okonkwo of sabotaging his effort and using the South West clique against him.
Bishop Emmanuel Chukwuma, Anglican Bishop of Enugu just recently reconciled with Rev Dr Uma Ukpai in October 2013 in a meeting brokered by the PFN President of Enugu State, Bishop Obi Onubogu, at Cathedral Church of Good Shepherd, Enugu, Despite the reconciliation, Uma Ukpai shunned the Igbo Restoration Assembly summit held days later at Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium.
Bishop Edward Ezenwafor of Royal Family Church, Enugu is still accusing Bishop Paul Nwachukwu of masterminding his exit from Grace of God Mission in 1996 and walked out of the auditorium during the sermon of the later at the Igbo Restoration Summit. Bishop David Eberechukwu, former PFN President in Anambra State and current Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) South East during the said summit distributed petitions accusing Bishop Nwachukwu of plotting to assassinate him; a matter he claimed is already with the Inspector General of Police.
Therefore, with these intractable differences among the clergy in Igbo land, the once vibrant revivalist moves of the seventies, eighties and nineties have fizzled off .This state has been a source of concern to many clerics. GAAICOM, in response to the request of Pa Emerson, have risen up a committee to fully reconcile all feuding ministers.
GAAICOM leadership led by Apostle Dr PCJ Mac Jossy, Rev Obinna Akukwe, Apostle N Nkwazema and Pastor Obinna Ojiabor visited the current Chairman of CAN South East, Bishop David Eberechukwu, at Overcomers Cathedral, Umunze. The clerics tasked Bishop Eberechukwu on the need to urgently reconcile every voice of spiritual disunity in Igboland in order for God to restore Igbo to their lost glory.
The General Coordinator of GAAICOM, Apostle Macjossy told the CAN helmsman that “bringing unity into the clergy fold of the South East is of paramount importance and you must use all within your powers to do so…you must also re enact the feat you performed during your tenure as PFN president of Anambra State which led to unprecedented co operation in the state into your new position as CAN Chairman”. He told Eberechukwu that his predecessor, Bishop Emmanuel Chukwuma of Anglican Communion enjoyed the co operation of GAAICOM because he fought for Igbo cause and enjoined Eberechukwu to do the same.
The Dictor of Media and Communications of GAAICOM, Rev Obinna Akukwe told Bishop Eberechukwu that “ South East have schemed themselves out of political and spiritual prominence in Nigeria due to disunity among the clerics of Igbo extraction and therefore, until the clergy unites to speak the counsel of God over the Igbo nation we shall continue to play second and third fiddle to others. The state of decayed government infrastructure in Igbo land and the porridge mentality of politicians is the bye product of the feud among our Pentecostal fathers” Akukwe told the Bishop that even when Bishop David Oyedepo had problems with his former Abuja resident pastor, Bishop Dayo Olutayo, both of them reconciled again after a few years and therefore, there is no reason issues of fifteen years ago should polarize Christians leaders.
Bishop Eberechukwu told GAAICOM officials that the trio of Bishop Mike Okonkwo,Paul Nwachukwu and Rev Williams Okoye( former Chaplain of Aso Rock) have dragged him to the court of the PFN National President, Bishop Felix Omobude and promised to answer their calls scheduled for Wednesday with the purposes of achieving reconciliation. He told the clerics that the PFN Specialist Hospital his administration built at Amawbia and the multi duplex doctors’ quarters is fully functional with updated medical equipments for the treatment of patients. He said that he united the PFN in Anambra State that even those from Deeper Life, Assembles of God Church and others standing on the fence all joined PFN fully, promising to bring unity among Igbo clergy.
GAAICOM is still meeting with aggrieved gospel ministers across Igbo land with the view to bringing unity