Church members of Latter Rain Assembly have condemned the new church being undertaken by their Pastor, Tunde Bakare describing it as fraud, waste and insensitive.
The church would cost a whopping N13 billion of the members’ tithes, donations and offerings in what has cost quote a stir and open condemnation from majority of the church members.
Some have said they will stop donations to the church while a lot others say they will seize being members due to what they described as extravagance and insensitivity in a church in which majority of the members are unemployed, poor and quite in need of one assistance or the other.
According to a Human Rights activist Adeola Samuel Ilori, who has been a strong member of Bakare’s church, for more than 20 years, it is double faced to condemn Winners Church’s church building while building what is more than double theirs.
He said, “Pastor has taught us so many times that God does not live in a house built with hands or man. He has taught us so many times that it is not where you worship God that matters but how you worship Him. He talked about the tabernacle of Moses and the tent of David. He always uses one word that you don’t build to make yourself a monument, that what some pastors are doing these days is to make a monument for themselves, that the word of God and the faith of God are a movement.
“I may not be member of the church council or senate, I don’t need to. The totality of Pastor Bakare was what kept me. I usually say that the only two people that would tell me to go forward and I will not look back is Gani Fawehinmi and Pastor Bakare because I know with my knowledge of who they are at that time they won’t turn back at me. That’s as much as I believed in him because I believe the words that come out of him have weight and he makes use of those words regardless of whatever may happen. When he was saying all those words, I imbibed them.
“I was here when Winners built 50,000 capacity, I know what he said. The people you did not build with will destroy the building. He said what do you need 50,000 capacity for? It does not matter where you worship God but how you worship God.
“Who you are is what matters. To me, I believe that where we are worshipping God right now in Akilo is more or less where God wants him to be, you might ask me why.
“He has said it severally. Not only he said that his mother of blessed memory, without Pastor Bakare knowing that place, fell somewhere around that area inside a gutter, and the day that Pastor Bakare came to that place, God said to him this is the place I have reserved for you.
“Quote me verbatim. My question that agitates in my mind when the issue of Citadel came up was that if God said this is the place I have reserved for you, has God also reserved the new place? Or has He changed His mind? I talk in facts; I talk in what I know. What I don’t know I will tell you I don’t know.
“Nobody can tell me about Pastor Bakare as far as Latter Rain is concerned or the message he preached, I will tell you the day, the time, the hour, what he said and what he didn’t say. It’s just like the day I went to him and challenged him when I had issue in 2015 May, I said sir it is not from you that it’s supposed to come that you are asking for interim government, he said no, I said I recorded it live and can play it for you. I believe in word of God that was spoken directly, not the one they told me. His word came from his mouth to say God said this is the place I have reserved for you.
“Nobody has sent us away from the place God reserved for us. For whatever reason, he said God is in Citadel as well. I’m not disagreeing with that, but I’m not comfortable with it. That does not stop me from the little I contribute when they are asking us to contribute. But what I’m not comfortable with, I will say it out, it does not matter who does it. He has let us realize that God needs us more than He needs building.
“We can use and channel that money to something else. How I wish that that place is nothing but a state of the art hospital, internationally recognized hospital. With 13 billion naira that has been spent on that place, I’m very sure that if that place was a hospital, it’d become the cynosure of all eyes today.
“Like if the place has a dialysis place, kidney transplant, eye foundation with state of the art equipment. What are you building there that has not been built by others? Yongi Choo that first built the gigantic auditorium, how good is that place again? How many people are talking about Yongi Choo anymore?
“If today Citadel becomes the talk about town because of whatever might have been put there, in no time somebody else will build something bigger. That is the way Pastor Bakare taught us. That’s why he said you don’t build a monument after your name. the monument built that was called the Gigantic House of God then, now it’s a mosque that is besides it, people don’t recognize the importance of the place anymore. That is the work of monument.
“Had it been our opinions were sought, had it been it was not something that was wrapped under with the cover of God says. . . Pastor Bakare that I knew before would say something and would back it up with the word of God and you will know truly he is speaking the truth.
“But when you say something that is your heart desire and you want to cover it with the word of God, I will know and I will talk. Like Paul said, thank God we too have the spirit of God. The furniture of the place is the height of it now. It hit me. I’m not only angry, I was livid because I was not told, I was in the church that day when they brought the chair to the pulpit to demonstrate the chair for the congregation.
“The chair is more or less like the one we use in the cinema. It has where you put your bible. I felt it was beautiful and we all clapped. He said the cost is 560 million naira and it is not to be provided here in Nigeria, it is to be imported from abroad. It is 5200 chairs, the 200 is for the leaders, the 5000 is for the congregation. That was what angered me. I told my friend this is not Pastor Bakare that I knew.
“The way I was passionate about Nigeria is the way he was passionate about Nigeria and the way I was passionate about him. I just packed my phone and left the service. I remember meeting Dr. Segun Osinaga on the way and I said to him that your friend has goofed. You are close to him, tell him what he did today, I don’t like it at all and I’m going to talk about it if you people cannot convince him. Number one, do we need capital flight as the person that talks about the economy of Nigeria, giving indices of how we can turn it around?
“Number two, the money that we are going to use, even though he might be the one to contribute the larger size of it, are we now saying that there are no furniture makers here that can make those chairs? Are we now saying that within us in Latter Rain Assembly, there are no furniture makers that even contributed their money?
“The chairs we are currently sitting on, what has changed? That’s where my anger lies. There are things I can stomach. There are things, when they comes from someone I respect, that’s why I’m having problems with Buhari today. I campaigned for him and spent my money. Two main reasons I did that were the issue of corruption and the issue of power. And when I see that nothing is coming five to six years down the line I become livid and ask where are we going?
“Is there fight against corruption? No. Buhari is not yet fighting corruption, he’s only addressing corrupt issues. I have the report of Halliburton, the full report of Okiro is with me. All the people that were indicted in other countries for the same offence have been prosecuted, sentenced and jailed but their partners here are walking around and shaking hands with him in Aso Rock. That’s not the way to fight corruption.
“Until I see some of these people (mentions some names) jailed over Halliburton I will not agree there’s fighting against corruption. 74 million US dollars is in the hands of one person, 76 million dollars in the hand of another while two other people are walking freely and you’re telling me you’re fighting corruption? Same thing happened with the power sector, the same set of people bought power sector and you can see the power situation here now. We are still groping from 4000 to 5000 megawatts as a nation of 200 million.
“A few weeks ago, this man still said Nigeria has spent another 1.7 trillion naira on electricity and yet we are still within the cap of 5000 megawatts. That’s why I become angry when I see somebody I love becoming something I do not expect him to be. So when I come out and say all these things about Pastor Bakare it’s because I love him.”
Daily Mail reports that Bakare has prophesied he would take after President Muhammadu Buhari to become Nigerian President.
(Ilori spoke with the Vanguard)