The founder and presiding Bishop of the Living Faith Church, David Oyedepo, has kicked against the Companies and Allied Matters Act 2020, describing it as a “sinister and demonic attempt to stifle the church”.
CAMA which was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari on August 7, 2020, allows the regulation of religious bodies and charity organisations by the registrar-general of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and a minister, and also gives the commission power to suspend the trustees of an association or a religious body and appoint an interim manager or managers to coordinate its affairs.
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) filed a lawsuit against the Nigerian government over the implementation of CAMA 2020.
CAN’s general secretary, Joseph Daramola in a statement released on Monday said the Christian group filed a lawsuit against the Nigerian government over some "satanic section of the controversial and ungodly law".
But, reacting to the law during a service at the headquarters of the Church, Canaanland, Ota in Ogun State recently, Oyedepo said the law is a sinister, demonic attempt to stifle the church.
He said the Nigerian government cannot assign people to rule over any church in the country.
He stated that the church is not a business venture that government officials and policies can influence.
“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," Oyedepo said.
While he reiterated that the church was not a business, the pastor said that the brains behind the Act must have woken up on the wrong side of the bed.
He 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.
“Well, I know this must be from someone who woke up from the wrong side of the bed. Please, note this is a warning from the Lord so that I can be free from your blood. This will never work! Now, please note that church runs on patterns delivered by God. He said that you do all things according to the patterns shown to you on the mountain. Moses went to the Lord, set a man over this congregation, not to the government.
“Government has no power to appoint people over churches. No power at all. In case you are not aware, this is a secular nation. Freedom of worship is part of our fundamental human rights in this country. This is a sinister, demonic attempt to stifle the church. The church is one of the greatest assets of this nation today. Please, be warned! I have that prophetic obligation wherever the gang-up may come from, be warned. Be warned.
“Judgment is closer than ever. Be warned. I have been still. God said, and I have long held my peace. But now will I rise as a travailing woman. Anybody that may have been bought with the money, whatever the thing it is, that is part of this deal, it is poison you're toiling with.
"The bad news for all of them is that it will not work. Amen. Halleluyah. This will never work. I'm waiting for a day where anybody by whatever name will appoint a trustee in this ministry.”