David Oyedepo, presiding bishop of Living Faith Church Worldwide, has kicked against the application of the Company and Allied Matters Acts (CAMA) in churches.
President Muhammadu Buhari signed CAMA into law on August 7, 2020.
Under the law, religious bodies and charity organisations will be strictly regulated by the registrar-general of Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and a supervising minister.
CAMA provides that the commission may by order, suspend the trustees of an association or a religious body and appoint an interim manager or managers to coordinate its affairs where it reasonably believes that there has been any misconduct or mismanagement, or where the affairs of the association are being run fraudulently or where it is necessary or desirable for the purpose of public interest.
While addressing members of his congregation on Sunday, Oyedepo said such laws were borne of out the government’s jealousy about the prosperity recorded by the church.
Oyedepo questioned the rationality behind subjecting churches to the same laws as companies, describing the church as God’s heritage on earth.
“The church is God’s heritage on earth. Molest the wife of somebody and you will see the anger of that person. The church is the bride of Christ. You know how a strong man is when you tamper with his wife. The church is the body of Christ. We are under obligation to give warnings to wicked rulers so we could be free from their blood,” he said.
“The church works on the pattern delivered by God not the pattern of man. Government has no power to appoint people over churches or NGOs that sees to the affairs of the people. This is a secular nation. The church is the greatest asset of God in this country. Please be warned. Judgment is coming. The Lord says I have been still but now I will arise. Anybody that is in this deal is taking poison. This will never work. I am waiting for a day when anybody will appoint a trustee over this church my church… You can’t gag anybody. We own this country together.
“It is only in Africa that people who are over 80 years still run around to become president. I know that it is the prosperity of the church that is making them jealous rather than thinking on how to better the lives of Nigerians, but you keep putting your eyes on church and peoples sweat to rub them and overtax them. But I am going to live to see an army of many winners soar greater. In this church shall emerge one of the largest concentration of giants on earth.”