Amidst rising criticisms of the government and controversies trailing the signing into law of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), the co-lead pastor of The Elevation Church, Godman Akinlabi, has urged the church to be steadfast in its role as the conscience of the nation.
Speaking to journalists at a recent virtual press conference organised to mark the 10th anniversary of The Elevation Church, the charismatic and humble church leader responded to questions on criticisms of the amended CAMA 2020 law by some Christian leaders in Nigeria.
The newly enacted Act introduces measures to ensure efficiency in the registration and regulation of corporate vehicles, reduce the compliance burden of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), enhance transparency and stakeholders’ engagement in corporate vehicles and, overall, promote a more friendly business climate.
However there are certain aspects of the policy that have caused agitation amongst members of the clergy because it empowers government, through its regulatory agencies, to change the leadership and trustees of the church and take over the management of the church in the event of investigated financial irregularities and other infractions. Some Christian leaders have questioned the inclusion of religious centres and charity organisations in the policy.
According to Akinlabi, the most important thing about the policy is the motive of the government. “If the motive is to hold the church accountable and responsible, then it is good, as we have always advocated for self-regulation. However, if there is any untoward ulterior motive with the policy, whether it is to stifle the church or go after vocal clergy who are frontal in highlighting areas of national improvement, then that would be wrong and not a demonstration of good leadership.”
“New laws are often fraught with interpretation issues and it is only natural for stakeholders to seek clarity over grey areas. It is also not unusual for laws to attract serious controversies off the blocks, as the governed point out gaps that may potentially erode the sanctity of such laws. It is the responsibility of a sensitive government to listen and then make any necessary amendments to uphold fairness.” He added.
Akinlabi further said the role of the church is to act as the conscience of the government and the voice of the people as a collaborator for good governance. “My conscience gently nudges me in the right direction. As it does not strangle but does its work in a manner that steers in the right direction, so should the Church in any nation”, he concluded.
Meanwhile, The Elevation Church has announced a series of interesting events lined up for the celebration of its 10th year anniversary as it marks a decade of phenomenal growth. Top Christian artists including BJ Sax, Sola Allyson, DJ Horphuray, and Debo Worship are expected to headline the church’s special 10 hours of non-stop praise holding on Saturday October 10, 2020 from 7am to 5pm, while renowned minsters such as Rev. Sam Adeyemi, Dr. Mensa Otabil, and Pastor Taiwo Odukoya are expected to grace her Physical celebratory services across all expressions on Sunday, October 11, 2020.
Also, as part of a line-up of programmes, the women’s ministry of the church will host its annual conference, Made for More on Saturday 24th & Sunday 25th October, with the theme ‘Yearning for More’. Speaking at the conference will be Pastor Nike Adeyemi, Debola Deji-Kurunmi and TEC’s Co-Lead Pastor, Bola Akinlabi.
In November, the men’s ministry will also host the annual Men of Honour conference while a 10th anniversary symposium will hold in January 2021.