“Sharaap! Are you mad? So what business of mine is that? Now you see why I am not a Christian, and certainly cannot be your kind of mumu Christian. You are hungry and jobless and you are singing praises to Jesus that your bishop has gone to buy an aircraft for 4 billion naira! I am sorry for you. Please, get out of my sight.”
“Na bad belle dey worry you. Can’t you see the glory of God in that? A Gulfstream 4XP aircraft, whao, that’s a pleasure ride, man, I mean a pleasure fly. Our pastor is the first to buy that kind of aircraft and he didn’t even borrow a kobo to buy it. Cash down. I told you, our Redeemed Christian Church of God is the biggest and best church in the world, and buying this plane has just confirmed it, he has beaten others to it. We lead; others follow. Hallelujah!”
(Shaking his head) “Are you sure you’re well? So, tell me, where did your pastor get N4billion from? With that kind of money, do you know what industry he can set up to provide employment for thousands, the likes of you jobless graduates who throng his churches in droves seeking the “salvation” of a job? In a land full of poverty and deprivation, a “man of God” goes ahead collecting monies from the poor and rich, promising them the kingdom of God, and going ahead to buy such luxury aircraft. Psshhh!”
“What you fail to know in your ignorance is that that money is not just our collections, not just our tithes and offerings, it is the blessing of God. How is it possible to collect N4billion just like that if God did not bless it? It is like the miracle of the five fish and two loaves with which Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour fed five thousand people. These things are not possible except through God. Look at all the wonders that are happening to us, look at the size of our churches, look at our university, everything. And we can still buy a N4billion aircraft and you think that is done by man? You are ignorant. May God open your eyes and let you see His wonders.”
“O, I see! You guys collected N4,000 and your pastor performed Jesus miracle, prayed on it and it turned to N4billion! I wonder where is the taxman. About time religion stops being the excuse for not paying taxes. I am ignorant, ehn? Well, I would rather remain so than belong to your “enlightened” group.”
“So, what’s your gripe, anyway? What’s an ordinary N4billion aircraft when even smaller boys own bigger planes in America, and even here in Nigeria? After all, Bishop Oyedepo of Winners Chapel, also has an aircraft. But ours has beaten his own.”
“So, it’s a case of ‘my Mercedes is bigger than yours’? Hehehe.”
“Stay there. If only you know how busy our pastor is and the magnitude of the evangelism he can achieve by being able to fly all over the world at short notice and convert people and expand our size, then you wouldn’t be saying the nonsense you are saying. With that plane, now you have to know that no matter the money you bring to God through our church, you know our pastor is bigger than that. You bow.”
“Hmmmmm, I see. But tell me, when will you get a job, now that your bishop has bought this plane?”
“Leave that alone. What you don’t know is that in the same way that God has been faithful to Bishop Adeboye and granted him his wish for this plane, so will He be faithful to the rest of us and grant our wishes. Even with this plane, how do you know it wouldn’t be a means for our bishop to be able to carry our supplications to God in heaven faster?”
“O, I see. You must be right. The plane flies in the sky, and heaven is in the sky, sebi? So your pastor will literally fly in his new plane to take your supplications to God? O pari o!”
“The fool says in his heart, there is no God. Please stop being a fool. I want you in paradise with me.”
“I pass. Your pastor should be enough company there.”
“So, what about the N100 I asked for? I’m really hungry, man.”
“N100? Hundred naira ko, hundred kobo ni. Adeboye no dey there?”
Conversation on Agagu
A Mr Abisoye Fowora (Agagu?), in his reaction to my last week’s column on the ousted governor of Ondo State, Dr Olusegun Agagu, engaged me on what he sees as Agagu’s “glorious” performance which has been overlooked by “ignorant” folks like me.
Here is excerpt of our exchange. Enjoy:
Dear Mr Fagbenle
I’m glad you took the time to respond to my email, it means a great deal to me.
The EFCC has long been proven to be a political tool but notwithstanding that I’m very opportune to know that the first petition written to EFCC against Dr Agagu is from a former friend who was begrudged because he was unable to loot during his friend’s administration. It was written in 2005, and he has written several including a recent one on the 2nd of March 2008.
You see Yoruba people have a saying that “Oju lo pe si” which translates that we are impatient as humans. That is the case in Ondo state. Five, ten years from now, the people of Ondo State will be living the sort of lives that people in other states can only dream about. Most of the projects are long-term projects for the sustainable development in Ondo state.
It would be a shame if your friends and family didn’t tell you about the:
-1,200km of roads tarred in 5years, a feat that cannot be boasted of in another state in the country.
-Several bridges built in the riverine areas that give access to people who didn’t have access before, two bridges over Oluwa river, Alape bridge to name a few.
-The 870 school blocks that are fully equipped with biology, physics, maths and computer labs.
-The moribound industries that have been given a new breath of life, Okitipupa Oil palm, Owena mass transit, Owena Motels, Araromi Oil Palm, Ondo State Asphalt Company, Ile Oluji Cocoa Company, to name a few.
-The fact that all 203 wards now have primary health care centres, all local governments have a general hospitals and comprehensive health care centres.
-That access to water has jumped from 4% to 54% in the last five years.
These are just a few, I could go on and on and these are projects that can be seen with the naked eye. I would implore you to do your research if you are in doubt of these facts I’ve stated. Visit the website: www.ondostategovernment.com.
I implore you to visit Ondo State now before the new administration resumes active service, so it can’t be said that these things are new developments.
I also disagree with the fact that you say the people of Ondo State rejected Dr Agagu,. You never went to Ondo, so you have no real idea what the people of Ondo are saying. All you based your reasoning on is propaganda. And you as the media perpetuate that propaganda or will you deny that?
Again, I remind you that Dr Agagu is not an island, he has children, family, friends and associates whom this propaganda is affecting. Report facts not rumours and agendas.
There is one last thing I wish to beg of you, if it turns out that Dr Agagu is absolved of guilt by the EFCC, I want you to promise that you will publish another article reflecting the truth and the true picture of events. I’m not asking you to lie but tell the truth, which I know is not in the character of your industry. But I know only one person can make a difference.