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CAMA: Olumakaiye, Akanbi doubt FG’s sincerity

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Rt. Rev. Humphrey Olumakaiye

Bishop of Lagos and Missioner, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Humphrey Olumakaiye, and the General Overseer, God’s Mercy Revival Ministries (GOMERM), Dr. James Akanbi have accused the Federal Government of having a hidden agenda against churches over the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 2020, recently signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.

They said churches are not against the government making laws, but the laws must be with all sincerity and without prejudice.

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Akanbi said CAMA is a confirmation and establishment of the suspicion, which the Church has long had about the government looking for means to cow the Church.

Speaking in Lagos, during the announcement of the official opening of the second session of the 34th Synod of the Diocese of Lagos, Olumakaiye said the protest against the implementation of CAMA could be premised on a lack of confidence in the country’s leaders.

He said churches and non-governmental organisations have registered under the law and so ought to abide by its regulations, but before the law was amended, stakeholders should have been consulted.

He further said the Church is not shying away from checks and balances, prudence and accountability, but the government is expected to trust and have confidence in its citizens, by acting decisively on the issue.

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Olumakaiye noted that should a Christian be asked to take over the affairs of a church under investigation, would the government know the appropriate person to appoint, adding that the Church is a spiritual entity and must abide by her principles in the appointment of her leaders without external interference.

Explaining that financial probity and accountability, which the law seeks to achieve isn’t bad, Akanbi said the way the government went about the matter shows it has an ulterior motive.

“The Federal Government has been extremely insincere. That’s the honest truth. And it has gone a long way to establish the suspicion, which the Church has against a government that it has a hidden agenda against the Church in Nigeria,” Akanbi said.

He added: “Nobody is against transparency or financial integrity, and the establishment of a governance procedure that will see to full transparency on financial matters. And nobody is fighting the fact of looking at the figures and giving advice where necessary. That’s certainly not the problem.

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“The main problem why the Church is shouting out and which it finds very offensive is the removal clause in Section 839 (1) and (2) of the law. Yes, there was some legal procedure put in the law before removal. But it is vague. And the fact stands that the church cannot trust the government in this regard.

“It appears that they are looking for a way to remove the heads. I would say they are hunting for some individuals. There are lots of Churches in Nigeria. They are looking for key leaders, just to be able to cow the Church of God,” Akanbi said.

The GOMERM General Overseer tasked fathers of faith in the country to stand up, seek an appointment with the President immediately and go to his office to drop their objections and vehement opposition to the law on his table.

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