Time to fight terrorism is now, CAC President tells Tinubu


CAC President, Pastor S.O. Oladele

Amidst the spate of insecurity, kidnapping and abduction of people by terrorists and other outlaws, a voice from the pulpit has cried out for decisive action by those at the helm of affairs in Nigeria to prove to the world that they have the will to combat the menace. The first steps to take, according to PASTOR SAMUEL OLUSEGUN OLADELE, the President of Christ Apostolic Church, Nigeria and Overseas, is to name and shame confirmed terrorists, their sponsors and their accomplices.

He believes that it is possible to win the fight against terrorism if there is a will to do so without minding whose ox is gored. Pastor Oladele spoke to a consortium of Media men and women on variety of issues as the Church, CHRIST APOSTOLIC CHURCH prepared for this year’s General Council which begins at Ikeji Arakeji today Tuesday, March 19, 2024.

He also answered questions on various matters, including the conflict in the Church, the hardship being faced by Nigerians as well as the calls for restructuring of the nation.


What can you say on the spate of kidnapping in the country today? About 287 students were kidnapped at a school in Kaduna and few days later some 61 other students were kidnapped in another school in the same state. What is your view Sir?

It is rather unfortunate that the nation finds herself where she is today. It is no longer a question of how we got here but why we have chosen to remain here in spite of the possibilities that we have to get better? We had thought that with a new leadership we would heave a sigh of relief – especially as it relates to security of lives and properties as well as socio-economic development. Alas, reverse seems to be the case. Whether we like it or not everything rises and falls on leadership. The menace of terrorism and banditry can be combated if the President truly has the will to do so. There had been news of some foreign powers who were willing to assist us in the past but were frustrated. I ask ‘why’? It is a known fact that nations combat such evils through collaborative efforts, hence, there is no reason why ours should be different. However, it is looking as if there are fifth columnists whose agenda is at variance with that of the current administration. Hence, I am of the opinion that there is a need for a re-jig of the security architecture without minding whose ox is gored.

The fact that some people are offering to negotiate with bandits and suggesting that ransom be paid for the release of kidnapped persons is a clear pointer to the fact that terrorism and banditry have a face and can be combated decisively if this administration decides to do so.


Some people have said that this started when Dr. Goodluck Jonathan was in power, because some people wanted him out of power by all means. Do you support this conspiracy theory?

Well, you cannot rule that out because some issues are more complex than we usually assume them to be. However, the fact that the problem has continued unabated is a proof that some people, who gain unjustly from the conflict, do not want it to end.


There are vociferous calls for Nigeria to be restructured. What is your view about this?

There is no doubt that the existing structure is defective and may not bring about the desired peace and stability. In the past we had Regional Governance structure which allowed each region to develop at its own pace based on resources derivable there from. We need to revisit that arrangement. A structure which deprives host communities from deriving adequate benefits from resources in their domain while others who are far-flung do, is unjust, unfair and inequitable. In similar vein, the centralization of policing and other essential services is a major cause of their inefficient outcomes. It is quite laughable that the Commissioner of Police in a state is not obliged to take orders from the Governor who is supposed to be Chief Security Officer of that state. Furthermore, the fact that same Commissioner of Police is unable to take any decisive security decision until s/he receives orders from Abuja constitutes a form of bottleneck which I consider unnecessary. Things cannot continue like this.

We claim to pattern our democracy after the presidential system of the United States of America but in America you have the National Police, State Police, Local Police, and the Sheriff among other security outfits. We need to stop deceiving ourselves and be realistic. The call for re-structuring of Nigeria is well placed and overdue.


Some are even suggesting that we go the whole hog of going back to parliamentary system, do you share this viewpoint?

The presidential system, which we practice is about the most expensive systems of government in the world. However, the system may not be the problem, but those who operate it and how they do it. Whether parliamentary or the presidential system of governance, if the operators do not mean well for the country, then nothing good may be achieved. After all, we started with the Parliamentary system of government in the early sixties but made nonsense of it eventually. The first change that must happen is in our hearts, our mindset. Without a change of heart, it does not matter what kind of system we run, the same thing would be happening.


What immediate solution would you suggest for the incessant cases of kidnapping?

There must be a will to combat the menace of kidnapping, banditry, terrorism and corruption in all forms. Government must show that it is willing to do the needful, no matter whose ox is gored. When I say Government, I mean Government at the Federal, State and Local level; the Executive, Legislature as well as the Judiciary. If they are willing then we shall begin to see positive outcome.

Sometimes ago, a list of the names of persons who are purported to be sponsors of terrorists and bandits was said to have been found but nothing else was heard about it. Nobody was prosecuted, nobody had been jailed. It shows lack of will on the part of Government. There is need to arrest some people who are found to encourage banditry, terrorism, kidnapping anyway and prosecute them accordingly. To serve as deterrent, those who are convicted must be made to serve their jail terms without pardon. They should be exposed to let the whole world know the powers behind all the evils going on in our country. Once they are exposed, others would want to behave. Nobody likes to be named and shamed.


Recently, a pastor was observed to be parading himself as President of CAC, Nigeria and Overseas. What is your reaction to such act of impersonation?

Well, I believe the said impersonator should know the implications of his act(s) of impersonation. The Church has had her fair share of litigation since the inception of the crisis in 1990. Whereas, most of the legal pronouncements have been in our favour, we have refrained from using the favourable pronouncement adversely. Rather, we extended ‘the olive branch’ to our brethren on the other side of the divide and subsequently we have done everything humanly possible to resolve the issues surrounding the CAC crisis amicably as brethren. However, it is becoming clear that some people are not interested in ending the crisis because they seem to be reaping some benefits from it. Hence, their continued recalcitrance and provocative actions. The fact that we are registered under the Companies and Allied Matters Act of 2021 as Christ Apostolic Church, Nigeria is incontestable. We remain an indivisible legal entity and our President is Pastor Samuel Olusegun Oladele. There is an established path of succession in Christ Apostolic Church, right from the very first President of the Church, Pastor (Oba) Isaac BabalolaAkinyele up to my humble self, which remains unbroken to date. Also, it is a known fact that you cannot have two organizations register exactly with the same name and there cannot be two heads in the same organization which is duly registered as a legal entity. When we saw their resolve not to accept the Olive branch which we offered them, we made it clear that we are not interested in fanning the embers of the crisis. Therefore, we advised them to go and register their own faction in whatever name they choose to bear while we shall remain as Christ Apostolic Church, Nigeria and Overseas. It is therefore laughable that someone would continue to parade himself under a name which he does not belong to. I believe that there are brethren who are learned and who should guide them accordingly.


We are aware that a law court of competent jurisdiction had ruled that there is nothing like ‘Supreme Council’ as it relates to the affairs of Christ Apostolic Church, yet some of these people still parade themselves ostensibly under an entity that has ceased to exist in the eye of the law…

I believe that the law will take care of that.


What is General Council all about? What is the essence of it sir?

The General Council is the highest consultative body of the Church. It is like the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of an organization. Every year, we come together to receive reports from every department and units of the Church on Evangelism, Missions, Administration, Finance etc. Also, questions will be taken as well as comments and suggestions by stakeholders. The
General Council offers us the opportunity to review our corporate performance in the past year with a view to improve in the coming year. We also use the opportunity to encourage the Church to remain steadfast and faithful to the Lord as well as to be responsible citizen of the country.


Who are those qualified to be at the meeting?

The meeting is meant for stakeholders’ representatives of the Church in Nigeria and Overseas. Three delegates from each district of the Church are expected to attend the General Council.


Then Sir, the Church had the last ordination of Pastors in the year 2020. When will the next ordination of Pastors hold because there are so many evangelists willing to be ordained pastors?

Ordination of Pastors is meant to be done on needs basis, not because people clamour for it. There are many evangelists who wish to become pastors but they cannot force us to ordain them. One of the three-point vision which we enunciated when we came on board is, ‘Human Capital Development’. We consider it very important to train our personnels, ordained pastors inclusive, in order to put them in good shape for the realities of our time in life and ministry. This we embarked upon with the Pastors’ Leadership Retreat (PLR) Programme, which is a training programme for all our senior officers including Regional Superintendents, DCC and Zonal Superintendents, District Superintendents, heads of our fellowships and departments as well as subsidiaries. So far, we have trained about two thousand of our ordained pastors. However, we have over twelve thousand ordained pastors hence you can see that we still have a long way to go in that regard. We want to achieve appreciable milestone in training and retraining those who are already ordained before embarking on another round of mass ordination exercise.


What will you advise members of Christ Apostolic Church to do in this time of famine or high cost of living?

As the saying goes, ‘tough times do not last, only tough people do.’ I will advise members of CAC to keep our eyes upon God, continue to pray, play our civic roles as responsible citizens but also keep asking for good governance. We must be resolute in the face of difficulties and remain steadfast. Remember that what awaits us, if we remain steadfast to the end, is more glorious than all the afflictions that we may be passing through now. We must not lower the standard of faith because of the challenges that pervade the atmosphere. There is still a bright future ahead. For every Christian, there is always a bright future. The songwriter says “Because He lives, I can face tomorrow”. By faith we look forward to a bright future. Even if we live in opulence and affluence today, it seems nothing compared to what glory awaits us in the future. We have a hope in the coming kingdom where afflictions and sorrows shall be a thing of the past. We shall reign with Christ forever more.

To the affluent ones among us, please do not keep the blessings of the Lord to yourself; make people happy, wipe tears off the faces of people. Make them smile, bless people, give, comfort.Whatever blessings or substance the Lord gives you, if it is money, bless others. We are not blessed just to keep it to ourselves; we are not to be reservoirs of anything the Lord gives us, but channels through which it flows to others. Remember those who are less privileged who are in need. God bless you.



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