The General Superintendent, GS, of the Assemblies of God Nigeria, Rev. Prof. Paul Emeka, yesterday described the purported endorsement of Rev. Dr. Chidi Okorafor by the World Assemblies of God Fellowship (WAGF) as an exercise in futility.
The media has been awash with reports that the WAGF, through its current chairman, Mr. George Woods, endorsed Okoroafor as the substantive GS of the Assemblies of God, Nigeria.
However, Emeka, who addressed journalists at the church’s secretariat in Enugu said such endorsement existed only in Okoroafor’s imagination and was merely meant to deceive members of the public.
He said apart from the fact that the WAGF lacked the legislative powers to interfere in the affairs of a member national church, the group had also not met and also couldn’t had taken a decision to endorse anybody.
He maintained that the WAGF “has no power to impose on the national church any leader; in case of any split resulting from a crisis, WAGF can only apply to be allowed to come and reconcile the parties but cannot force itself on the two parties; also it cannot arbitrarily endorse one and reject the other without listening to both of them.”
He added that “the regional counterpart of the WAGF is called African Assemblies of God Alliance (AAGA). I am an executive member of WAGF and Vice Chairman of AAGA.
“Last year and this year respectively, I asked these two bodies to intervene in the crisis rocking the Assemblies of God, Nigeria, but they told me that by their policy and constitutional provisions, they would not be able to intervene except in prayers.
“The meaning of the above is that no foreign body or organization has right to impose a decision on the Church.”
While maintaining that the purported endorsement could have been a personal congratulatory message from Woods, which emanated after Okoroafor had allegedly lied, Emeka said “this shows that it was Chidi who went and lied to Gorge Wood that he had been elected the GS of the Church.
“Chidi did not mention that there was any crisis in Nigeria and that they had suspended, excommunicated and disfellowshipped me. There is nothing like endorsement, for that would mean that Wood was forming an opinion about the crisis on behalf of WAGF, which has never sat to discuss this crisis.
“The letter said nothing about the crisis; it said nothing about excommunication; it only speaks of congratulations. This letter is full of serious grammatical errors and faulty mechanical accuracies, not deserving to be called a letter from George Wood. Therefore, the letter is a suspect.”
He urged all institutions, agencies, denominations and church leaders “to rise and condemn what Chidi Okoroafor is doing; otherwise, we are encouraging deputies to overthrow their bosses, be it in the church or in secular set-ups.
“If his conscience is pricking him and condemning him for usurpation, let him repent, seek forgiveness, instead of going about trying to accumulate more endorsements from church leaders to mitigate the pains and pangs of guilty conscience.”
Emeka further called on members of the church and the general public to disregard the said endorsement, which was nothing but deception.