By Sam Eyoboka & Olayinka Latona
LAGOS—GENERAL Overseer of The Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye, who will from today play host to millions of worshippers for this year’s Holy Ghost Congress, yesterday assured participants and other motorists on the busy Lagos-Ibadan Expressway of smooth, free-flow of traffic throughout the week long spiritual event scheduled for the church’s Redemption Camp.
Julius Berger, the construction company handling the rehabilitation of the expressway, has failed to deliver on its promise to complete work by November and ease the traffic gridlock on the road. Speaking in an interview yesterday, a coordinator of RCCG’s volunteer force, Team Nehemiah, Pastor Adeniji Adejumo, who spoke on behalf of the General Overseer, assured motorists that the construction firm had created a corridor for participants at the Holy Ghost Congress, which would lessen the pressure on the expressway.
“We thank God for the cooporation of Julius Berger and the pace at which they are working now. One, it graciously opened a bye pass on the long bridge so that even if there is traffic, motorists can still do a detour by OPIC and take that bye road to come out at Wawa and continue their journey to the Redemption Camp. That is good news for us, in addition to all the good job the Lagos State government is doing at Berger Bus Stop, via Oworonsoki, Alapere and all those adjoining areas.
“That place has also reduced the bottleneck that we used to have at those points. We are still having series of meetings with all the stakeholders that will ensure smooth motoring on the busy road especially for road users coming from Ibadan and other parts of the country to the camp. We are also creating openings for them to make u-turns and proceed to the camp without much pain,” he emphasised.
According to him, a combined team of Lagos State LASTMA, Federal Road Safety Corps, Police, a detachment of traffic officers from Ogun State Command had also assured the church to complement the efforts of the church’s volunteer force, Team Nehemiah to ensure free-flow of traffic of the expressway, stating that three towing vans, one heavy duty and two smaller ones, will be on patrol to tow away any broken down vehicle that may cause obstruction on the road.
He therefore urged all motorists to obey traffic instructions that are being put in place by traffic officials who will be on duty 24 hours throughout the duration of the Holy Ghost congress, advising motorists to also take advantage of the dry weather and use alternative roads epecially those from Ikorodu and other points because the two auditoriums of the church would be used for the Programme that is expected to attract participants from different parts of world.
It will be recalled that Julius Berger’s manager, West Division, Mr. Wolfgang Loesser assured the Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun that the highway particularly the 5km long bridge where major work was being executed, would be completed by November ending, explaining that the work on the bridge was complex due to the several stages of construction and the required diligence.
According to him, “But I also want to point out that there are many bottlenecks on the road; for example, the Ogun River base. So we are likely to experience the same problem there, where we will have several stages of traffic management.”
Pastor Adejumo also hinted on a novel traffic arrangement within the camp as all participants are expected to make use of the parking lots in the camp while some roads due to exigencies of the occasions may be rerouted for the convenience of motorists and other road users, noting “within the camp some roads will be made one way traffic.
He also warned commercial bus drivers against parking on the expressway and cause obstruction to other road users, saying that such parked vehicles would be towed away and would only be released upon the payment of certain fines.
Nevertheless, the General Overseer, Pastor Adeboye has assured participants at the occasion that God would reward their faith during the programme and their expectations would not be cut short. In his short welcome address, he thanked “the Almighty God for sparing our lives to see another Holy Ghost Congress, another opportunity to celebrate Jesus – the Calmer of Storms and the Great Restorer. I thank God for preserving your life and for making it possible for you to be part of this congress.
“The Lord will reward your faith and your expectations shall not be cut short in Jesus’ name!
“When God restores, what He gives back is always more than what is lost. When He speaks of Complete Restoration, it is far greater than what has been lost. And Hos word is Yeah and Amen! Your complete restoration is a settled matter. You are about to take back all that you have ever lost and more.
“Congratulations! But you have your own part to play. The Congress is a celebration of Jesus. It is a celebration, and yet, a serious affair. It is not a time for idle chatter or aimless roaming around the auditorium. It is a time to worship the Lord intensely, pay attention to His word, seek His face and pray with thanksgiving and a genuinely repentant and expectant heart.
“There will be time for personal petitions and intercessions for families, the body of Christ and the nations. Seize the opportunity of these six days of the congress to cry out unto the Lord. He assures us of speedy answers.
“The morning, afternoon and evening sessions are specially designed for you. Check the daily events sections for the details. It is a complete restoration. Divinely inspired messages await you at all the sessions. You shall not miss your blessings as you give God full attention at this Congress in Jesus’ name.
“It give me great joy to welcome you to this 19th edition of the Holy Ghost Congress. Welcome to the Congress of Complete Restoration,” Adeboye said.
Amenities around the Holy Ghost Arena and other parts of the Camp have also received a facelift for the comfort of worshippers and visitors with the provision of more modern toilets—mobile and fixed have been built. Water and electricity are adequately supplied all-year round.
According to this year’s programme this year’s spiritual fiesta will feature several gospel ministers from across the nation and overseas including the wife of the General Overseer, Pastor (Mrs) Folu Adeboye, presiding bishop of TREM, Bishop Mike Okonkwo, Pastor Stephen Rathod, President/founder of The Sword of The Spirit Ministries, Bishop Francis Wale Oke and other Christian leaders from across the world. Pastor Adeboye is expected to minister every evening.
There are only two events slated for today from 6.00 p.m. till midnight. They include Talk One titled: “Enter His Gates With Thanksgiving” and Talk Two titled: “In The Beginning.”
*Watch out for more incisive daily reports of events from tomorrow.