By Sam Eyoboka
THURSDAY, May 9,2013 was the day Christian Elders Forum of 19 Northern States, NOSCEF, gathered together at the National Christian Centre, Abuja to honour the National President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Pastor Ayodele Joseph Oritsejafor.
Oritsejafor, a dynamic preacher, pastor, evangelist, teacher, prophet, apostle and Author, with a unique anointing of God, received an award of ‘A True Servant of God’ for his unrelenting stance on the Jamâ’a Ahl al-sunnah li-da’wa wa al-jihâd, better known by its Hausa name Boko Haram.
According to the chairman of the group, Evangelist Matthew Owojaiye said the CAN president received an overwhelming endorsement of the body for being the voice of the voiceless minorities of the North, and who now appreciate that since the Boko Haram insurgency started in the North, he has been speaking on behalf of the victims, Northern Christians who had been killed, maimed, rendered homeless and driven into submission with their places of worship and businesses torched.
He opined that while many others are quiet over the plight of Northern Christians who have lost every right to worship their Maker, the Lion of Africa, by various actions, has shown that he is a true man of God, a true shepherd who is willing to lay down his life for the people. The regional group, he added, decided to present the award to him for being “a true servant of God” and his commitment and dedication in defence of the cause of Christ in Nigeria.
The founder/Senior Pastor of Word of Life Bible Church, Warri, Delta State, who was miraculously delivered during a crusade by God in 1972, became the National President of the 20-year old Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN, on February 7, 2005.
The committed reformist immediately set a 4-point agenda for his team among others: To reposition PFN in membership drive, engender participatory policy and open up the PFN administrative organs via improved corporate leadership; To make PFN a voice for the Church and the common man, through a proactive involvement in the pro-grammes of the Christian Association of Nigeria both at the States and national levels; To step up our focus on the church in the North for empowerment and encouragement; and To give PFN an administrative facelift, via the construction of a befitting National Secretariat, for the Fellow-ship before the end of our tenure.
At the end of his 8-year tenure at the PFN, he said at the recently concluded Uyo biennial conference of the Fellowship: “At the commencement of our first term in office, which coincid-ed with the 20th anniversary of PFN, the then Governor of Lagos State, Senator Bola Tinubu, made a pledge of a befitting land gift to our Fellowship, to enable us to build our National Secretar-iat. Up till now, the govern-ment of Lagos has not fulfilled its promise to this august Body of Christ.
”But in order not to let God and our goal down, we had taken a step further to acquire our own land in Isolo, very close to our pre-sent office in CPM, to build a five-floor edifice as National Secretariat of the PFN. By the special grace of God, that building will be commissioned soon….,” he stated, adding that it was originally scheduled for commissioning last October but the contractor failed to deliver.
He went on to thank Pastor Paul Adefarasin, chairman of the Building Committee, “for driving the vision with such a passion for giving excellence and direction, with his team of consultants, whose contributions I also commend most heartily. The project would have been a wishful dream, but for the matching sowing of our leaders from across Nigeria.
I thank you all. Finally on this note, I am sure history will never forget Rev. (Dr.) Ezekiel, his amiable wife and CPM, for accommoda-ting the PFN Secretariat free of charge since February 1997 till when PFN Office will eventually move to their new edifices.”
After the pleasantries, he presented his balance sheet. According to him, “we generated a total of N602,115,957.16 in cash, and of which we have spent a total of N475,960,259.77.
“To the glory of God, we are living behind;
1) Current Accounts N53,308,746.55
2) Fixed Deposit N105,275,292.95, N158,584,039.50
US Dollars $8,807.50
British Pounds 149.6
And also, 69,726 units, Ordinary shares of 50k in FBN, bearing in mind all the expenses on the National Secretariat which is now over 90 per cent completion. These, among others, are how far we have been able to drive the vision and the project PFN, not for self acclamation, but chiefly to the Glory of God and posterity.”
He acknowledged that PFN leadership is personality-driven thereby making the leadership to be so tasking financially and time consuming, in vision actualization. He therefore drew the attention of the National Advisory Council and the National Executive Council to the need to draw a structure that will be well enduring and self sustain-ing for a good future of the Fellowship.
Presently, as it is, since the Leadership responsibility is so expen-sive to run (from the Leaders’ personal purse), it may inadvertently preclude some category of Ministries from ever producing a category of Officers in the PFN, irrespective of their dexterity, grace and stake-holding in the Fellowship. To effectively do this, there is therefore the need to build the PFN on an enduring structure, which urgently will require a constitutional review.”
In July 2010, Oritsejafor was elected as the National President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, the apex body of all Christians in the country thereby becoming the first Pentecostal leader to hold the position. Apart from taking the gospel to every continent of the world, having organised con-ferences around the globe, he had touched several lives through his annual empowerment progra-mme where he gives out brand new cars, tricycles, grinding machines etc to the poor in the society.
These kind gestures have been replicated in different parts of the country especially the North where Christians had remained the target of violent religious attacks. He and his beloved wife, Mama Helen Oritsejafor have also given out several scholar-ships to indigent students from different parts of the country and given hope to many hopeless citizens of the country.
For this and many others, the Christian Elders Forum of Northern States, NOSCEF selected him for the honour in recognition of his noble contributions to the growth of the Church in Nigeria.