If the internet (Twitter in particular) is anything to go by, the year has been a long, joyless and “banter-full” year for Pastor Enoch Adeboye, the General Overseer worldwide of The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG). Ever since a tweet that went viral late last year during the Annual Congress of the church, Pastor Adeboye has been in a roller coaster of strikes on the media.
Remember this tweet?
— RCCG (@rccghq) December 9, 2017
As expected, the internet jumped on it – it was on as many news, gossip, and lifestyle blogs as you can think of. And in no time, Pastor Adeboye was trending for “hate speech”.
That was just December 2017 and probably the first time Pastor Adeboye was being dragged for such a cause.
5 editions of the monthly Holy Ghost Service organised by The Redeemed Christian Church of God has passed and Pastor Adeboye is still making news rounds (for almost the same thing). The backlash on the December 2017 tweet did little or nothing to change Pastor Adeboye’s regular schedule of prayers which have surprisingly taken a warfare-ish turn. If anything, the fury only intensified his efforts on making us believe that he isn’t here to please us. However, from the flux of comments on social media, many of his followers are no longer having it. And in his usual fashion, Pastor Adeboye has ignored the media outrage and, like I will love to think, focused on his work as a pastor.
So, let’s just say we now have three problems at hand. The prayer points have refused to be eliminated from the list of prayers at the monthly Holy Ghost Service, The outrage keeps getting fueled month in, month out and somehow, Pastor Adeboye has managed to ignore the naysayers probably hoping that in due time, fatigue will set in and they will all move on.
So the cycle keeps going on and on and on.
I was going through my Twitter timeline recently when I stumbled on a tweet from a friend advising Pastor Adeboye to hire a new communications team to handle his profile and help with crisis management. Because it’s a theory I had put forward in a previous article, albeit in another context, my eyes lit up.
Someone was beginning to see things in my perspective and I wondered why no one had thought of this as the solution to the constant online outrage against the “Man Of God”. However, since you don’t solve a problem by merely concealing it, the solution remains exactly what it is – lazy and it didn’t take long for me to discover that.
The social media team exists for the sole purpose of amplifying the voice of the church, the preachers and the messages preached. Hence, the tweets are nothing but excerpts of his message and prayer points raised by him at events and it will only take a little while before the centre of the outrage moves from tweets to video clips.
Pastor Adeboye doesn’t need someone to help conceal the hate for enemies but one who would help him understand and address the age-long Nigerian Christianity brandished with fear, evil and destruction rather than love.
On whether the recent “enemies-should-die” statements are right or wrong, that’s another post for another day.
Bolu Akindele is a freelance writer and journalist whose work covers religion, human interest stories and development across Nigeria and increasingly, West Africa.