On March 2nd, 2022, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye, clocks 80 years. His life has been a blessing to members of the church, Christians as a whole, and humanity in general. While it is assumed that pastors live a flamboyant life on the offerings and donations of members of their church, the General Overseer has maintained a scandal-free life and ministry and has continued to be a blessing to his generation. Daddy G. O is a great philanthropist. Through His Love Foundation, the charity arm of the RCCG, the church spent about 18.4 billion on various charity programs across Nigeria in three years. Between 2018 and 2021, 130,753,857 people in about 43,000 operating centres across the country have been impacted.
In February, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, the Minister of State of the Federal Capital Territory, unveiled the Enoch and Folu Adeboye Dialysis Centre at the Wuse District Hospital in Abuja as part of effort to boost the healthcare delivery system in the capital city.
The centre has been equipped with eight dialysis machines, a medical water reverse osmosis purification system and a 30 KVA generator donated by the charity arm of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) as part of its Christian Social Responsibility (CSR) to address health challenges.
To also mark his 80th birthday, the revered pastor donated a dialysis centre to the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital, Bauchi. The centre has dialysis machines, a 30KVA generator, and a medical water reverse osmosis purification system, amongst others.
Adeboye, through the foundation, also donated a dialysis centre that was named Enoch and Folu Adeboye Dialysis Centre to the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital in Sagamu, Ogun State. The dialysis centre will have 3 units of dialysis machines, a medical water reserve
osmosis purification system, and a 30KVA generator. The donation to OOUTH came after a similar gesture, the Pastor Enoch and Pastor Folu Adeboye Intensive Care Centre was donated to the Redeemed health Centre in Mowe, Ogun State.
Prior to this, his foundation, in Lagos State, donated an Intensive Care Unit attached to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) Lagos in 2017. This was followed by the ICU in Jos Specialist Hospital, Plateau in 2018 and most recently in April 2021, The Akindayomi – Adeboye Intensive Care Center in Ondo State.
In 2010, the foundation had set up the Healing Stripes Cancer Screening Centre at Surulere. The centre has 12 Dialysis machines and offers highly subsidized dialysis to patients with most of the services rendered at the centre done free of any charge. It also donated a dialysis centre at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, Oyo State.
The foundation in 2019 gave a facelift to the Kirikiri Correctional Centre Referral Hospital, Kirikiri, Lagos, and upgraded it into a modern health facility for the benefit of the inmates in 2019. It also rehabilitated the Resettlement Community Primary Healthcare Centre, Ajah, Lagos.
The foundation is not only making impact in the health sector of the country, it is involved in feeding the poor, giving scholarships to indigent students and established centres for skills acquisition to equip the unemployed and make them a stakeholder in improving the socioeconomic space of the country. Aside this, the foundation also have 22 free food centres spread across Lagos state, the commercial hub of the country.
During the heat of the covid-19 pandemic in the country Pastor Adeboye donated medical supplies that included 200,000 hand gloves, 8,000 Hand Sanitizers, and 8,000 Surgical Face Masks and one ventilator as part of his support to the Lagos state government in equipping the medical staff with the necessary protective gears needed to contain the pandemic in the state.
Pastor Funsho Odesola, the Assistant General Overseer (Administration/Personnel) of the RCCG, who presented the medical supplies to the state government on behalf of Adeboye, said the church is in agreement with the government that combating COVID-19 is a work for all Nigerians and stakeholders.
Making the donation, Odesola said, “We feel that we should be part of the solution so, we put these together as part of global support in the fight against Coronavirus. In order for us also to join forces to fight this pandemic.”We have over 10 million congregants in Nigeria and within us as an organization, we have made arrangements to be able to give back to our members in various houses, to give them food, especially this time when majority are to stay home,” he said.
Aside from his philanthropic gestures, Pastor Enoch Adeboye is an ardent advocate for social justice. In 2020, while the country was faced with insecurity and wanton bloodshed, which in some quarters was believed to be targeted at Christians, Pastor Adeboye led members of the church from all over the country in a peaceful protest against the killings and general insecurity in the country. He led the protest from Ebute Metta through Atan Cemetery in Yaba and back.
Before embarking on the walk, Adeboye led the Church in praying for the peace and security of the country saying, “Lord, have mercy on Nigeria. Let there be peace and security in Nigeria. We pray that God send His light to Nigeria and expose the evildoers in the country.”
Apart from a call to the government to take decisive action on insecurity in the country, Adeboye said the prayer walk was aimed at “offering prayers and supplications unto God to save Nigeria from being consumed by insurgents, terrorists, bandits, kidnappers, armed robbers, militants and ritualists in all our states.”
He joined other members displayed placards which read, ‘No to further killings,’ ‘Federal and state governments should rise up to their civic responsibility,’ and ‘The security infrastructure in our nation should be overhauled,’ among others.
Pastor Adeboye brought to the fore, the call for restructuring of the country. He advised that the Nigerian government should come up with a homegrown system of government.
“Why can’t we have a system of government that will create what I will call the United States of Nigeria? Let me explain. We all know that we must restructure. It is either we restructure or we break, you don’t have to be a prophet to know that one. That is certain — restructure or we break up,” he said. In 2020 at the pick of the ENDSARS mass protest against police brutality in Nigeria, unarmed protesters were shot at the Lekki toll gate bythe security agents believed to be from the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigerian Army. The killing was condemned both within and outside the country. Pastor Adeboye did not sit on the fence. He joined other prominent Nigerians to condemn the attack. In a statement he released a day after the unfortunate event, Pastor Adeboye condemned in “strongest possible terms, attacks launched by the Nigerian military on unarmed young people, who have been peacefully protesting police brutality over the last 12 days as #EndSARS protests.
“I am confounded that prior to the sad events at the #LekkiTollGate, the Nigerian Police failed to arrest the weapon-bearing hoodlums who were attacking the well-organized and non-violent #EndSARS protesters.”
He charged the federal government to investigate the tragic event in Lekki and other parts of the country. He said the action of the military could drive the agitations of the young people underground which could make the situation unmanageable.
In June 2021, Twitter deleted a tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari, warning the southeast part of the country to behave or a repeat of the havoc during the civil war might repeat itself. The President twitted, “Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand.”
This did not go down well with theof the utterance of the president as hate speech and a threat to peaceful coexistence in the country. The same month, the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed announced that the operations of Twitter have been banned in the country. The government went as far as threatening to prosecute anyone that defied the ban.
To Pastor Adeboye, the move was a step and an infringement on the rights of citizens to free speech. He defied the government directive and twitted his stand and that of the Redeemed Christian Church of God. “The Redeemed Christian Church of God is domiciled in more than 170 Nations & Territories. The tweets here are in accordance to Article 19 of the UN universal declaration of Human Rights.
“Article 19 of the UN Universal Declaration on Human Rights reads: ‘Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers,’” he tweeted.
In December 2021, the omicron variant of the coronavirus was spreading fast across the globe. The federal government in its efforts to contain the spread of the variant announced additional protocols as Christians prepared for crossover night services. The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) also advised churches across the country to end their crossover services by 11pm. But Pastor Adeboye would not have any of this.
In a sermon titled ‘Divine Lifting’ during the 2021 First Sunday Service, at the Church headquarters in Lagos, expressed displeasure over the restrictions on worship places on December 31 by the federal and some state governments which made it impossible for various Christian denominations to hold the traditional vigil, called cross-over nights, to usher in the new year.
“The authorities in the government and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) said the cross over services should be held at different times. Some said we should close by 10pm while others said we should close by 11pm. I said we should agree and close in our homes because it is funny to me to cross over by 10pm on December 31. That means we are crossing over to 2020, God forbid. So, rather than cross over by 10pm or 11pm, I said we would stay in our houses and cross over at 12 midnight which will be a proper cross over.
“I found it funny because nobody has told us yet that Coronavirus attacks people at night. Nobody told us that Coronavirus is a witch because it is only witches who fly at night, and if the virus is a witch, then it means it can hear. If I am a witch and I hear that the people I want to kill would have run away to their houses by 12 midnight, then I would kill them by 11 or 10.
“But I’m telling you this so you won’t be afraid. There is fear in the air and fear is a killer. The way things are going, some people would die of hypertension just because they are afraid. When I say relax, I don’t mean you should be careless.”
“Obey the government by wearing your masks, washing your hands and observing social distancing as much as possible. In church, the ushers put a big stool between me and my wife, but I removed the stool because no one can put a distance between me and my wife. Social distancing wouldn’t stop me from laying hands on the sick so that they can recover, that’s my duty and I would continue to do it.
“There is nothing wrong in complying with the rules, as you can see I am also wearing the mask and washing my hands regularly because the government is trying to save us all and we have to comply at all cost.
“As a church, we have put all in place to make sure we comply with the government but as for me, I will not allow social distance to keep me from my wife and healing the sick by laying hands on them, it is my duty as a man of God.“God called me and said that Redeemed Christian Church of God is His church and He has vowed to protect His church. We are under the protection of God and there is no need to be afraid.
“We will survive this period. Ebola came, we survived, Coronavirus has come and we will survive as long as we keep on praising God.”
Pastor Adeboye is not one that would shy away from saying the truth no matter how controversial it may be. In 2016, Pastor Adeboye advised youths against marrying girls that are weak in prayers. As far as he is concerned, a girl must be able to pray non-stop for at least an
hour before being considered for marriage. He said members of his church should not marry lazy girls or those who cannot cook.
“Marry a prayer warrior! Any girl who cannot pray for one hour non-stop, don’t marry her. Don’t marry a girl who is lazy! You pay her family a surprise visit, and you see how she is doing… If she is lazy when she is single, what would happen if she is married?
“Don’t marry a girl who cannot cook, she needs to know how to do chores and cook because you cannot afford to be eating out all the time. Don’t marry a girl, who is worldly, if you do, you have carried what you will worship for the rest of your life.
“Don’t forget what I am telling you. It’s very important. There are those who I have advised before but ignored my advice. They later came back to me and said: ‘You warned us’. I am warning you now.”
Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye was born on 2nd of March, 1942 in Ifewara, Osun State. The renowned man of God came from a humbled background as his father was a peasant farmer. He had his education at the Ilesha Grammar School, Ilesha, Osun State. Thereafter, he gained admission into the University of Nigeria (UNN) Nsukka to study mathematics but, due to the Nigeria civil war, he couldn’t complete his education there.
He then proceeded to University of Ife (Now known as Obafemi Awolowo University) where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics in 1967. Thereafter, he went further to obtain a masters degree in hydrodynamics from the University of Lagos. Not only that, he holds a PhD degree in Applied Mathematics from University of Lagos. Also, Enoch Adeboye holds the position of professor in mathematics at the University of Lagos. He got married to Foluke Adenike in 1967 at the age of 25 and they are blessed with children who are doing great exploits for God.
Adeboye whose ambition was to become the youngest Vice Chancellor in Africa got surrendered his life to Christ in 1973 after he joined the RCCG. By 1977, he was ordained as a Pastor and he served as interpreter to Pastor Josiah Akindayomi, the founder of the church.
After the passing to glory of the founder, Adeboye became the General Overseer of the church. He took over the church with about forty parishes but forty years later, the church is spread all over the world with presence in not less than 198 countries.