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Nigeria has some of the richest pastors worldwide “yet our people are getting poorer” – Femi Falana

BellaNaija.com

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Senior Advocate of Nigeria Femi Falana has in a talk discussed issues plaguing the country, from religious fundamentalism to corruption.

Falana described Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose as a “Nigerian Trump” who dabbles in stomach infrastructure, “stealing all the money but giving people just some … tokenism.”

He also expressed worry over the lack of candidates for the 2019 elections, saying: “It is either Buhari or Atiku, we are in trouble.”

On religion, Falana expressed worry over the state of churches in the country, commenting that although Nigeria had “9 or 10” pastors on the Forbes’ richest list, Nigerians are getting poorer.

He also compared churches today to when he was little, discussing attending mission schools built by the Catholic and Anglican churches. “What are we building now? What are our churches giving us?” he asked.

Watch him speak below:

23 Comments

  1. OJB

    November 13, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    OGA WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO HELP THE POOR AROUND YOU. STOP ALL THIS TALK AND THINK OF WHAT YOU SHOULD DO TO HELP PEOPLE AROUND YOU. THIS LIFE IS PERSONAL AND BESIDES THE COUNTLESS CONTRIBUTIONS CHURCHES HAVE MADE TO THIS COUNTRY CANNOT BE MEASURED. STOP FINDING FAULT AND TALK YOUR OWN. HELPING OTHERS IS EVERY ONES RESPONSIBILITY .NO MATTER YOUR LEVEL START FROM SOMEWHERE .GOD BLESS US ALL

    • Tony

      November 13, 2017 at 2:52 pm

      Pls enlighten many of us on these countless contributions. With the thousands of churches in African countries if these contributions were visible in terms of helping empower people towards hardwork, community building, responsibility, accountability, anti corruption groups and sensitization on collectivism things would improve to a good degree. This is because church goers some of whom are the most corrupt and non accountable individuals wld take responsibility. While the church isn’t the sole solution towards a better Africa it can play a huge role if only preaching does not centre around sowing, material miracles, witches and wizards.

      Africa is plagued with bad governance and a very docile population that has refused to use God given intelligence and resources but choose to be treated like sheep either by politicians or religious leaders. Many of us listen to what pastor said than what God tells us each day. We need to know that life is a miracle and I don’t need a G Wagon to know that God loves me.
      If everyone works to improve a single thing each that positively impacts our society. It wld be a better place instead we don’t practice love but pretend 24/7.

    • Mawi

      November 13, 2017 at 3:28 pm

      And how do you know he isn’t contributing? You people are funny walahi. When someone speaks up to say the obvious truth, u attack them and still wonder why ur nation is backward. I ask again, how do u know he isn’t contributing/doing his own part already???
      If u think what he is saying is unfounded, use ur brain please. A Shitload of poor Nigerians belong to at least one of these ‘mega’ churches on the forbes list. So ask urself, why are they still poor? Worse yet, why are they getting poorer when their.own churches are getting richer?
      In the Bible, the early church, members sold their stuff and gathered the monies to share with the less privileged so that none amongst them lacked. That is the job of the church! To spread the Gospel and help humanity!! But oh I forgot, most churches today are simply business ventures.

      Someone rightly said, “If the church needs money, it seeks its members. If the members need same, the church tells them to seek God” So apt.

  2. jess

    November 13, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    Most Pastors are thieves and fraudsters we all know that except the few brainwashed. your Pastor uses your money to build schools you cannot afford to send your kids to, a pastor said private jet is a need not a luxury yet you can’t afford three square meals for your kids ? there is no news in what Falana now.

    How can we get better candidates than the people mentioned above when the nation’s top thieves are calling the shots in almost all political parties.

  3. Maxie

    November 13, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    Our politicians are milking us dry. Leave pastors alone!! Lets face the real problem.

  4. Netizen

    November 13, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    I have seen some ignorant comments say we have no right to demand what churches use our tithes and offerings for, it’s between them and God blah blah blah. So let me educate those people. See, the state sees churches as NGOs and that is why they’re exempted from taxes. So if you’re not going to do charities or contribute significantly (and I’m not referring to those Easter & Christmas packages you all do) to the society that has given you this privilege, then you pay taxes, SIMPLE!! You earn, you pay just like the rest of us. When it was suggested that churches should start paying taxes to the government, I was one of those who opposed it. Now I’m beginning to have a rethink. For the number of churches we have in Nigeria, unless you love lying to yourself, you would agree with me that we should be seeing more visible impacts in our society than we do now. I can’t believe that NCCF actually makes more impact than some of these big churches.

    The Malachi 3:10 you all like to quote clearly states ”Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this, says the LORD Almighty, and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” and there was no curse attached to this.

    ”That there may be food in my house” for who exactly? The priests, the levites, the POOR. But in today’s Nigeria, the food stops at the first. A lot of Christians are scared to talk even though they know something is wrong because they’re scared they’ll sin against the Holy Spirit. Ask yourselves what Jesus will do if he were here. Will he keep mute seeing others hungry while those who believers have entrusted their tithes and offerings to live a jet life? This selfishness needs to stop. What is not good is not good! Let’s tell ourselves the truth.

    I still believe in tithing, not because I am scared of curses, but because it is the realistic thing to do. Churches need funds to run. However, I won’t sit back and watch these churches mismanage the funds that are meant for the larger society. Yes, the society is entitled to the funds because it is the society that gave the tax reliefs. Live with it.

    • Mawi

      November 13, 2017 at 6:33 pm

      Thank you!

  5. Fela

    November 13, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    One politician is “empowering” mai tea with 208 million Naira of tax payers money and you are talking about pastors and what they do with tithes and offerings. The church is always the easiest target but our politicians and what they do with our common wealth are always excused.

  6. Honestina

    November 13, 2017 at 3:58 pm

    Nigeria has the richest pastors as well as richest politicians. Leave the pastors alone cos they never held a gun to anyone’s head. Politician are the ones in charge of people’s future and yet raping the nation dry.
    Giving Offertory and tithe is a choice, paying Tax is mandatory. Focus your energies to the politicians and leave church goers alone to “waste ” their money.

    • Dr N

      November 13, 2017 at 4:11 pm

      do you really pay tax????

    • Honestina

      November 13, 2017 at 5:17 pm

      @N, more than tithe and offertory

    • Tony

      November 13, 2017 at 5:34 pm

      The exact mentality that keeps a continent of 54 nations backward. Ignoring parts of the problem & trying to focus on others. Accountability is just a word and church should do whatever they want. How laughable. Same politicians use the tax payers money to give massive donations in these churches many of which are led by politics than faith. So many people are ignorant and have been bombarded with selective parts of the Bible and curses that may fall on them if they don’t give. This mental twist is worst that violating tax payments. Since Africans pay all their tithes why is the economic and political situation still very bad, shouldn’t one of the miracles be a complete change from bad to good governance, as well as end to corruption? Knowledge truly is liberation, let’s be accountable and hold others accountable whether it’s politicians, church, employees or employers.

    • Californiabawlar

      November 13, 2017 at 10:24 pm

      @Tony: I stopped reading your comment at “…ignoring parts of the problem…” I’ve never read anything that resonates so deeply with my observations off the docile Nigerian spirit. People act like we can’t walk and chew gum at the same time… and guess what we end up doing? NOTHING

      Thanks for your comment. In fact I’m done with the internet for today.

  7. Sisi P

    November 13, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    Nigeria has some of the richest politicians worldwide yet….

  8. Mrs chidukane

    November 13, 2017 at 6:07 pm

    We need to start raising awareness on getting voters cards and all for 2019. Bella naija and Co, use your platform well.

    • Mr. X

      November 13, 2017 at 9:11 pm

      My dear leave them. By 2019 it is the pastors we would vote for or against.

      I am all for accountability as a matter of fact thank God for my pastor and the messages he preaches. I can never fall for all these scams where people ask you to sow seed faith and make huge donations to get breakthrough…..in the church I attend…We don’t announce offering time or keep tithe records. The offering boxes are there and if you are lead to give at anytime you are free, if you want to keep your money….you are very free! They don’t make announcements of people who make donations or call them to the altar so people can see them in my Church. We believe in giving and in tithing…but believe that your good works and all you do is strictly between you and your GOD.

      Having said that. The way people have been debating over this issue of tighting and pastors money makes me wonder. Oyedepo and the rest are not accountable to me (because I don’t attend their churches)… They are first to for accountable to God and then to the members of their church. And if the church members feel led or are OK with giving their whole salaries as tithe, my dear that’s their business. No amount of debate on social media would change that. People have the right to do with their money whatever they deem fit.
      If we would transfer the hostilities and aggression from these pastors to our politicians we would make better progress. I can hold oyedopo or adeboye responsible for the epileptic power supply and the other issues that plague this country.

  9. Logic 101

    November 13, 2017 at 9:53 pm

    Our people are getting poorer and poorer and that’s the fault of the rich pastors? All these so-called poor Nigerians are poor because they pay tithe and make donations to the church?????Not bcos of our wicked and corrupt politicians. I think in 2019 we should just hand over the country to Nigerian pastors so we can rest! The Almajiris in the north and all these beggars pay tithes and offerings I guess. The person who stole pension funds offered it to the church. The states that have refused to pay salaries is as a result of these pastors. I use to think falana was intelligent. The sarakis, tinubus, amaechi, Jonathan’s, bachir lawau and Buhari etc….are pastors

    • Uberhaute looks

      November 14, 2017 at 12:44 am

      How can one person be gifted with this level of stupidity?
      Anyways, religion is the opium of the masses. I’m not surprised at some comments here…it’s expected. Churches and mosques should start paying tax. Simple!

    • logic 101

      November 14, 2017 at 10:57 am

      @uberhaute looks
      you slimy dog….you are one who is stupid. religion opium of masses indeed. I stated valid points…you haven’t said any reasonable. You and your papa masses…Idiot!!!

  10. The real dee

    November 14, 2017 at 1:39 am

    I bet America also has some of the richest pastors in the world, in fact many of the televangelists who ask for money, money and more money are from the US of A. Pray tell, is America as backward as Nigeria? In the US, I believe Churches are exempt from paying tax, and many church goers are not asking Joel Osteen, T.D Jakes, Creflo Dollar & co, what they are doing with tithes and many of them have a congregation that is larger than most Nigerian churches. In the US, there are also Christian universities owned by church denominations and they are private universities. Of course, they are usually more expensive than Public universities.

    This is not to exonerate people who were not called and are using the church to defraud ignorant people, by their fruits, you will know those ones.

    But this argument that Nigeria is the way it is because of the rich Nigerian pastors is flawed and very much baseless. US of A has stinkingly rich pastors as well, but she is the way it is because of good governance and may I add, responsibile citizens who understand the part they play in ensuring a habitable and secure country.

    • Hawwt

      November 14, 2017 at 9:52 am

      Joel Osteen was dragged recently for the same reason though. So this complaint is not exclusive to Nigerians.

    • randommer

      November 14, 2017 at 11:58 pm

      they don’t have to ask Joel Osteen what he does with their tithes because it is published. Furthemore, the money Osteen makes in his personal capacity is kept separate from that the Church makes. Osteen pays taxes on what he earns, even when he was earning a salary from his church, he paid taxes.

  11. logic 101

    November 14, 2017 at 10:57 am

    @uberhaute looks
    you slimy dog….you are one who is stupid. religion opium of masses indeed. I stated valid points…you haven’t said any reasonable. You and your papa masses…Idiot!!!

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