Nigeria is a country blessed with pastors, prophets and men of God who perform in different callings and peculiar ministries. Some of them have however set themselves apart in their own unique ways and gained prominence either for good things or for bad news.
This article seeks to spotlight five of such controversial pastors in Lagos who have made headlines in times past.
5. Dr Chris Okafor
Dr Chris Okafor, is Senior Pastor and General Overseer of Mountain of Liberation and Miracle ministry, (aka) Liberation City, with headquarters at Ojodu, Lagos and he started his ministry about 12 years ago. The man of God who hails from Edo State is a graduate of Business Administration from Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma. Pastor Chris is known for his many controversial prophesies and has been involved in notable scandals.Prior to the general elections, he made a prophesy about former President Jonathan saying ‘If Jonathan fails in 2015, then I’m not called of God’.
In 2012, he was reportedly said to have been involved in a 419 scandal whereby his abduction was planned during a crusade in Anambra. A ransom of N50 million from the church’s savings was paid to the supposed kidnappers to secure his release.However, some of the members said it was a lie made up by the pastor to exploit his members.
He has also been involved in sex scandals with his members both single and married. It is believed that a particular lady who was ordained a deaconess by the prophet in the church was allegedly the cause of Prophet Okafor’s marriage break-up to his wife of 12 years.The fine faced man of God doesn’t hide his numerous affais to the displeasure of his members.
Just a few days ago, he revealed that he saw an aircraft filled with blood and people should pray to avert plane crash.
4.Pastor Sign Fireman
Dr Fireman whose real name is Ofuche Ukoha is the General Overseer of Perfect Christianity Mission, Aguda, Surulere, Lagos.The controversy surrounding Fireman’s ministry lies mostly in the ‘signs and wonders’ he performs during his service, the miracles being astounding and outrageous in one breath. Many people who have contact with him have testified of how the “Man of God” had performed wonders in their life. A popular actor in 2012, Enebeli Elebuwa had once labelled him as a fake pastor saying he wasn’t healed when he went to Fireman’s church.
An incident that made him popular and almost tarnished his ministry occured last year when he was accused of raping and killing a 12 year old girl for rituals by an 18-year-old boy, Ikechukwu Egbo who was a member of his church.Fireman got married in April 2013 and is believed to have being in a romance at one time with Nollywood actress, Empress Njamah who was a worker in his church. He said to own a fleet of expensive cars which are all painted yellow.
3. Pastor Chris Oyakhilome
Chris Oyakhilome popularly known as (“Pastor Chris”) is the founding president of Believers’ LoveWorld Incorporated also known as “Christ Embassy”, a Bible-based Christian ministry headquartered in Lagos, and was born on December 7, 1961. He attended Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma in Edo State and that was where he got the calling from God to proceed into the life of ministry.Threafter he came up with Believers Loveworld Fellowship, which has become Believers Loveworld Incorporated.
Oyakhilome was heavily criticed as a result of the authencity of his televised miracles and healings, Atmosphere For Miracles.The program was however banned a few years under Christian Association Of Nigeria(CAN) leadership led by Ayo Oritsejafor.He has also been castigated for his dress sense and that of his pastors and workers which is their love for spotting jerry curls.
A few years back, he is believed to have said masturbation is not a sin and said God wasn’t affected by the habit.
In 2014, the news that his wife of over 20 years, Anita filed for divorce went rife and she cited irreconcilable differences bordering on alleged adultery and unreasonable behaviour. Many people were in support of her decision questioning whether he was truly a man of God and why he decided to stay apart from his wife since they got married which was unusually unheard of among pastors.
2. Pastor Tunde Bakare
Pastor Tunde Bakare is a renowned pastor cum politician and is the founder of Latter Rain Assembly(End Time Church), a church he founded in 1989.
Pastor Tunde Bakare was born to Muslim parents was the only child but he lost his father at a tender age. Bakare has always been a strong critic of the Nigerian Government and its leadership. He is believed to have made controversial statements about politicians. It was not surprising when he finally decided to give politics a trial.
He got involved in politics in 2011 under the Congress for Progressive Change Party, (CPC) and was the running mate of General Muhammadu Buhari in the 2011 Presidential Elections, which they unfortunately lost to the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP).He however lost out when the mantle was given to Osinbajo instead.
Early this year, one of the episodes of his popular TV program “Moment Of Truth” was abruptly terminated midway as he made uncomplimentary comments about the government in power and also clamoured for the postponement of the general elections.
1.Pastor T.B Joshua
Pastor T. B Joshua born on June 12,1963 is the leader/founder of the Synagogue, Church of All Nations (SCOAN), and also runs the Emmanuel TV television station from Lagos. One striking thing that has made Joshua popular is the fact that he is known not just in Nigeria but abroad. Several hundreds of Nigerians and international visitors throng the Synagogue church weekly seeking miracles and healing. His church has published numerous videos claiming to document the healing of incurable disabilities and illnesses such as HIV/AIDS, cancer etc.
Many have claimed to be healed through ‘anointing water’ that has been prayed over by Joshua and given to those who are unable to physically attend his church in Lagos.The water sparked controversy when four people died in a stampede in Joshua’s Ghanaian branch when an unadvertised service where it was being distributed drew huge crowds far beyond the churches capacity, bringing Ghana’s capital city Accra almost to a standstill.
Joshua also made headlines when he claimed his Anointing Water could cure the deadly disease Ebola. He was believed to have sent 4,000 bottles of the water alongside a cash gift of $50,000 to the Ebola-stricken nation of Sierra Leone.
September 2014, saw a down turn in his ministry and a world wide tragedy when a Synagogue guesthouse under construction collapsed killing over 100 people majorly South Africans were feared dead.