CKN Visits Three Abuja Churches Over Ebola Compliance

CKN At Family Worship Centre Abuja

For months now, i have decided to leave the Pastors to their kingdom since some of them have been accusing me of intruding into their “business centres”..They ve asked me to mind my tatafo job of news gathering and leave them to reap where they sowed.
Well being a good Christian decided to oblige them..My visits have taken me to Kris Okotie’s Household of God,Tunde Bakare’s Latter Rain Assembly. I have reported from the popular COZA Church In Abuja.I also beamed my searchlight at Mountain of Fire, Living Faith, Redeemed and Family Worship Centre Abuja.
I believe you still remembered my encounter at that Cherubim Church as well as my exploit at Catholic and Anglican Churches.
Several times i have tried to make an incursion into T B Joshua’s Synagogue of all Nations but liver fail me. Especially when i remember the fate of infant terrible, Jim Iyke at the hand of Man of God.
Who no fear ,make he try...Even mad man sef sabi him relations, so T B Joshua is a no go area for me for now,i don’t know of the nearest future.
But something broke that vow i made to the men of God.
Of late,we are experiencing an epidemic which is spreading like wild fire.
It has made a whole nonsense of all the other epidemics before it.
Aids have become child’s play. It has taken over front page news from the dread Boko Haram.Infact when last did you hear of the Chibok Girls.
It is now Ebola, Ebola, Ebola.Ebola this,Ebola that.
Infact the Federal Government as well as the Lagos State government set the agenda for my visits.
Recently, the Lagos State Commissioner of Heal,Mr Jide Idris led some delegations to visit T B Joshua over the Ebola epidemic.
They asked to stop the influx of Liberians and Sierra Leonians with the disease from coming to Nigeria for healings.
The man of God heeded their advise and even sent about 4,000 bottles of his HOLY WATER to Sierra Leone for divine healings for those infected with the virus.
Recently, Pastor Enoch Adeboye of Redeemed Christian Church Of God also barred members from affected countries from attending the recently concluded convention of the Church in Nigeria.
Furthermore, the cure for the disease is not in sight and the trial vaccines (Zmapp and Nino Silver) are not being used yet in Nigeria.
The advice to all Nigerians has been, wash your hands thoroughly and don’t shake or embrace people unnecessary.
Caution has become the watchword since that MAD MAN from Liberia (According to President Goodluck Jonathan) decided to bring the disease to Nigeria.
Based on this premise, today i decided to visit some Churches in order to know how they are complying with the best practise on the prevention and spread of this dangerous disease.
Are they still shaking hands and asking their congregations to embrace each other at this dangerous period.
Don’t forget even the Catholic Church has banned the official extension of handshakes during service.
I decided to visit three popular Churches in the Federal Capital Territory Abuja to see the level of compliance.
These were.
·         Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (CoZA) Central Area Abuja
·         Family Worship Centre Wuye Abuja.
·         Winners Chapel,Durumi Abuja.
COZA Abuja:
This is my second visit to popularly funky Church Coza Abuja located at Thisday Dome, Central Area Abuja. I am sure you still remember that popular Pastor that was accused by a certain lady of harassing her sexually. The story went virile on social media.
The lady recently got married to a presenter with Cool FM Abuja.
Well, during my first visit to the Church, Pastor Fatoyinbo was not around, but luckily he was in charge today.
As usual, the Church was well fortified security wise, with a combination of Soldiers and other security agents manning all the area.
I arrived the Church at some minutes to just at the right time when the man of God mounted the pulpit.
As i said,my main mission was to observe the compliance on how they are managing the Ebola message.
I was greeted by nice looking ushers (beautiful babes) wearing white skirts and red and black stripped tops.They all look so beautiful (anyway,you ca’t find an ugly babe at COZA).I believe they specially screen their female members.
I was handed a white envelope and directed to the gallery since the ground floor was already full to the bream
Just as i was about to take my seat, the man of God asked us to stand up..To my greatest horror he asked everyone to lock their hands with the person next to them on both sides for prayers..That was sometime i never bargained for.Several things started running through my mind. How am i sure the person next top doesn’t have Ebola virus.havent this man heard all the announcement on radio,Television,Newspapers etc?.
Haven’t he read the story on how this disease spread. Haven’t seen what victims of this dreaded disease look like. Why would he ask us to lock our hands in this manner. No way,i refuse to hold anyone’s hand. Even the fine babes that surrounded me on both sides tried to hold my hands but i quietly declined (Very unlike me, ordinarily i would have even been the first person to grab the hands before the Pastor mentioned it) but the fear of Ebola has become the beginning of wisdom.
The prayer lasted for about five minutes before we were asked to take our seats.
The man of god now launched into his sermon, which he entitled “DISPENSASION OF GRACE”..
He quoted Ephesians 3 vs 1-2,2nd Corinthians  3 vs 18,Act 1vs 5-7,Galatians 3 vs 6,Hebrew 1 vs 14  etc to portray his points.
His sermon was intermittently interrupted with round of applauds from the congregation.
Oh less i forget was able to see the reason why so many babes are accusing the man of sexual harassment .Pastor Fatoyinbo by every standard is a ladies man. He stands tall like a basketballer. lanky, handsome and can get any woman of his choice. He was putting on a three piece blue suits with a wine coloured shoe to match this Sunday. He looks more like a Hollywood (i dint say Nollywood) star. Handsome to a fault. He speaks in a mesmerising manner that, all you just need is two minutes with him and you are totally won over.
Its obvious that most of the babes in the Church came to look at the man and not what he preaches.
Back to the service, still on Ebola,at every turning point, Pastor Fatoyinbo would ask us to tap our neighbour to express one message or the other. The tapping was getting too worrisome for me.Haba,una wan tap me die was my immediate concern (Hear him, tap your neighbour and say “ you are the heir of salvation” ,tap your neighbour and say “whoever has the son, has everything”, tap you neighbour this, tap your neighbour that).
At a point i got tired of the tapings and decided it was time for me to live.
It’s obvious COZA is not yet Ebola compliant.
Just as i was about taking my leave,i overheard him making a mockery of roman Catholics who daily pray to Mary..It reminded me of what Pastor Kris Okotie said some time ago about Catholics not making heals because they pray through Mary rather than Jesus Christ.
Just before he could ask for us to tap our neighbours again, quietly took my leave.
I have had enough won’t allow anyone to deliberately make me pick Ebola without my consent.
The question i asked myself as i make my way out of the Church was, how would COZA members cope or know if someone has the Ebola disease .How many of them are aware that the only way you can contract the disease is by touching each other as they were doing. How many of them are ready to risk their lives and health just because they wanted to worship God. God forbid
God help us.
My next Journey was to Family Worship Centre At Wuye.
During my first missionary journey to Abuja in the early 2000.Family worship centre was the Church i attended.
I got to know about the Church from a colleague of mine KINU Kabirwa while we were both working at SIOtel Nigeria Ltd, one of Nigeria’s foremost Internet Service Provider Company then.
Kinu told me so much about the Church that i decided to give it a trial. Once i did, i got hooked.
The Church then was at the main Hall of Nicon Hilton Abuja under the leadership of now Late Pastor Ina Maku.
The Church later moved to its permanent site at Wuye Abuja.
Family Worship Centre today remains one of the most beautiful Churches in the FCT.
After the death of Pastor Ina,his wife Sarah Maku took opver the mantle of leadership and has remained the General overerseer of the Church till date.
I have not attended the Church for years although i went there briefly sometime last year.
The Church is for highly mobile networth individuals .So ordinarily this is the best place for me to observe how the Ebola message is being spread and adhered to.
Luckily i arrived the Church at some minutes to just as Pastor Sarah Maku was about to deliver her sermon (i didn’t know how i made it  ).
Few minutes after i took my seat, she asked the ushers to shut all the doors never to allow anyone in or out (i guess that’s their routine).
Her sermon shocked all of us.
She said all Christians should behave like BOKO HARAM (Yes ,quote me) that was her exact words.
She said why she liked Boko Haram was that they were very fanatical in what they believe in.
She went on to say, Christians should behave like Boko Haram in the way and manner they win souls for Christ.
She said she liked their style but NOT THIER KILLINGS.
She quoted several Bible passages to drive home her points.
Pastor Sarah Maku Supervising the laying of hands on new converts today
Act 1 vs 8,Luke 14:23,John 10:16,Matthew 13 vs 31-32 etc.According to her, Christians should be aggressive ,pushful, compelling, forceful etc in winning souls for Christ. Her comparison was not making sense to me just as i believe it was same with her congregation because there was pin silence in the Church. At a point she even noticed that the people were shocked with what she was saying and tried to play it down by asking if they wanted her to continue, ofcourse what do you expect ,they all chorused Yes ,Yes ,Yes.
For me,i felt Boko haram actions no matter how positive they may look in some instances should not be used to compare any action of sort.
Pastor Maku to me totally got it wrong. She even said, Boko Haram would force you to believe in their religion and if you refuse, they will kill you.
Those close to Pastor Sarah Maku need to talk to her.
She was using the analogy to drive the point that the body of chris needs more followers.
She said her Church is planning to open four more branches in the FCT before the end of 2014.
According to her, the population of the Church has risen from 7,500 members to about 13,000 across the various branches in the FCT.
Since the main reason for coming to her Church was not actually about the Sermon felt i shouldn’t take it personally.
I thought there will not be anything eventful about the Church to report on the Ebola case until the inevitable happened towards the end of the service.
Just as she was about rounding up her sermon, she made an alter call for all those who wants to be born again to come out .
Several people walked to the Pulpit. Just as she was about to pray for them, she said she has gotten a revelation that ten more people would join them and we started another counting until we counted ten new additions..She went on to say she has gotten another revelation that five more people will be added to the new converts..We started another round of counting until five people came forward.
Now to the moment, to my greatest surprise, Pastor Maku now asked all her ordained deacons to come forward and stand at the back of each of the new converts.
She ordered them to hold and place their hands on each of the converts while she pray for them.
This they complied with. They were neither wearing any hand gloves for protection etc.
After the prayers, she asked them to lead them out individually to where they will be counselled. Each of the Church workers held their hands as they moved.
In this era of Ebola,i felt, that was a risk being taken too far.
Ordinarily, i am not saying any of them have the virus, but how are we sure.
Does it also mean that Family Worship Centre or Pastor Sarah Maku has not heard about the dangerous disease in town?.
It’s obvious the fact against this scourge if it eventually hit us will be lost in the Churches.
It will be recalled that the Federal Government have even gone ahead to postpone the resumption of all Secondary schools in the country to prevent the epidemic from spreading.
Its obvious that the Churches are not ready for the task ahead or are they just interested in adding to their numbers rather than safeguarding the lives of their members.
Second lesson, FAMILY WORSHIP CENTRE Abuja has failed the Ebola Test Too.
My final stop was at the WNNERS CHAPEL HQ at Gurudu Abuja.
My visit to Winners Chapel was not to see how the Pastors would react in dealing with their members as observed in the first two Churches.
Ofcourse i knew  i have spent quality time at the two previous Churches that  ill only meet the tail end of service at Winners.
I visited winners to see how the congregation would react and greet each other.Are they going to observe the simple method of absentee from handshakes, embracing and other non contact procedures.
CKN at Winners Chapel Abuja today
My visit to Winners was brief.
I was disappointed or should i say i was not disappointed.
After service, people were going about their normal life, embracing, shaking hands, giving pecks, back slaps etc.
People remained indifferent about the dangers of Ebola.
I decided to ask some of them what precaution they are taking about the Ebola virus and all i heard was NOTHING.
We believe in God, nothing will happen to us and our families. He is in total control.
It is not our portion etc.
Addendum: Its obvious that the message has not reached the targets. Agencies of government need to do more in the area of public enlightenment especially in all our Churches.
The virus will spread more within Churches than any other gatherings.
The Ebola Virus is for real and the earlier Nigerians start taking every necessary precaution to checkmate it the better for all of us.
For now, the Churches seem not to be bothered, they are still leaving everything to chance and GOD.
God help us.
Chris Kehinde Nwandu: Is The Publisher and Editor In Chief of CKN


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria


  1. Lol... U shud really check dose places out after dat go to gov institutions ie hospitals and agencies, also check out parks and market. Dickhead!
    Nigeria can not contain d spread if dere Was an outbrake God forbid or hav u not heard dat dose kept not quarantined in lagos hav been abandoned by gov or dem fence ur ear abi. MitcheWwwwwwww!

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