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Herbert Wigwe: More trouble for Pastor Adeboye

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Herbert Wigwe: More trouble for Pastor Adeboye

…as fingers are being pointed at him for being complicit

The controversial birthday party by the wife of the Senior Pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), City of David Parish, Pastor Idowu Iluyomade, Dr. Siju Iluyomade, where late Herbert Wigwe and his family worshiped before his tragic death in an helicopter crash in the U.S, is threatening to tear the church apart.

Business Hallmark can now report that the ultimate culprit in the birthday quagmire may, indeed, be the General Overseer, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, himself, who, we learnt, was privy to the infamous party. The question being asked, is why did he sanction the party? So, accusing finger is being pointed beyond Pst. Iluyomade, who is also a Special Assistant to the G.O. and this may explain why it has been difficult for the church leadership to take disciplinary action against the pastor.

While the church’s leadership is said to be sharply divided on the appropriate disciplinary measures to be meted out to the erring pastor and his wife, the immediate family of the late Access Bank Holdings GCEO, it was learnt, are also displeased with the leadership of the City of David Parish, describing their decision to allow the lavish birthday party to go ahead as planned as utterly insensitive.

Wigwe, his wife and son, it would be recalled, had perished in a fatal helicopter crash that occurred near the Nevada-California border in the United States of America on 9 February.

The Eurocopter EC 130, which carried Wigwe and five others, crashed on its way to Las Vegas, killing all the people onboard. His tragic and untimely death had thrown the nation, especially the business and Christian communities, where he held sway while alive into mourning.

Apart from physically attending services at the parish with his family anytime they were in town, Wigwe was a strong member, who cheerfully donated millions of naira to the church’s numerous programmes and projects.

Asides that, reliable church sources confirmed that he fully deployed the services of Access Bank Plc to the church, especially the facilitation of a liberal loan worth billions of naira for the construction of the N12 billion Trinity Towers, a massive commercial and residential project undertaken by the City of David Parish in Oniru, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Expectedly, not a few wanted the church to mourn him for a respectable period, at least until his mortal remains and his departed family members are committed to mother earth.

However, on Sunday, 18th February 2024, the nation was thrown into shock, when a lavish Special Diamond Ball reception was held at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, to mark Dr. (Mrs) Iluyomade’s 60th birthday celebration.

More surprising, RCCG members and leadership from the City of David Parish staged a strong presence at the party described by many as a vulgar carnival of sort, where they wined and dined with the celebrant.

Plenty of assorted food and drinks were provided at the colourful event that was graced by hundreds of people, among them pastors from different churches, traditional rulers, politicians, businessmen, party chieftains among other heavyweights, including the Chairman of Heirs Holdings, Mr. Tony Elumelu and billionaire businessman, Chief Rasaq Okoya.

Other guests at the event are the wives of Lagos and Ogun States governors, Mrs. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu and Mrs. Bamidele Abiodun, Chief Nike Akande and business mogul, Chief Samuel Adedoyin, Soun of Ogbomosho, Oba Olaoye Ghandi and the Oniru of Oniru, Oba Omogbolahan.

Also on the list are the Senior Pastor of Trinity House, Pastor Ituah Ighodalo, wife of former Ekiti Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, former Lagos Deputy Governors, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire and Sarah Sosan and many others.

The electric atmosphere and entertainment that punctuated the Pastor Iluyomade’s better half 60th birthday party was provided by popular hip-hop artist, Flavour, who treated guests to scintillating tunes.

The loud party, Business Hallmark gathered, did not go well with many people, including church leaders and elders, friends, associates and family members of the late Access Holdings henchman.

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Those opposed to the party argued that the church, celebrant and husband should have limited the birthday events to the church service that preceded the reception party at the Eko Hotels.

While supporters of the event defended the decision to go ahead with it, revealing that it was shifted three times before the final decision not to move the date again was taken.

Mortified by the glaring display of insensitivity to the departed souls, BH gathered that the national headquarters of the RCCG considered slamming several punitive measures on Pastor Iluyomade, whom they claimed let the church down by not proving to be a good ambassador.

One of the punishments meted out to the embattled Pastor, it was learnt, is the instruction to him to voluntary tender his resignation.

The rebuke and instruction to resign, it was gathered, personally came from the General Overseer of the RCCG International, Pastor Enoch Adejare Abedoye. Pastor Iluyomade, however, allegedly refused to tender his resignation letter as instructed by the church’s authorities.

Meanwhile, BH could not independently verify that Pastor Adeboye actually issued the instruction. But a source close to Daddy G.O as Pastor Adeboye is fondly called, dismissed the claim that Iluyomade was asked to resign.

“That account is preposterous. Is the cure for headache cutting off the head? The church has laid down procedures for disciplining erring pastors or its officers.

“The worst charge he (Pastor Iluyomade) can face is that of impropriety, which comes with a reprimand or a maximum penalty of being demoted or transferred out of station.

“I can tell you that that (instruction to resign) did not happen. You can go to bank with it. That’s not how we do things in the RCCG”, the source, who did not want his identity disclosed told BH.

Another source, who also spoke on the matter on the condition of anonymity, said the Redeemed Church will be thrown into crisis if Iluyomade is forced to resign.

According to him, the pastor is one of the strongest men of God in RCCG and any attempt to throw him under the bus will have huge repercussions.

“Pastor Iluyomade is one of the most influential men of God in RCCG. He is even one of the pastors in line to succeed Daddy G.O after his exit. He has his loyal and faithful followers, who are massive in number. So, it will not be easy to just ask him to go.

“If you don’t know, Iluyomade is the Pastor in Charge of RCCG Region 20 with thousands of parishes under his leadership.

“He is also the head of RCCG’s renowned-for-excellence Apapa Family with parishes and missionaries planted and being supported all over the world. Apart from that, he is the visioner of the multi-billion naira Trinity Towers project built by the City of David everybody is talking about today.

“Let us even put that aside. As the Special Assistant to Pastor E.O Adeboye on Christian Social Responsibility, you sincerely believe he did not get Daddy G.O’s approval, even if tacit and unspoken, to go ahead with the party as planned?

“However, that does not mean I am in support of the insensitive party. Iluyomade should have reined in his wife. If he is not careful, she’s the one that will bring him down.

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“She is a socialite too obsessed with her appearance. Her penchant for shouting wears and expensive jewellery is legendary. I hope and pray she won’t destroy her husband’s ministry”, the source stated.

Meanwhile, the family of the late Herbert Wigwe has sidelined the RCCG City of David Parish in the programmes scheduled for his final burial rites.

According to the notice of funeral rites for the departed souls, the City of David parish was conspicuously excluded from the burial programme.

For instance, the burial rites kicked off yesterday (Monday, March 4) with a celebration of the professional legacy of the former GCEO of Access Holdings at the Eko Hotel in Lagos with governors, bank chiefs, traditional rulers and businessmen, including Alhaji Aliko Dangote in attendance.

On Tuesday, March 5, the lives of Wigwe’s late son and wife, Chizi and Chizoba will be celebrated in separate ceremonies at the Eko Hotel in Lagos, before a night of tribute on Wednesday at the same venue.

On March 7, a combined service of songs will be held at the RCCG, Resurrection Parish, Lekki, followed by a Christian wake-keeping at Wigwe University, Isiokpo, Ikwerre LGA, Rivers state. The combined funeral and private internment service are scheduled for March 9.

They will be followed by an outing service at the Redeemed Christian Church Of God (RCCG), Lion of Judah Parish, Isiokpo, Ikwerre LGA, Rivers state, on March 10 with no appointed role for the City of David Parish or any of its leaders.

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