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"Why I Support FRCN's Governance Code For NGOs" - TonyeBarcanista

Published by Nairaland on Wed, 11 Jan 2017

By TonyeBarcanistaOne thing about this country is that we are usually dishonest, emotional and sentimental with ourselves over issues that has to do with religion and the State. I shall speak on the controversy surrounding the former National Overseer of Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Eunuch Adeboye, the Federal Reporting Council of Nigeria governing code for not-for-profit organisations, the suspension of the code, and the unfortunate sack of Dr. Jim Obazee.1. The NGO Governance Code Has Court Legitimization:The code was enacted in 2015 to regulate NGOs in the country, including Church and Mosques. I don't believe it was targeted at any individual, religion or sect. During its enactment and hearing, a group of Pastors including those from Adeboye's RCCG and other Pentecostal Churches went to federal high court, Lagos to challenge the suit in July, 2015. on Wednesday, March 23, 2016, Honourable Justice Buba dismissed the suit and upheld that the plaintiffs had no locus standi to challenge the suit. The ruling thereafter gave the Council the legitimacy to implement the code.http://www.barbaric.com.ng/frcn-enact-governance-codes-ngos/2. On The Provisions Of The CodeI have heard people larment that the code was meant to stifle Christianity and the Church, but on scanning through the provisions of the code, I am yet to see where they get such Idea from.Firstly, the code does not spare any organisation or sect that is registered as NGO. It does excused Islam/Mosque, neither does it specify a particular sect, religion or church. Even charity organisations are subject to the code as long as they are registered as NGO in Nigeria according to our laws.Secondly, on the provision of the code, the code simply mandates Chief Executives, organisational heads, founders, General Overseer etc of NGOs to a specified term in office and not to create a sense of "ownership" of their organisations by them. It made it clear that relatives and spouses of organisation heads should not "inherit" the respective organisation under any guise. It allows for accountability to the organisation/members by the heads of the NGOs, as well as mandates financial accountability to the government.What Is Wrong With The FRCN Good Governance Code For NGOs'Why should a not-for-profit organisation head wish to "own" the organisation by staying in office without term limit' Why should there not be succession plan in Non-governmental organisation, including churches and mosques' Why should an NGO be inherited by spouse and relatives' What is wrong with Churches and Mosques being accountable to their members and donors, as well as to the government, paying taxes where applicable should they indulge in profit making activities' Is the Church the only group affected'We are in a society where crises usually brew in churches after demise of founders and General Overseers simply because of lack of succession plan. We are in a society where religious bodies hide under the guise of "the Church" to engage in profit making ventures, yet refused to pay tax to the government like every for-profit organisation. We are in a society where NGO heads lavish organisational funds without accountability to anybody, yet these monies were donations, levies, offerings, tithes etc to the organisations for some purpose or the other. What is wrong with accountability to members and donors of organisation' Is this not a global practice' Will the Bill Gate Foundation donate money without asking for accountability' What is wrong in clerics contributing to pension funds so as to ensure that their pension is protected by law after retirement' Won't this arrangement help junior pastors' What exactly is wrong with the bill'Why Redeemed Christian Church And Some Other Pentecostals'Firstly, of all the NGOs that includes foundations, charities and Mosques, only Pastors from RCCG and some other Pentecostal Churches went to court to challenge the code. Is there something they are not telling the public' Fine, they exercised their right to challenge government policy, but judgement has been delivered, is it not appropriate to respect the decision and live with the regulation or approach a higher court to set aside the lower court's ruling' Why should Redeemed Church and some Pentecostal Christians see it as a personal battle' With due respect to RCCG, the code was meant to apply not only to Pastor Adeboye or RCCG, but also to other religious organisations and their heads including Mosques. Making it appear like a personal war against the Redeemed Church or Christianity is improper and against the teachings of Apostle Peter in 1 Peter 2:13-17.Christianity, The Church And Civil Authority:1 Peter 2:13 Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, 1 Peter 2:14 or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.1 Peter 2:17 Honor all men; love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.That was a clear instruction to Christians by Apostle Peter. Christians have no history of resisting civil laws/codes even at the point of death during the time of the Roman rule. That was what distinguished Christians from others.This Code is in fact aimed at sanitizing the society against abuse by so-called religious leaders and bodies. The Church must be subject to the civil authority of the State as long as it doesn't conflict with the demand of God Almighty and His Christ. This is a fact we must get used to or go to court if unsatisfied.The Sack Of Dr Obazee Is A Bad OmenThe sack of the erstwhile boss of the FRCN may elicit cheers from religious sentimental people, but it only shows that President Buhari is leading Nigeria via sentiment and not principle. Sacking a man for doing his job after obtaining a legal victory is unfortunate and uncalled for. Appointees of government must be allowed to do their jobs without fear or favor to any group, but President Buhari and his minister of trade and investment expected appointees to only do what they ask and not what is to be done. This is unfortunate and a bad omen to leadership. Why should a policy be suspended because of a particular religion/church' Isn't the law meant to be above every individual and group' This is sad!In conclusion, we must be aware that in sane climes like Europe, USA, UK and South Africa, such institutions (Religious and other NGOs) are well regulated, especially with respect to their finances and management. RCCG and some other churches have their branches over there and they comply with their regulations. Why should they now have problem with ours' Churches, Mosques and other NGOs are not classified under sole-proprietorship, and as such can't be said to belong to any SINGLE individual irrespective of his status or perceived status. Hence, management and finances must be regulated to reflect that.Finally, irrespective of my Christian faith, it is my belief that sanity must be brought in our society. If Jesus could pay his tax as a male adult (according to the law) and subject himself to civil law, why not his followers'May God Bless Us All And Bless NigeriaHappy Year 2017Shared on Palmchat
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