RE: CAC TO GET NEW NAME SOON — AKINOSUN
Below are excerpts taken from the re-action of CAC authority to the story published in the Nigerian Tribune of Tuesday, November 7, 2017, with the headline: “CAC To Get New Name Soon –Akinosun”. The letter dated November 9, 2017, was directed to the Editor of the Newspaper.
We publish this reaction here as a response to the paid advertorial in The Nation, of November 10, 2017 by one Pastor J. O. Oguntile on the same subject.
I want to commend your newspaper for the interest you have in the affairs of Christ Apostolic Church, Worldwide and her activities. I, however, have to point out that the story published in your edition of Tuesday, November 7, 2017 on Page 32 with the headline: “CAC To Get New Name Soon—Akinosun” is not accurate. It is a pure misrepresentation of what Pastor Akinosun said.
“While it is true that the President of CAC Worldwide, Pastor Abraham Olukunle Akinosun granted a short interview to media men who covered the dedication of a new English assembly at CAC Oke Ife DCC headquarters, Ibadan. But the way your reporter quoted him was out of context. As we learned later, your reporter, unfortunately, did not hear the cleric very well and he gave his statement a different interpretation.
“For the avoidance of doubt, what happened on that day was that a reporter asked the cleric whether the supreme council members had finally joined their brothers in the General Executive Council in the light of the on-going peace process. Pastor Akinosun replied that the two sides were still meeting and that as time goes on, there would be no more division as to which body controls the Church, as the ruling authority would be given a new name entirely, since it would be made up of members from all sides. It would neither be known as supreme council nor General Executive Council, so that everybody would have a sense of belonging.
“At no time did Pastor Akinosun state that the church would be given a new name. The name of the Church is divinely instructed and this is backed by an everlasting covenant. So, it cannot be changed.
“Also, in response to another question, Pastor Akinosun made allusion to the fact that what led to the crisis was the work of the devil. (He put it in Yoruba: 'Ohun suu suu lesu maa n su' meaning the devil often turns small sparks into a big conflagration) as it was not an issue that ought to cause division in the Church in the first place. He now explained that some people were disciplined and that was how the whole crisis started. He added that God Himself has now touched the hearts of all the members and their leaders to begin a lasting reconciliation process. This process, he added, would lead to genuine peace in the Church very soon.
“He was further asked how soon the process would be concluded. Pastor Akinosun replied that, there is still a lot to do with the constitution, harmonization of organs and other pros and cons. But that with the new spirit that is pervading in the Church right now, it was likely for the two sides to hold unity service together in April next year.
“In response to another leading question by a reporter that some elements accused CAC President of not being genuinely interested in peaceful resolution of the crisis, Pastor Akinosun denied this accusation pointing out the fact that he had been in the vanguard of having viable reconciliation in the CAC fold since his appointment in 2012. He explained the steps he had taken which some elements tried to frustrate. He noted with happiness that all of that had become a thing of the past”.
Publication of this misrepresentation was an embarrassment to the authority of the Church and we immediately contacted the reporter who wrote the story and he regretted that he misunderstood what the CAC President said. But once the error had been published, the onus of putting the record straight rests on the affected party and we wrote a letter, (an excerpt of which was reproduced above) to the editor, to clarify the issues. But the Editor has the prerogative of deciding when and how he wants to publish the rejoinder.
As we were awaiting the publication of the rejoinder by the newspaper, it is unfortunate that the same misrepresentation of fact was made the subject of a paid advertorial by one Pastor J. O. Oguntile in The Nation of Friday, November 10, 2017.
Our position is that for people who are desirous of peace, no sacrifice is too much to make to ensure peace reigns. It is not too much for a party that feels offended about a wrong done to it, to ask its opponents how they came about the wrong they did. That is the spirit of God, that is the spirit of peace (Matt. 5: 9; Heb. 12: 14).
Pastor Oguntile can easily obtain the phone number of the President of CAC Worldwide, Pastor Abraham Olukunle Akinosun, from any of the leaders (assuming he doesn't have it). But he made no attempt to call him with a view to finding out the veracity of what was published in the newspaper, because he saw the slip made by the Press as a good opportunity to vent his spleen on Pastor Akinosun and spew out all kinds of fables and irrelevancies.
However, as Christians who are still genuinely interested in the unity of Christ Apostolic Church, we shall, in spite of this provocation, not join issues with any individual or group because this is what the devil and his agents need to scuttle the peace process.
We, however, state categorically that the President of Christ Apostolic Church, Worldwide, Pastor A. O. Akinosun did not say those things ascribed to him by the newspaper. The same report carried by the Radio stations whose reporters covered the programme, proved this point.
PASTOR ADEMISOYE ALAWODE
DIRECTOR OF PUBLICITY, CAC WORLDWIDE