The internet went wild with comments generated by the remarks made by Pastor David Ibiyeomie, founder and General Overseer of Salvation Ministries against popular radio presenter, Ifedayo Olarinde also known as Daddy Freeze. The ensuing rash comments by the clergyman was in response to the alleged insult by Daddy Freeze to Ibiyeomie’s spiritual mentor, Bishop David Oyedepo, the presiding Bishop of Living Faith Ministries.
Pastor David Ibiyeomie had in a viral video of one of his Sunday church services cursed the famed On-Air personality saying that he (Pastor Ibiyeomie) ‘cannot be alive’ while Daddy insulted his ‘Father’. Ibiyeomie went ahead to make other unsalted statement calling the Head of the Free the Sheeple Movement, Daddy Freeze, ‘bastard and foreigner’.
Pastor Ibiyeomie was quoted as saying, ‘I curse the day you were born. I will tear you into pieces – you bastard! He is insulting him because he has no father. You can never insult a father if you have one; be warned. A man whose wife left him, has no good job, will be insulting my father and people will be laughing online. I will never be alive to see such and do nothing against it. Who gave birth to you? Do you have a father? Show us his picture.’
In the minutes-long video, the Head Pastor further threw caution to the wind and made nonsense of Daddy Freeze ‘Somali’ origin. Since the video surfaced online, the internet has gone wild with irate comments mostly condemning the clergyman for his unguarded, uncivilised comments against Daddy Freeze.
Reacting to the supposed death threats by the man of God, Daddy Freeze said, ‘I also need to draw the attention of the public and the law enforcement to the threat of life that was issued to me in that video. Pastor Ibiyeomie, I don’t know if you know that threat to life is a criminal offence and let it be on the record that you threatened my life. Is this how Nigerians are going to accept this? If anything happens to me, I hope you know who to hold accountable. Are we going to keep quiet and let this lie because it is coming from a pastor?’
As if Pastor Ibiyeomie’s comment wasn’t enough, the Senior Pastor of Dunamis International Christian Centre, Paul Eneche has also come down heavily on Daddy Freeze, saying, ‘Someone said they called him a bastard. I believe that the title is not less than what it is, because if that is not the title to be called, when last did you behave like someone who grew in a home? When last did you behave like someone whose father gave him any morals or value? When last did a tailor advise a surgeon how to operate? When last did a carpenter tell a Senior Advocate of Nigeria how to stand before the court to defend a case? What do you know about marriage when you can’t keep a home? What do you know about life, success and destiny? Who is a baggage of moral bankruptcy? A baggage of emptiness of character, talking about people who you are never up to and will never be up to, even if they gave you a thousand lifetimes. If you are in the same class of architecture with Bishop David Oyedepo, ask yourself, where will your position be?’
The big question is, who is to blamed? The question is imperative in order to x-ray the root cause of the verbal vituperation that seems to be the modern-day fashion of Nigerian pastors. It is not unusual to read in the papers or watch on YouTube or any other social media platform of pastors who swears or curses someone or people who have cursed them. Have they forgotten the scriptural verse that states, ‘Bless they that curse you’? Better put, is it that the word of God – which they profess to be anchor of their calling – is no longer relevant? Or, can we just assume that they are merely seeking cheap publicity?
Daddy Freeze, like every other Nigerian, has the right to question what is deemed inappropriate or wrong, even though many wouldn’t subscribe to him calling names, not even that of a respectable man of God as Bishop David Oyedepo.
In every word of it, the revered Bishop has achieved commendable feats in the ministry. He is a spiritual mentor to millions around the world, an encyclopedia of the Bible, a man versed in several areas of knowledge, a bold speaker , one who, by the special grace of the Almighty was wrought quite a number of signs; and a global ambassador of goodwill.
Papa as fondly called by his members and admirers is not just a person you can fight and not expect some reactions from all angles. Daddy Freeze, quite younger, has made some marks too, in the line of his profession. Although warped by scandals, the mixed-race broadcaster still manages to keep his head above waters. Quite sure, he must have weighed his options before making such comments against Bishop Oyedepo.
It would be recalled that Daddy Freeze is at large one of the greatest critics of some Nigerian pastors. In reality, he has taken up the cases of the likes of Pastor E. A. Adeboye of the Redeemed Christian Church of God at a time when the discourse bordered on tithes and the first fruits. Daddy Freeze argued vehemently that the reverse was the case as purported by the RCCG General Overseer. Known for his outspokenness, Daddy Freeze continues to speak up against several churches, letting the leaders of such churches know that they are unfair to their members.
Some theorists and theologians would agree with some of Daddy Freeze’s stance. To his credit, Daddy Freeze’s Free the Sheeple Movement has grown in numbers largely populated by youths. Candidly speaking, it is not respectable and decorous for Daddy Freeze to mouth abusive words, throw name-calling or curse another person.
As the saying goes, ‘respect is reciprocal’. Had Daddy Freeze come up with a less aggressive approach in propagating his ‘ministry’, the less his condemnation. That is not to say that Pastor Ibiyeomie’s threats on his life should be ignored by law enforcement authorities. In an ideal context, the Pastor in question should be called in for questioning by security agencies. There is no ignorance in law. The clergyman should be made to sign that no harm would come close to Daddy Freeze and should apologize for calling him a bastard.
Pastor Eneche, on the other hand, should tender a note of apology, while same goes for Daddy Freeze. In a civilised world, there are ways issues should be tackled without necessarily taking up a fight against the other party. We all agree to disagree; we disagree to agree. Daddy Freeze has since tendered an unreserved apology to Pastor Oyedepo. He did so without asserting that he would continue to criticise church leaders with a proper language. However, the church leaders, Pastor Ibiyeomie and Pastor Paul Eneche, have kept mum on the matter, a clear refusal to withdraw their insult or apologise to Daddy Freeze. In the meantime, church leaders must begin to cultivate the culture of cautioning themselves while standing before a live audience! The recent outpouring of aggression by some Christian leaders is, by all standards, not ‘Christ-like’. If they must be church founders and Christian leaders, they must first of all be respectable Christians.
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