Oyedepo’s hatred for Muslim beggars, by Bamidele Johnson

Bishop Oyedepo regularly accuses President Buhari of religious and ethnic bigotry, charges that I think are valid. Oyedepo, however, isn’t exactly better. You might argue that he doesn’t have to be better because he’s a religious rather than a political one like Buhari. But I’d argue that he’s feeding his followers, who may end up in political and governmental positions, plenty of bile.

He’s always been bile-filled and proud of it. He’s proud of everything, including shameless lying as he did in his story about Job.

This evening, I listened to an audio recording of one of his services and it shows, very clearly, that he hates Northern Muslims and, apparently, Southern ones. In the recording, he could be heard saying giving alms to “mallams” (beggars) by the roadside is a wrong way to do charity. He moved on to say if anyone begged him for assistance in the name of Allah, that person’s chances of getting assistance are sub-zero.

He’d help those who ask for favours in the name of Jesus, nurture them and hold their hands. If he’s this way, why does he spit like suya in the fire when talking about Buhari, who obviously thinks those with whom he shares the same faith deserve preferential treatment? Oyedepo quickly pointed in the direction of the early church, which he said only helped believers.

He’d have been on some firm ground if he’d not conveniently forgotten that not one of the leaders of the early church demanded tithe on per second basis and not one person paid. No record of such. The early church wasn’t run on tithes, but on a communalist basis, with members giving as they could. Not one of those leaders was a billionaire, boasted of being dangerously wealthy and sprayed more curses than hydrants do water. Guess he’s bigger than those guys with God.

Of more importance to me is his pride at lack of empathy. Many of these “mallams” who, in Oyedepo’s book, are undeserving of charity because they’re Muslims are victims of the system just like non-mallam beggars. Many have physical disabilities and stand no chance in this mad system. Bishop doesnt give a shit. The reference to mallams hints at hatred for the northern Muslims, including, most likely, those who don’t like Buhari.

His Bible-believing enterprise is ignorant of this verse: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers (Gal 6: 9-10)”

The Bible contains many other verses about empathy/compassion, but this hate-filled guy thinks he’s above the Bible. He’s going to poison the minds of many, especially young ones. Those with Muslim relatives are being encouraged to see them as filth. There are many hate-filled Muslims for whom humanity means zilch and if we condemn them, the hate monger of Ota must be condemned. He’s in the same bracket as Pantami

– Bamidele Johnson is a Lagos-based journalist and critic