Ajase/Agongue 2017 Convention: All Behind The News
Superior Evangelist Barrister Olawole Famakinwa in a reaction to the story we wrote concerning the Nigeria delegates/PortNovo Dioceses’ attitude concerning the convention has shed more lights on the happenstances at the event.
He explained in bits and pieces about the people, planning and the place.
“I attended Agongue 2017 and I am trying to see if I can recollect the events mentioned here.
- We arrived Porto Novo on the Friday and there was a music revival that evening. Well attended. Sup Evangelist Adetiran, the Central Choir and a host of others kept us entertained all night.
- On Saturday there was a service in the Church. The sermon was delivered by Assistant Venerable Superior Evangelist Ajose. His Eminence the Pastor was in attendance. I had breakfast at the residence of Superior Evangelist Canon, Head of Diocese Ivory Coast in Porto Novo.
- After the service I drove to Agongue ahead of the Pastors convoy. The Central Choir which performed Friday’ night and Saturday morning are human beings and did not arrive with their musical early enough to support the powerful revival that went on all night till Sunday morning. Apart from physical fatigue there was lack of payment for transport for musical instruments to Agongue I was reliably informed.
- On Sunday there was the service which I attended. His Eminence the Pastor delivered a powerful sermon. I left during the thanksgiving as I needed to return to Ibadan Nigeria at a decent time.
- I left from Ketu and I already had a Pass on my windscreen. There was no co-ordinated assembly at the Seme Border to ease passage for those without a Pass. Superior Evangelist Ayo Shonekan of the Pastors Office was at the Border and I noted that he had no vehicle of his own at the place. He was having to practically stand in the road to rally pilgrims together. God bless him. Amen.
- At Porto Novo I saw thousands of people sleeping by the sides of the road in the open air through the night from Friday to Saturday morning. When Parishes collected N3000.00 from their Parishioners in Nigeria is it so that they could be dumped on the roadside without food or lodgings. We are proud Nigerians and we would never sleep on the roadside in our own country.
Our host was literally looking down on us as men and women with homes in Nigeria slept on the floor like beggars and Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs. I had a car and I drove to a hotel where I paid for myself and co travelers. Churches should plan ahead. There was food but you needed to know how to access it.
- Sanitation was very basic and not adequate. Bathing facilities and breakfast was available on Saturday morning. However, those in charge of the food were behaving as if it was private property and that they were being generous in giving food to their friends and associates. I was hosted by the HOD of Côte d’Ivoire for breakfast.
- At Agongue, the same scenario played out about food and accommodation. Since it is a pilgrimage I do not worry about the lack of proper accommodation. I bought food for my guests though I had access to the hospitality tent provided by Baba Ogunremi and his lovely wife, M/C, Prophetess Princess Ronke.
- On Sunday I noticed a near absence of a delegation from Pastor Adeogun. I noticed one man wearing the trademark brown cassock of the Most Senior Evangelist rank.
- Since there appeared to be no effective and visible planning and real time coordination of events, timing was non-existent. The Sunday sermon was too long without a thought for those who needed to return to Lagos and other distant parts of Nigeria.
Finally, in 2017 the church announced that it would be issuing a certificate of Agongue Pilgrim to anyone who came to Agongue similar to Jerusalem Pilgrim JP. It was announced by the then BOT Secretary, M/V/S/E Afolahan. I was the interpreter on the day for the announcement in Agongue. What happened to this viable source of income for the Church? It could help to develop Agongue. We have good ideas but they die naturally on implementation table due to selfishness and lack of foresight.”
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