The life and death of two of Nigeria’s most controversial pastors, the founder of C. A. C. Lion of Judah Prophet Elijah Akinade and that of Prophet Iretiola Elijah Ajanaku, the founder of Christ Revival Victory Chapel International will be explored to further shed light on their practices.
In his days Akinade was a headliner as he was always in the news for different reasons. He was said to have relocated the headquarters of his church from Ibadan to Lagos after the wife of a member died in a hotel room with him. The woman’s husband who is said to be an army officer was said to have threatened to deal with the pastor who was sleeping with his wife that led to her death, and for fear of his life, Pastor Akinade was said to have deserted Ibadan for Lagos.
The incident should have taught the pastor one or two things and force him to abide by the teachings of the Bible, but rather than restrict himself to the Bible he was said to have become more demanding as he employed all tactics to extort money from members of his congregation. It got bad to the extent that he started selling seats to his congregation who want to attend some of the many programmes he lined up to generate money. This he added to his more pronounced hunger for the opposite sex as it was about that time that another sex-related issue cropped up that had to do with the pastor in London.
Though his church was flourishing but his activities outside of the church was attracting negative publicity towards him. This continued until his eventual death after which some more drama ensued. It was gathered that during his burial two other children he fathered outside emerged. In fact one is older than his legitimate child who now heads the church.
Until about five years earlier, he was hardly heard of. He first came to prominence when gospel singer, Tope Alabi, started singing his praise and that was the beginning of the exposure of Prophet Elijah Iretiola Ajanaku. During his short stint in limelight, Prophet Ajanaku proved to be an attention seeker; he was desperate for publicity. When he spoke he talked as if the world was created in his presence. Like Akinade he spoke with so much authority that most members of his congregation mistook him for God and this became visible as every one of the musicians who trooped to his church must as a matter of fact revere him.
He also would not hide the fact that he loved money as he was said to be fond of asking those who went to him for prayers that he would only collect American dollars from them if he must help them beg God. He was also said to be a car freak despite the fact that 95 per cent of his congregation were living below poverty level.
The height of his controversy was when he accused his onetime dear daughter Tope Alabi of asking him to sleep with her, an allegation that was denied and subsequently turned the whole issue to mudslinging as people also claimed he was not a real man of God, a situation that caused many of them to challenge his call, as they claimed his attitude did not befit a true man of God.
His well-covered spat with the gospel musician was the last known controversy he created before he was off the social radar the same way Prophet Akinade was off the radar before the news of his death filtered in. However, the similarity between the lifestyle of the two Prophets who incidentally answered to Elijah leaves so many questions unanswered.
It is worthy to note that at a time during the pre-death absence of Ajanaku, his aides said he was in Abuja, same as Akinade who later died over there after he was taken away from everybody and Prophet Ajanaku was also hidden from everybody till his death. Recently stories emanating from the Ipaja home of Ajanaku that like Akinade a love child has emerged also older than the ones that are known as legitimate, though all efforts to confirm from one Tosin Faleye proved abortive as he replied to our message that we should get in touch with the church as he was not in a position to answer any question at the moment.
After the death of the two pastors there were stories that the two belonged to occult groups. Though nobody can really say how far this is true, what is hidden to man is plain to God. The story was that there is a hospital in Abuja that serves as a place the ailment of those in the society are being treated; knowing fully that Akinade died in an Abuja Hospital, it made people suspicious when Ajanaku was also linked to Abuja and which weeks after his demise was announced. One thing that is certain, however, is that the two were very controversial, they loved money and they both had children who are older than the first child of their legitimate wives. Though Akinade’s Church was taken over by his son to be assisted by his wife, Ajanaku’s church according to sources is to be governed by his wife as his legitimate son is still an infant.