By FRED CHUKWUELOBE
Pastor Tunde Bakare borrowed N4.5bn from Wema Bank to build a state-of-the-art church with the hope to pay when the church grows. It didn’t and Covid-19 worsened his business.
Now, it has risen to N9bn. And he must pay it or lose his church.
This is a pastor who claimed to have been born to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari. He spoke matter of factly and his congregation cheered and clapped.
This is a pastor who has many people following him and believing he’s a man of God. Educated. Rich. Highly-travelled and well-informed people.
When I talk about these pastorprenuers some of my friends will call for my head. How will they defend this?
“Wema Bank has stated that it is ready to go to any length to recover the N9bn debt owed by the General Overseer of Citadel Global Community Church formerly known as Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare.
“It was gathered that the lawyer turned clergy sought a loan to build his state-of’art church auditorium in Oregun, Ikeja and he has not been able to repay the loan.
“The clergy collected uncollateralised loan of N4.5bn but his inability to service it ballooned the figure to N9bn.
“According to reports, Pastor Tunde Bakare exploited his relationship with the former managing director of the bank, Segun Oloketuyi to collect the loan.
“He maintained a close relationship with the bank and was always present at almost all the bank’s functions. When Wema Bank celebrated it’s 70th anniversary in 2015, he was in attendance and he also maintained a robust relationship with the former managing director of the bank, Segun Oloketuyi.
“Pastor Bakare had planned to repay his loan once his church is bigger, the more prosperous it would become, But the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted his plan as most churches were under lock and key observating COVID-19 protocols. His projection did not materialise and the loan rose to 9 billion naira”.
What else do I say?
The day we understand that religion as practised in our clime today is both business and politics, the better for us all.
Imagine what an industry built with N4.5bn would have done in the lives of a people desperately in need of employment!
Would this stop people from following him? Certainly not. Religion thrives on networking too.