Vox Populi: Should the Trustees of Religious Organizations be Blood Relatives?

By Kayode Awojobi and Foluke Okekunjo

In recent times, it has been observed that various public notices in the newspapers for the registration of the Board of Trustees of religious bodies in the Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria is made up of blood relatives, our correspondents, Kayode Awojobi and Foluke Okekunjo took this matter to the court of public opinion and these are excerpts of the responses.

“This is a sensitive case that not only questions the leadings of many so-called Man of God but also amplifies the gullibility of the followers who can handle the obvious but not the truth. You see, there are many things wrong with the church today that leaves one wondering if the Spirit of God ever changed dialect or maybe the Pastors just choose what to open their ears too. By all standards, the act of dubbing a relative a board of trustees’ title is very wrong and only goes on to reflect the manifestation of the flesh. As much as I don’t want to veer off the track of this question, I have to state that every black man (pastors inclusive) are altruistic in nature and the willingness to gratify the cravings of this attribute, is the greatest motivation that has fueled this erroneous practice which has remained a bane in our congregation today.”
Adetoyi Oluwasegun

“First and foremost….religious? Christianity is not a religion because Christianity is divinity alive in humanity…Christ alive in a man, the pulsating life of God in a man. In this case, using your brother or family member is not right because this is not business affairs. We are dealing with spiritual matters.”
Pastor Hope Okodogbe

“It depends on the size of the organization and the commitment of the top members. Religious bodies usually start with a particular person who easily secures the supports of his/her family members first before that of anybody outside his/her family. You find the members of the family fulfilling all the roles and at the same time, they doubles as the main and regular members. As the organization grows they grow with it and become more responsible and committed to the organization. This, I believe, is the usual cause for having blood relatives as members of the board of trustees. On this ground it won’t be wrong to have family members on the board of trustees. But for religious organization that are large enough to have other committed members outside the family, part of the board of trustees should be spread abroad to also include people who are not blood relatives.”
Evangelist Ibikunle Akintolayo

“It can’t be concluded per say that it’s absolutely wrong, the situation of such religious body might warrant such, but in a situation where there are members that can play the part, but are not allow due to family ties, it is a total monarchy system of leadership and such should not anyway be heard in a so called religious body”
Akinlolu Olaolu.

“As for religious organizations, they don’t need to be blood related because that’s how politics starts. Before you know, it will become a routine. You can be my blood relative and you are not qualified for the post, then why not give someone who is more qualified and stop unnecessary sentiments. This is actually one of the issues affecting our country. I’m not saying we should neglect our families, but for progress sake we must set some priorities right. At some point “Blood relation” might not be taking the work serious due to familiarity.”
Egbelota Olamide.

“The truth is it was not like this before when churches where built for God purpose compare to now that it has been turned into a family business whereby if the founder mandates the governing council that his own son or wife that should take over from them. Which is totally wrong. Look at the likes of Elijah, Eli, Moses. These people were replaced by another family entirely when they were about to join their fore fathers. Seriously, it is a very critical and sensitive issue which we need to look at in our society today and I pray God will help the church of God.”
Akhidenor Samuel

“The question is a sensitive one. Morally, the issue of trust, continuity, balance and succession come into play while from the spiritual angle, we often hear ‘it is from above’ and that cannot be questioned. It may be right if right things are put in place and the purpose(s) achieved. However, it may be wrong and destructive if the selection is solely based on affiliation or blood without putting into consideration the goal of such religious organizations.”
Ojetunde Praise

“It is very wrong. A leader should be some capable of leading the people. The election or selection a leader should based on the right person fit for the job. From the family line, there might be a good successor but after that good person, what’s the assurance that the next successor would do exploits? In my opinion, irrespective of tribal -lines or family lines, the best of us should lead the rest of us.”
Olatoye Salami

“It all depends on the founder of such religious bodies. Before they take such steps, they must have their reasons which we may not be able to fault. Some do so simply because they can trust the family members. Family is family, it is God that designs family and it is not by choice, except who to marry. So where the family tie is strong, you cannot expect less. Though some can disappoint, yet you can’t compare with outsiders. Also they may believe the family will share their vision and uphold the family name.”
Pastor James Adedokun

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