The publisher of E24/7 Magazine, Biodun Kupoluyi, has alleged that the Senior Pastor of Household of God, Chris Okotie, has banned him from attending his church, after he did a story about his relationship with a certain undergraduate named Miss Naomi Hoffman.
Kupoluyi, who before now was a not-too-regular member of the Lagos-base ministry, in an interview with Encomium Magazine, told his side of the story.
I received the news from a man claiming he’s representing the church that he has been directed by the pastor of the church and members of Household of God church that I should not come and worship with them. His reason, he said, was premised on E24-7 magazine’s expose – pastor Chris finds new love, says I will not get married again, but may opt for surrogacy soon. I found it shocking that a day after the publication hit the streets, his media department sent a release out and it confirmed our story. He actually made those statements and we reported it. I think he did not think anybody could have known about his romance with the girl, Naomi. He was caught off guard..but as a journalist, I owe our teeming readers that responsibility. I feel fulfilled, though I will miss his theatrics, his stage performances and verbosity.
My perception of the church and my respect for the man has changed. He is not a serious preacher of the gospel. The job of a good shepherd is to seek a lost sheep, not to ban a sheep or send away a sheep from the fold. It is only in our environment that these kind of things happen. Because I worship in a church, I can’t write the story of the pastor even if the pastor is doing what is wrong? But the pastor and the church will hail me if I praise him or do a PR story for them.
Despite the ban, if journalistic duties calls I will go there. In fact we were there the following week after I was barred. It was the week he claimed Christians can do tattoos and plastic surgery. We went with a whole crew, looking forward to a show down. I’m a free citizen. I can not be cowed. And I stand by my story on Naomi. That is not disputable!