By Ajibola Abayomi,
August 1, 2018.
Founder of Inri Evangeligal Spiritual Church, Primate Ayodele Babatunde has counselled that men of God don’t need to be paid salary by government to perform their divine duties.
According the Primate during a chat with our correspondent, he said “real men of God do not need to be placed on salary by the government.
“God that authoured His mission through His ministers knew how to feed them. My take is that if there were plans like that, the resources should be channelled towards improving the lives of the masses.
“There are poor people in land craving for government’s attention and not ministers of God. That would amount to challenging God’s capacity. Let Lagos State government continue to improve the lives of the people” the cleric advised.
This is as the Lagos State Government denied statement credited to it by a media outfit (not TheLead Online) that it was considering putting clerics in the state on its pay role for effective communication with members of the society.
The state Commissioner for Home Affairs, Mr. Abdulateef Abdulhakeem, had said that the report was untrue and misleading.
His words: “The clear position is that the Lagos State Government is not intending to employ Imams and Pastors. There is no such plan and there is no willingness on our part to delve into a private realm.
“What exists in Lagos State is that there is a symbiotic relationship between the Lagos State Government and faith-based organizations and it is a mutually beneficial relationship which has contributed to the growth and development of the state.”
In the said report, Abdulhakeem was quoted as saying that the state government would soon place religious leaders on the state salary structure to encourage them to use their pulpit and to re-orientate citizenry to shun corruption and immorality.
But the commissioner explained: “I must have been misunderstood or misquoted. We were at a forum where we were trying to encourage religious leaders to be advocates against corruption because religious leaders have millions of adherents and they enjoy the allegiance of millions of followers and we expect them to use the pulpit and the minbar to advocate for good governance and selflessness so that they can influence their members positively.