Pastor William Kumuyi, the General Superintendent of the Deeper Life Bible Church, has cancelled his planned crusade in Aba, Abia State, Sunday PUNCH learnt on Saturday night.
It was gathered that Kumuyi cancelled the crusade due to security concerns in the South-East geopolitical zone.
The crusade was scheduled to hold in Aba from May 24 to May 29, 2022 but the Indigenous People of Biafra told the 80-year-old cleric not to go ahead with the crusade.
An official of the Global Crusade With Kumuyi confirmed the cancellation of the Aba crusade in a telephone chat with The PUNCH on Saturday, adding that a new venue would be announced for the crusade.
Also, the Chairman of the organising team for the crusade, Pastor James Akpofure, corroborated the development in a statement on Saturday,
“As there are currently some security challenges at the intended alpha location (Aba, Abia State, Nigeria), the Global Crusade Convener, Pastor (Dr) W.F. Kumuyi commiserates with our people in Abia State and will be praying along for God’s Divine Intervention,” Akpofure said.
In a statement on Thursday, IPOB’s Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, had asked Kumuyi to consider the insecurity in the South-East and not proceed with the crusade.
Reiterating the call on Saturday, the IPOB’s spokesman said Kumuyi and the Christian Association of Nigeria should not ignore its advice, alleging plans by political thugs to attack attendees at the crusade.
Powerful said CAN had not met the expectations of its members, accusing the Christian body of playing politics and allowing Muslim fanatics to slaughter Christians across the country.
He said, “It is unbelievable that CAN would not summon the courage to fight for their members when Muslims and security men attack and murder their members.
“They should understand that IPOB will not fold its arms and watch our people deliberately put in harm’s way to be slaughtered because of crusade, when they know that politicians will employ their local thugs to slaughter people and tag it that IPOB was responsible for such attack.”
He added that both Pastor Kumuyi and CAN should publicly declare that they should be held responsible if any attack by those recruited by politicians and the Nigerian security apparatus should happen during the crusade.
“Security intelligence and strategy are what is required in a situation as this, which is what we are applying now by advising Kumuyi and his ministry. The CAN must understand that IPOB has Judeo-Christians also as family members and it is our responsibility to protect them from political tugs and criminal elements.
“IPOB does not have any issues with Kumuyi or other pastors or men and women of God for that matter; what we are talking about is the security of Biafrans.
“CAN should know that all politicians in Nigeria have criminal thugs they use to pursue a particular political interest and these people are not minding the repercussions or outcome, therefore we still advise Kumuyi and deeper life ministry to think twice and stop this crusade.”
But countering IPOB, the Coalition of South-East Youth Leaders said there was no cause for alarm and that Kumuyi should proceed with the planned crusade.
“In the South-East, politicians, political parties are organising their campaigns, people are organising burial ceremonies, white and traditional weddings are going on and Emma Powerful did not tell them not to do their programmes and the same person is warning the General Overseer of Deeper Life Bible Church not to go ahead with his crusade.
“We are really surprised how Emma Powerful became so concerned about Pastor Kumuyi’s security. Kumuyi is a man of God protected by the most high God. It is not the business of anyone to worry about how Almighty God protects his servants. For Emma Powerful to suddenly ask the man of God to call off his scheduled crusade leaves much to be desired.
“Emma may not understand the import of his statement by asking Kumuyi not to come to South-East. Asking the highly revered man of God not to come to South-East will cause serious friction between the South-East and the South-West.”
“We call on Emma Powerful not to make such statement next time concerning a man of God serving the Almighty God. Such statement is not deserving at all.
“We call on Pastor William Kumuyi to disregard the statement by Emma Powerful and come to the South-East to preach the gospel of the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ to our people,” group said.
It added that, “The South East is very safe. Businessmen and women have been coming to do their business without any molestation whatsoever.”