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Friday, November 3, 2017

Zambia gives Nigerian pastor 48 hours to leave country over divisive conduct


 

Zambian authorities have given a pastor of Apostle Johnson Suleman’s Omega Fire Ministries International in Lusaka 48 hours to close shop and leave the country.

The Zambian government alleged that Pastor Augustine Oso Ebosele’s conduct has divided the Omega Fire Ministries into two parties, adding that there are fears the cleric’s continued stay in the country and the acrimony in the church could result in the breakdown of law and order.

Reports said Ebosele’s four-year work permit expired in June. However, instead of renewing the permit, the Zambian immigration authorities gave the pastor four months extension to wind up his activities and leave.

According to the Zambian Observer,Obosele’s ‘quit notice’ comes on the heels of the Senior Pastor and General Overseer of Omega Fire Ministries International, Apostle Suleman, claim that Zambia is one of the nations in the world that deports Nigerians through 'Zambianisation' to take over their successful 'massive' investments.

He alleged that Nigerian churches that are growing including his own with branches in Chingola, Ndola and Livingstone are being targeted to remove pastors sent by him.

The Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services who is also Chief government spokesperson, Kampamba Mulenga, described the allegations as baseless.

She said Zambia has not closed Omega Fire Ministries and is not against Nigerian Pastors, adding that Omega Fire Ministries Headquarters in Auchi, Nigeria is free to send a senior pastor to come and help reconcile the membership in Lusaka.

Bribery allegations

According to the Lusaka Times, immigration authorities arrested Obosele and his pregnant wife on Tuesday for refusing deportation.

The cleric claimed he is being targeted by government officials for refusing to pay K30,000 bribe to facilitate his stay.

He said that he had presented tangible evidence of corruption to both the Ministry of Home Affairs, and the Ministry of Religious and National Guidance but that it was largely ignored.

The cleric also alleged that some expelled members of his church had reported falsehoods about him to the ministry, which they investigated but did not find any fault.

"I got a call from one man from Religious Affairs. This man can call thirty times in one minute, I don't know how much they gave him. I went to the office to see him at his office, there he accused me of a lot and lots of things.”

“From there he told me that I needed to cooperate with him because my deportation order is already on his table. He said if I don't cooperate he would have me deported and I should give him K30, 000, to which I questioned whether it was his ministry that deported people," he told Lusaka Times.

Pastor Obosele said that when his documents were up for renewal, he submitted to the Immigration but that he had found it difficult as was promised to get his papers cleared.