Gov. Wike financial largesse to churches for political support exposed: Anglican, Catholic, RCCG, Eckankar top list of beneficiaries

An unveiled financial records of Rivers State Government House account No. 1010610151 domiciled with Zenith Bank, Government House Rivers State has revealed how the governor of Rivers State and Presidential aspirant under the Peoples’ Democratic Party, Barr. Nyesom Wike recklessly doles out the state’s funds running into billions of Naira to churches in Rivers State for political supports.

Between 2016 and 2021, it is estimated that Governor Wike has doled out over Five Billion Naira to selected churches and societies in Rivers State without approval from the State House of Assembly.  Anglican Communion, Lutheran Church, and Catholic Church top the list of beneficiaries of Wike’s financial largesse to orthodox churches. These gifts may have validated Wike’s declaration of Rivers State as a “Christian State”.

Wike had, during a crusade organized by the Lord’s Chosen Charismatic Church in Port Harcourt, declared that Rivers is a Christian state. A declaration that incurred the wrath of Muslims and many Muslim groups both in Nigeria and overseas. His pro-Christian and anti-Islamic stand would definitely pitch him against the Muslim dominated North where the governor is currently touring, requesting for supports and votes in his presidential quest. Some Muslim stakeholders have always accused Wike of religious bigotry and sectionalism.

Investigation revealed that Wike is not a fan of Pentecostalism. However, available financial records revealed that Redeemed Christian Church received a large chunk of financial gift from Governor Wike. The money showered on churches by Wike is far much more than what has been deployed by the State Governor to develop human capital in Rivers State, according to financial records exclusively obtained by LeadingReporters.

Beneficiary-Churches, donations and dates:

The first religious organization to benefit from Governor Wike’s gift, upon being elected a Governor was Eckankar. Information gathered revealed that Governor Wike doled at the sum of N80,000,000 to Eckankar as donation to the society on 2nd November, 2016.  Christ Apostolic Church and St. Luke’s Anglican Church, Rumudaolu were gifted the sum of N100,000,000 and N70,000,000 on 22nd November, 2016 respectively. On the other hand, Cathedral Church of St. Mathias Diobu was given the sum of N200,000,000 on the 20th July, 2017, while St. Paul Nyemoni Lutheran Church received the sum of N30,000,000 from Wike same 20th July, 2017.

Others include St. Gabriel’s Anglican Church Bolo which received the sum of N30,000,000 on 12th September, 2017. Other beneficiaries include Anglican Church, Diocese of Niger Delta North which received in two tranches of N20,000,000 and N37,435,000 on 5th February, 2018. Another N20,000,000 was given same day to the women wing of Anglican Communion Diocese of Niger Delta North.  Wike also gifted a religious school Jesuit Memorial College via the school First bank account the sum of N100,000,000 and N60,000,000 as donation for Okrika Bible Project Fund Raising respectively on 18th January, 2018.

Rivers Baptist Church received the sum of N80,000,000 from Governor Wike for their conference while Redeemed Christian Church Region 5 bagged the highest donation of N200,000,000 and another N40,000,000 on 18th January, 2018. St. Anne’s Anglican Church Okujagu Rivers State via its First Bank Account received the sum of N30,000,000 from Governor Wike pro-church activities.

On 12th November 2018, Rivers Baptist conference gulped the sum of N150,000,000 from the Rivers State Government Account while a total of N167,170,000 was gifted to different Christian religious organizations on 29th September, 2018, according to findings by LeadingReporters.

The financial records revealed that Governor Wike gifted Bishop and Mrs Winston T. Iwo, via their GTbank account the sum of N10,000,000 and another N10,000,000 on 11th January and 1st November, 2019 respectively, while the Anglican Church Communion, Diocese of Niger Delta North was given the sum of N33,594,400 on the 1st of October, 2019.

Recall that Governor Wike once declared Rivers State a Christian State, not minding the fact that Nigeria is a multi-religious country with Christianity and Islam as major religious sects in Nigeria. However, Governor Wike appointed three muslims in his cabinet an appointment many considered to be a political move to create the impression that Wike is not entirely anti-Islam. Recall that Prof. Ishaq Akintola, the Leader of Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has consistently raised alarm against Governor Nyesom Wike’s anti-Muslim position, describing him to have been black-listed to hold any Federal position where Muslims are stakeholders.  

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