RCCG COD Mummy’s Dance Of Shame And Wigwe Family’s Commendable Response 


By Betty Abah

THE decision by the Wigwe family to exclude their late son’s church, the elitist City of David (COD), RCCG, Lagos from his burial programs is all shades of excellent.

The level of insensitivity shown by the lead pastor’s wife, Mrs. Siju Iluyomade organising a lavish party to mark her 60th birthday just a week after the tragic passing of their church’s leading member and unparalleled financier who died alongside his wife and first son in an air crash in the USA, is callously unchristianly. It’s dancing makossa over the very fresh graves of these church members and rubbing tarodo pepper on their surviving family members’ grievous wounds. It is in bad taste and such strain of insensitivity wails to the highest heavens. 

What happens to a postponement or even a cancellation in their honour considering their relationship? What happened to our sense of sensitivity? Excuse me, how is the birthday party sacrosanct amidst this traumatic occurrence?

And did you see her pinkish Cinderella dress and the entertaining local giant masquerade and Flavour the Crooner titillating her while at it? (And Flavour of all else, what happened to musicians of the same faith for a top religious figure as Mummy COD?). What is the message passed? And how does one ever juxtapose this debauchery side by side with the wailing of the Wigwe’s family including his aged mum and dad, siblings and surviving three kids? Who else should show the cosiest compassion other than his spiritual family? What happens to the biblical injunction to ‘mourn with those who mourn’?

Hey, billionaire banker and cofounder of Access Bank, founder of the Wigwe University, amongst other accomplishments, Mr. Hubert Wigwe was no ordinary member. His N1Billion loan partly helped facilitate the building of COD’s recently launched mega-church building amongst other hefty help narrated by the lead pastor, Idowu Iluyomade himself following Mr Wigwe’s passing. 

But Wigwe weighed much more; his philanthropic work extended far beyond his church, including the educational scholarship support for hundreds or even thousand of students via the HOW Foundation which he also founded. Despite the bias many of us hold against his Access Bank, their CSR work in the health sector, nonprofits, for enterpreneurs and other endeavours surpass most banks in the country. In his death Nigeria lost an iconoclastic asset while millions lost lifetime opportunities. Yet for his church ‘mummy’, her birthday and associated Makosa was what mattered most to her. 

Besides Wigwe, his wife Chizoba, also a very successful business woman, must have been an asset as well to the church. The couple was both in their mid 50’s. The young man who died with them was their heir apparent, their firstborn child, a 22 year~old Stanford University graduate and promising fintech guru), all burnt to death in a foreign land. A traumatic incineration of potentials, dreams, a tragic end!

And these were the members whose church’s ‘mummy’ could not mourn beyond a week while the rest of the country, most of whom didn’t know them in person, were still reeling in shock and extended grief. 

Yet if Pastor Mrs. Iluyomade ever knew that Christianity’s essence revolves around compassion and unconditionally care, she didn’t need to be told to postpone or even cancel this wild party just a week after the horrible deaths of the trio who were their members and worse, members of one family. 

At this point we also should be asking Daddy G.O., Enoch Adeboye if he still has any grip over these scandal~prone mega RCCG parishes where members’ socioeconomic standings typically dictate their clergy positions and not their spiritual stands. Same mega parishes whose standards differ drastically from the spiricoco ‘normal’ classic parishes even if they are within same religious denomination. Perhaps while at it, we should equally ask if COD’s lead pastor, Idowu endorsed this show of shame by his wife or if she was simply beyond control (he could also be seen gyrating at the abysmal funfair). Also, if this could be the response to the tragedy that befell the rich and powerful Wigwes,, what then would be the fate of the poverty~stricken and ‘insignificant members of the COD’s super rich fold?

Can we say the truth for once concerning religiosity in Nigeria without the fear of being struck down by a snap of the ‘Annointed’s fingers ? Can we? Shall we?

We are losing our humanity in this country and people who should lead the way by their humane examples, body languages and the symbolisms of their actions don’t give a single hoot. How can you even hold a sumptuous party to mark a birthday as a religious and public figure and not a charity outreach in the midst of widespread hunger in the land if you really get God’s mind, ehn? Where is the compassion sef? Haba. 

Anyway, thanks to the Wigwe’s family. And no, please don’t rescind that decision. Let COD continue partying, after all, ‘life must go on’. 

Enough of the rubbing into our wounds by the insulated elites of the land. 


  • Betty Abah writes from Lagos.  


Eighteen-Eleven Media 

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