Well known pastor, of global renown and with a reputation as one of the most influential televangelists and men of God in Nigeria, and Africa, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, recently came under attack from Nigerian social media users, especially the influencers, after a video clip was released of the pastor giving his opinion on the impact of the corona virus pandemic as well as the issue of the technological advancement which brought “5G” into existence. Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, who is the senior pastor and leader of the Believers Love World ministry which is also known as Christ Embassy, was recorded as positing that the COVID 19 outbreak is a hoax and that the real problem is the 5G which he described as an attempt by the government to cause harm to its citizens. He was quoted as saying:
What killed people in Wuhan, China was not the virus…it was the 5G. The problem is not a virus. This is the biggest deception in the world.
The incident was met with backlash as social media users were quick to openly disparage the opinion of the man of God, even going as far as questioning his authenticity as a man of God. Many were of the opinion that he was misleading the masses and abusing his position as a public figure and thereby causing a controversy. It was largely suggested that Pastor Chris, should in fact, be arrested. The issue quickly escalated into a sort of battle of words between followers of the teachings of Pastor Chris and other members of the public.
It was this social media clamour that birthed the #IStandWithPastorChris trend, especially on Twitter. It prompted notable members of Christ Embassy to come out to take a stand against those who were attempting to smear the Pastor’s image. The most vocal of these persons is the gospel artist Joe Praize who has since gone ahead to release a number of posts to support his spiritual father and join in rebuffing his attackers. Another notable commentator in the whole thing is female gospel artist, Ada Ehi, who also is a member of Christ Embassy. It is unclear if this is going to die out peacefully, and if so, how soon it would be. However, the general hope is that people can put this behind them in order to unite against the common goal which is the reason for such a global recess.