While many are looking forward to 2022 with glee same can’t be said for Pastor Pastor Tunde Bakare, the Senior Pastor of the Citadel Global Community Church (formerly known as the Latter Rain Assembly) as the fiery preacher is currently embroiled in a loan repayment scandal.
Wema bank has moved to wield the big stick over inability of the cleric to service the loan he took from the bank.
The unsettling development comes amid decision by the bank’s management to go after individuals and companies who took huge loans from the bank but are not servicing the loans.
Among those in the bank’s list of debtors is Pastor Tunde Bakare. The controversial ‘man of God’ had taken loan from the bank to finance some projects with a view to expanding his church both in terms of physical structures and followership. The lion share of the loan, which went into building his new church, has now risen to about nine billion Naira (N9 billion).
According to report, the possibility of pastor Tunde Bakare being a victim of Wema Bank’s loan recovery onslaught is very high, and the former Vice-Presidential candidate will be hit so hard that he will find it difficult to shake off the predicament.
A source who’s familiar with the development revealed that, in building his new grand and monumental Church — Citadel Global Community Church edifice in Oregun, Ikeja — that cost billions of Naira, Pastor Tunde Bakare had leverage on his cordial relationship with Wema Bank to secure an uncollateralised N4.5billion loan.
According to sources close to the pastor, the contemplation was that he would be able to recoup the money used to build the church through growth in congregation that will be occasioned by the gigantic edifice. His logic was that the bigger the church became, the more populous and prosperous it would become.
But COVID-19 had other plans. Tunde Bakare and other renowned pentecostal churches did not have the gift of prescience to to see the havoc that will be wreaked by the virulent coronavirus that brought the world to a standstill.
The pandemic changed many things and the world underwent some social reconfiguration among which was closure of churches and altering of how humanity related and worshipped God. As the world went into lockdown, with many public places and worship centres shut, many churches had to take their services online. Even though offerings were accepted online, the revenue was nothing compared to when services were held physically and church was in full swing.
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Pastor Bakare’s projections did not materialise and now, the loan has reportedly risen to N9billion with interests. Sources close to the bank said overtures have been made today Bakare but there has not been any progress as per repayment. The bank is currently looking at the next line of action to take.
Until recently, Pastor Bakare maintained an enviable and smooth relationship with the first-generation bank. He was always present at almost all the bank’s events. When the bank celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2015, the lawyer turned feisty clergy was there. He also had a very robust relationship with the bank’s former MD/CEO, Segun Oloketuyi.
In 2016, Pastor Bakare was represented at the launch of a foundation to celebrate the 52nd birthday of the 2nd Vice President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Monday Onyekachi Ubani, by Oloketuyi. Oloketuyi has since left office and some of his dealings with Bakare are now coming into the open.