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Pastor Dr. Dickson Dele Asaaju, the Assistant Secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria in Lagos State is a man of many parts, an enigma of a sort. He turns 60 years exactly on Sunday 28th January, 2024, and he would be celebrating it with a very powerful thanksgiving service that same day.

Pastor Asaaju from a very humble beginning has dined with Kings and Queens and those that matter in the realms of faith and politics in Lagos State. The current Assistant Secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria and the Superintendent of Christ Apostolic Church Christ Affairs District spoke with PTL News on the celebration of his diamond jubilee. Enjoy the excerpts.

Can you lead us into what to expect on January 28, 2024?

What I have in the offing is the 60th thanksgiving service of my birthday. It will be coming up, by the special grace of God on Sunday, 28th January, and that is the exact day I was born, that same day of January 28, to the family of by Pastor and Prophet Daniel and Mrs. Alice Abejide Asaaju of blessed memory, and we are marking it with a thanksgiving service on Sunday 28th January, 2024 at CAC Pleasure DCC , No 7, Ajiboye Crescent, Off Pleasure Bus Stop, Orile Agege, Lagos.

Why we want to celebrate it with thanksgiving Service

Why we want to celebrate it with thanksgiving is to acknowledge and appreciate the goodness of God and tell of His benefits. The last time I celebrated it like this was when I turned 50. I have every reason to thank God. I know many people that attended my birthday then that are no more alive, one of which was the former Executive Chairman of Agbado Oke Odo LCDA, Dr. Augustine Arogundade. There are between six and ten people that I know that are no more alive.

But here I am for the 60 years, I did not fall sick for one day, despite all the tight schedules the Lord has endowed me with, there is nothing I can give to God but to appreciate him for His mercies. That is the purpose of the birthday, the celebration is not to show off but to tell of His goodness, His mercy and benefits. It is not to contest with anybody or to show off. I am doing this to glorify the name of the Lord and tell of His goodness and show all His benefits I have been enjoying since the day I was born. That is the purpose.

What do we expect for the day?

To the glory of God Sunday used to be a very busy day, it is the day of the Lord when Churches are expected to hold their programmes. Being Sunday, I expect people to attend their various Churches in the morning before coming to celebrate with us. That same day I am expected to preach at a Church with one of my friends, Prophet Oganla, we started it over almost 35 years ago now that I can remember. That day they would celebrate my birthday in his church, that day I would preach and do revival in their church. I will be in His Church. For a very long time he always observes annual retreat, he has reserved that day for me as part of his annual convention to celebrate my birthday.

We also expect some fathers in the Lord who are ahead of me in the ministry. The likes of Prelate Makinde, of the Methodist Church, Rev. Solomon Adegbolagun, of CRIL, Rev. Dr. Julius Odofin, Chairman of CAN in Lagos State, who has also been appointed as the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Christian Pilgrimage Commission, Bishop STV Adegbite, our leaders in CAC, the Director of Mission, Pastor CS Fasuyi, my DCC Superintendent, Pastor TAK Afolabi, and many other Christian leaders that I cannot remember now. I cannot also forget that Baba Prelate Akinadewo, the National President of OAIC would be there, CAN in every part of the state, the bloc leaders, Government officials, including the representatives of the Governor of Lagos State and his wife, my church members, and districts are expected to grace the occasion.

More of God and less of me

We will be there to gather together to talk more about God and less about myself. It will allow people to advise me on how to forge ahead. It is another opportunity to say some things about me and advise me on how to forge ahead, and all those who are before me in age can do that, and they would know how to advise me, and those who have one thing or the other, or complaints against me, now that I am 60 can come out and correct me, for I know man is not perfect, like as a man of what God has made me, some people used to talk that I am so tough. May be now that I am sixty, I can be less tough than they expect. That is what I want people to do for me that day.

Any special reception?

We are doing everything together including the thanksgiving. Everything will be done together with packed menu. So there is no special reception. The reception we are going to have is for God Himself and not for me. It is going to be thanksgiving service all the way. It is not expected to last more than three hours. We will begin at 2.00pm and by 5.00pm we are done. Whatever we are going home with will be packed.

The Man DDE Asaaju

When I was 50, it was more of me, but now it is going to be more of God. I was born into a Christian home by a Pastor father and his wife my mother. February this year my father would be 20 years in heaven, and my mother was 40 years in heaven on December 13, 2023, last year. You can now know how far I have been an orphan. I was also born into a royal family, but now as a minister of God, I don’t usually dwell on that royalty, I believe the royalty of God is greater than that of any human throne.

I found myself of attending many primary schools as a son of a CAC Pastor, as a result of the missionary works my father was engaged in moving from one station to the other. I attended primary schools in Owo, Okitipupa, and I started my secondary school in Irele, under Okitipupa, and my secondary School at Christ School, Ado Ekiti. That was where I finished with my secondary school.

From there I proceeded to the then Obafemi Awolowo University which later became Ekiti State University. It used to be Obafemi Awolowo before it was changed. That was where I studied Psychology and later Law in Ife before I received my divine call.

I happened to find myself again at Faith Bible College, now called Faith Bible University. I was the first full time student when Dr. Olumide Ige himself was alive. It was there I bagged my doctorate degree. That was how I came into the ministry. Then in 1989 God helped to start Apostolic Church of Christ, Dopemu, under the leadership of Pastor Oladoja, now late. He was in London when I started that Church. The church is now under CAC. From there I proceeded to the ministry I am now. CAC Christ Affairs that have now been given a District status. Since then I have always been on the move.

What gives me inspiration

As a child I was born to a Christian home, born by a pastor and a renowned man of God. When you are talking about Christianity we are born into it. That not withstanding, I got saved under the ministration of Baba Pastor Kumuyi of Deeper Life in one of his SU camps I attended then. I never knew I would develop to a full time minister of God. I was also a member of the Light of the World in CAC. I was an active member in Ondo State and later in Lagos. I later became the music director of CAC in Ikorodu then when Dr. Dunni Olanrewaju was my vice.

I can also remember that my father told me it was prophesied that he would be given a son, and that son would be a Prophet of God. I happened to be the first son of my father. There is a woman before me. I did not know the prophecy has been there, I struggled against it but the will of God prevailed. That was how I involved myself, and immediately I passed out of Bible College, it was my Rector that called me that some set of people were looking for minister to start a church, and that he had prayed about it and I would be able to go.

That was how I went out in 1989, and I became a Pastor that has to gather a number of people together to start a new church called Apostolic Church of Christ International. I registered the church myself with my supposed leader who was in London then. But when he came back there was a kind of a tussle between us. I had to leave the church for him, because he was the head. I had to leave for him to enjoy his leadership despite that I was the one that the people knew there.

After leaving that Church according to the directive of God, I started my ministry, that is the one we call Christ Affairs today.

My Movement in CAN

When I was in Dopemu, God told me to join CAN. I knew of CAN but I didn’t like CAN because of what we used to hear of them then. It was in Dopemu I came to know CAN. God specifically told me to join CAN. I told God that I did not actually love them, but God told me there was a mission, and assignment for me there. While I received that I did not comply with the message until I left Dopemu and secured a land in Ijaiye Ojokoro. Though I had known CAN what I usually heard of them did not allow me to go near them. I was a member of PFN in Dopemu under Baba Adeagbo.

I later secured a place in Ijaiye Ojokoro where I started my Church, CAC Christ Affairs Assembly. When I got there the first thing I did was to move around the churches there. I introduced myself to the leadership of the church there. That was how I made friends there including the likes of Sup. Evang. Jossy Ayodele. I asked him about where CAN used to hold its meeting, he promised we would go there together the following week. We then attended the CAN meeting together.

When we got there we met old people, telling stories. The day we got there we were selected as officers. They made me the Financial Secretary, and Oga Jossy was made the Assistant Chairman. While they gave me the post of the Financial Secretary, Evang. Jossy was made the Vice Chairman. Later I became the Secretary to Evang. Jossy. It was the way they were described that we met them. But God used us to sanitise the situation there. You could later see us doing things together, with CAC man sitting comfortably with Cele, there was peace and love. That was how we started.

From there I was asked to come and become the Vice Chairman to King Jossy, I said No, that I met some people there. The Secretary then, Majekodunmi, said I should become the Vice chairman, and the secretary remained the secretary. I told King Jossy to take the Vice Chairmanship, and I took the Secretary under Meiran District then. We thank God for how God helped us in CAN then, we became the Great Meiran Popular Zone because of our activities.

There was another time there was to be an election in the leadership of Alimoso CAN. New people were to come in. I just discovered that through mentioning of my name, my chairman who also contested as the Vice Chairman was played out, he won but his election was changed. That was part of the injustices in the church.  It was him that mentioned my name as Financial Secretary in the Local Government. That was how I was voted for. It was from there that God used it to establish and introduce me to people. I was almost in charge of everything in CAN under the leadership of Baba Ayanfe Abiodun who died in an accident. He was my leader who introduced me to almost everything I know today. God used that man for me, he was my mentor when it comes to talking about CAN. I was almost doing everything with his supports and cooperation. I was absolutely in charge.

Later when Alimoso (LG) was divided into six. I was asked to lead Agbado Oke Odo LCDA, the position I conceded to Baba Olaogun and I was the Secretary. Getting to this place I met old people as the District Chairmen there. They were old fathers in the Lord. I thought of how could I lead the old men who were old to be my father. I therefore called the together to get a Chairman among them, and I took the position of the Secretary. That made me offend my other brother who wanted to take the position of the secretary. That one was given the position of Financial Secretary. That was how we started and God used me.

I was the secretary but God used me to lay the foundation of CAN in Agbado Oke Odo because the Baba that was chosen as the Chairman, allowed me to function. Though they were old, they allowed me to give the direction of where to go, and they gave me free hand to operate. He is late now, he was Baba Olaogun. He always gave me the opportunity I needed to work with, and God made me to lay the foundation for a new CAN in Agbado Oke Odo. Baba Olaogun was there for six years. After his tenure I was asked to take over from him knowing fully that I was the one that was originally supposed to take the position. I then became the chairman.

That was the problem between me and Baba Abiola who did not want me to work with the other faction of CAN. We were going through a reconciliation process because God used me to initiate the reconciliation process within the two factions of CAN of the Abiola/Okodua. That was how we became one. Today everything is settled. Baba Abiola appointed me as Assistant Secretary. From there I became the chairman of the six Alimoso Federal Constituency of CAN in Lagos State. Everybody knew the role God used me to play in Alimoso, especially between Christians and muslims. God brought us together under one umbrella, and today in Alimoso, the Christians and the muslims speak with one voice. No politician can divide us. It was through the politics in CAN that took me to the political arena. If anybody tells you that CAN is not political, but CAN remains the political arm of the Christians because we are the ones that speak to the government, we are the one that speak to the people, and we represent our people before the government. There is nothing you will be in CAN that you will not know a little bit about politics because the politics in CAN is even greater than the one outside. But we want to thank God that our own is guided by the spirit of God and oneness. We cannot because of politics kill ourselves. We can disagree, yet we can come together and still agree. That is the difference between us and the politicians in the larger society.

Myself, Politics and CAN

It was through the politics in CAN that made me known to the politicians like Yayi, (Senator Olamilekan Solomon), Bisi Yusuf and others. We don’t go to them to go and ask for money but they saw our activities through CAN, and they recognized us. We never wrote to any of them to ask for any favour. But through our parley with them, they know what is good for us, and they recognize us as Christian voice in Alimoso. That was how I was dragged into politics. There is no way you would relate with people without doing politics, even with CAN, there is no way you would be in CAN and don’t know politics. In Alimoso nobody can do away with CAN.  

Presently in the last election in CAN in Lagos State, God elevated me to the post of the Assistant Secretary under the leadership of his Lordship Bishop STV Adegbite who happens to be the Chairman of Lagos State CAN now.

Looking ahead

Apostle Paul said, When I was a young I behaved like a youth, but when I became old, I behave like an old man. Definitely people will expect that I become a less tough person. But that is in the hand of the Lord, I don’t see that toughness but standing on principles. But I know in dealing with people I will be more conscious from now henceforth because I am not all that young. I know by the grace of God before 75 years, which is the retirement age in Christ Apostolic Church, I expect to have been retired before that time. I know by then God would have helped my children to be well to do, and place them where they are supposed to be. I want to see the church in particular to be what it is supposed to be because we are closer to the rapture now than before.

I expected the church to be what it is expected to be. I want the church to be more prepared expecting the second coming of Jesus Christ. We know that the church is in a mess now, in that we are no more expecting the second coming of the Lord. So I want the church to be more prepared, expecting the second coming of Jesus Christ. When I was young, everything about me was God, God, God, and now that I am getting old, I must be closer to God because I know anytime now, God can call me, and I tell my people that if I die today nobody should mourn me because I know where I am going. I have served God, and I will know I will continue to serve him till the end of my life. So peradventure God call me home nobody should mourn me. God knows I must have fulfilled my part before He calls me. That should be the conviction of every believer. But if I have not fulfilled my vision, nobody can kill me.

As for CAN, CAN should speak more as the representative of God, to the world that is filled up with sins, because of what we can see now, it’s like the Christians are all part of the system. The government doesn’t fear us. They don’t see any reason why they should take to our advice because we have sold our birthright. It is like CAN is part of the system. But through the grace of God I want to say that the present leadership may be used to redeem the image of the church, and bring the respect we have lost as a Church, back to us. That is my expectation.

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Julius Adegunna, a writer, and publisher of good news and reports. He is also a trainer in Writing and Publishing, a Media Consultant and an Entrepreneur. A 1987 Graduate of International Relations of the University of Ife, (Now Obafemi Awolowo University) with Post Graduate Diploma in International Relations, and Master in Communication Studies of Lagos State University. He lives in Lagos, Nigeria.

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