Popular Abuja-based pastor, Joshua Iginla, has admitted that he and his wife, Yemisi, both had children out of wedlock.
Iginla, who is the Senior Pastor of Champions Royal Assembly, who spoke to his congregation during a Sunday service, said when his wife brought an illegitimate child into their home, he forgave her, but that she refused to forgive him when he had his own child with another woman.
The cleric, in a video that has since gone viral, stated that though he had tried for seven years to “stable the vehicle,” it had resulted in a battle with his family members and disciples.
He told his followers, “I and your mother in the Lord met and we had a wonderful marriage; before we got married, we started by checking our genotypes. She was AA and I was AS. We had our first daughter, a wonderful child, and eventually we discovered she had sickle cell anaemia. I receive healing for people here with sickle cell and God has been doing miracles.
“I saw it as a battle and a challenge for me as your father which is a trial of faith for me; it is not a problem for me. I embraced my daughter and we had a good relationship. I may have been the first man of God to do it in this fashion but that is how I was led to do it. I want you to throw your stones at me, abuse me, insult me and I will take it but I want to stay alive, if not for you, for my destiny.
“We later discovered in the course of time that she (Yemisi) was actually AS and I was AS. No problem. It was not a battle but one thing led to another. What happened was what would make a man divorce his wife scripturally and I had the backing for that. But I had to cover it up to be sure that my marriage moved with your mother and that led to so many things.”
He stated that because he was a man of God, he could not divorce his wife to prevent his followers from saying a man of God had parted ways with his wife.
Iginla said, “So, I chewed it as a pill and so this battle has become a big one which some men of God are taking advantage of, and sons who are under me, who are very bad, have fed on this battle. I have tried for seven years. She brought an unholy child into the marriage which was difficult for me to chew. I don’t want you to judge my wife or anything. I just want you to know.
“We had serious battles here and there; family interventions and everything. We covered it. We would have not got to this point today if my wife had listened to me when we had the battle. I also went to have a child outside wedlock and then it became a battle in the family.”
He asked his congregants to put the blame on him, saying it had become pains for me “because when your wife begins to fight you everywhere and insult you — I have told her ‘don’t fight me, let’s solve this problem in secret and if we cannot solve it, I will come to the world, confess my sins to the world, receive the insults and end this marriage.’”
The cleric added, “And that is what I am doing today because the battle is bad; it has pushed me to this point. I want the world to know; I want you to insult me. This battle didn’t start from Papa. I am not sleeping and then children who don’t know my story are insulting me unnecessarily. I felt I wanted to end the struggle. I want it to be in the media; insult me.
“I knelt down; I begged her but she chose to make me the laughing stock before people and I said the day I come on air and say this to the people, it marks the end of our union. I covered her and I didn’t divorce her, but when mine came, she threw me to the world, calling people to send me pictures.”
Iginla told his congregation that when a father had battles and challenges in life, he needed to confide in his children so that they could pray for him, adding that some children had taken advantage of his challenges and battles.
He, however, said he forgave them and had left them to God to help them not to see what he had gone through in life.
According to Iginla, he is a father who loves his kids and loves everything about his family but when one becomes a leader, a lot of people play politics with one’s life because one is a star.
He added, “Your mama is doing well; she is in America with my children and they are doing well. You need to understand that I bought a duplex worth about $1m for them in America and they attend the best schools in America.
“Assuming I was like some of you, I wouldn’t be under these attacks. So many pastors in Nigeria and outside want to play politics with Joshua Iginla because Joshua Iginla is a big man of God so you hear all manner of talk. It is good. I leave them to God.
“My daughter, Sharon, forgive me but I have to talk because I hardly sleep; my blood pressure is going up and I don’t want to leave this world before my time and I know you know I am a gift to you and the body of Christ.
“It is so painful that when men of God go through strife, you are quick to throw stones at them and abuse them. It is good. We will receive it as our cross because it is part of our battle in life.”
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