Nigerians have criticized the founder and General Overseer of God’s Heritage Centre, Calabar, Cross River State, Bishop Josef Bassey for taking a second wife.
This followed his second marriage to a lady identified as Oma Etta.
The pastor, who married his former wife, Grace Josef Bassey in 1997, and share two children with her, left many people in shock after photos from the traditional wedding with Etta surfaced online.
Unconfirmed reports making the round on social media claimed that Grace left him over alleged infidelity.
However, a statement issued by the church secretary, Barr. Melody Irem, on Wednesday, August 31, 2022, described the reports as ”malicious and demonstration of crass ignorance by agents of hell. ”
According to Barr. Irem, the bishop’s first marriage ended since October 2016, after his former wife ”abandoned the marriage.”
He confirmed that the presiding bishop got married ‘gloriously, honorably and enviably’ on Wednesday, 24th August 2022, after six years of ‘undesired singlehood’.
“Our attention has been drawn to an onslaught of malicious, defamatory fabrication of lies, misrepresentation of facts and outright demonstration of crass ignorance aimed at tarnishing the hard-earned image, name and reputation of our highly esteemed and respected man of God, His Lordship, Bishop Josef Bassey,” the statement read.
“Ordinarily, we would have completely ignored it as the Lord whom we serve knows the truth and is the ultimate defender of his own; but so that people of goodwill and good conscience do not get deceived or swayed by this ignominious perpetuation of these agents of Satan obviously doing the bidding of their master, we therefore feel obliged to set the records straight as follows
“1. That the first marriage of our man of God ended since October, 2016 after the former wife abandoned the marriage.
2. That all attempts at mediation and reconciliation through different authorities and persons within and outside the church were rebuffed by her, including those by some of the most highly respected spiritual fathers in the nation and beyond
3. Consequently, in keeping with native laws and customs, a date was fixed and her family, the family of our man of God and representatives of the church met and formally dissolved the union thereby officially setting both parties free from the marriage covenant
4. The spiritual fathers and church authorities acting through the Pentecostal college of Bishops, in the light of these developments, and in consideration of other facts unfit and unedifying for public consumption, formally dissolved and nullified the marriage, thereby releasing God’s servant to re-marry if he chose to
5. It might be necessary to note that the one-time wife of our man of God had since 2016 moved on, reverted to her maiden name as Grace Henshaw and is living her life and doing whatsoever she pleases, where and when she pleases and how she pleases. And rightly so
6. After six years of dealing with the better imagined than told personal devastations, pains, loneliness, struggles and evil consequences of the actions of his one-time wife, God’s servant, leveraging on wise counsel and divine guidance decided it was time to quit singlehood and give the past a final closure in the best interest of his life, destiny, family and the kingdom
“He got married gloriously, honorably and enviably on Wednesday, 24th August 2022 in highly celebrated traditional marriage that was witnessed by the church, families, friends, neighbors etc
“God’s servant today, after six years of undesired singlehood, has only one wife. And ONE WIFE only. All suggestions or insinuations to the contrary are lies, evil, deceitful, in bad taste and the handiwork of wicked people
“Interestingly, we know the perpetuators of this evil campaign. They are the same agents of hell whose attempts in the past years to bring God’s servant down or frustrate the work of God failed woefully
“They obviously are having heart attack from their serial failures and tangible strength and the grace of God at work in God’s servant making him undeterred and unmoved in his continued demonstrated commitment to the advancement of the kingdom and the cause of God, in spite of the arrows hauled at him
“We therefore call on the Christian community and men of good conscience to ignore the lies, fabrications and misrepresentations as they are intended to hurt the body of Christ and bring the name of our Lord into disrepute, even as we continue in our fight against our common enemy
“As a commission, we remain more committed now than ever before to reach the ends of the earth with the glorious gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, and making ready the nations for his second coming. May the grace, peace and blessings of our Lord Jesus Christ be on us all.”