Anglican Church in Oguta on Fire . Members Protest As Bishop Drags 3 Protests To Court

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Tunji Adedeji

 

 

 

The crisis rocking the St .Mathias Anglican Church Nkwesi and Emanuel Church Izombe all   in Oguta council area ,Imo state respectively, has taken a dangerous dimension as members of the congregation on Wednesday embarked on a peaceful protest demanding that their Diocesan Bishop Rt .Rev .C.B.N Oti, lord Bishop Anglican Diocese on the Lake, be sacked or called to order to prevent break down of law and order .

The festering crisis took a turn for the worse shortly after the Magistrate Court Oguta, adjoined till December 14th, 2017 a legal matter with suit no: MOG/10/2017 instituted by the Registered Trustees of the Diocese on the Lake led by Rt. Rev .C.B.N Oti seeking Ven .Canon Eugene Onwubie, Rev. Eugene Iheanacho and Ven. Caleb Udom under his Diocese to vacate the 3 rooms and parlor apartments situated at the church premises officially assigned to each of them over their refusal to submit their ordination certificate which according to them led to the decision for a one week notice to quit on the 25th day of June 2017.

The protesters went round major streets outside the premises of Anglican Dioceses on the Lake and within the court chanting that Bishop Oti must go. They were armed with placards of various inscriptions such as Bishop Oti, is Diocese on the Lake your Private Business, “ Bishop Oti pay your priests”, Oguta Youths say No to your Intimidation, Harassment and Humiliation, among others.

Elder Edwin Onyemaechi, from St. Mathias Anglican Church, Nkwesi, the leader of the congregation, who briefed journalists at the end of their protest said, the Bishop has brought shame to the church by taking minor issues which ordinarily could be resolved through a round table discussion in church to the court. He maintained that the protest will continue until their primate comes from Abuja to remove the Bishop and take him along to Abuja to work in theological seminary before they would end their protest, appealing to the primate never to transfer him to other diocese so that he Bishop would not pollute and destroy those places with intimidation, harassment and humiliation .

Mr. Chimampka, one of the youths told the Trumpeta how the Bishop in his 9 years administration of the diocese had allegedly reduced it to rubbles with members leaving to other branches and denominations in droves over maladministration .He disclosed that this ugly development has led hundreds of church faithful from St. Mathias Anglican Church Nkwesi and Emanuel Church Izombe on a peaceful demonstration to register their grievances.

Chimampka pointed out that they wished to used the platform to show their solidarity and support to Rev Canon Eugene, Rev. Eugene Iheanacho and Ven. Caleb Udom, who have been sued for their refusal to submit their ordination certificate.

In their separate interviews with journalists, the 3 priests said they were registered ordained priests from Owerri Diocese, noting that if they summit their licenses, they have dismissed themselves .They expressed worries why the Arch Bishop is quite about the development till now .They further accused the Bishop of taking laws into his hand by not waiting for the primates, describing the ugly situation as illegality which has not happened before in the history of the church.

Meanwhile, all effort to get Bishop Oti’s reaction proved abortive as the bishop of the diocese on the Lake could not be reached for reactions. Security men around the church premises said he was out of town. Calls put to his phone was not positive as it maintained not available.

Trumpeta gathered that in bid to prevent break down of law and order, the standing committee of the churches involving elders, youth and women had booked appointment with the Bishops severally but was turned down.