…power tussle tears church apart
…Calabar Province threatens to break away
The African Church of Nigeria is currently boiling with an internal crisis which is threatening to tear apart the Church’s unity.
Platinum.ng gathered that the crisis which is being handled by the church’s apex committee in Abuja is connected to the retirement of the Church’s Primate, His Eminence, (Dr) Emmanuel Udofia.
According to our source, the crisis starting cooking after the Church’s management in its 2018 meeting, issued a retirement notice to the Primate, urging him to vacant office in May, 2019.
The Primate, in his reply to the notice had said that his retirement will be due in 2023, adding that the present constitution of the church which was amended in his regime by the general committee/congress – the highest decision making body of the church – does not apply to him, and that the apex church congress had said that he is not bound by the amended constitution.
However, in a meeting of the Church Management in Akwa Ibom, at St Michael’s African Church, Four Towns, Uyo; the secretary, Mr. Eddy, had notified the gathering of their error in issuing the retirement notice to the Primate.
“They then resolved to withdraw the notice of retirement issued to the Primate and his (the Primate) reply, which they did”, our source said.
“But the management went back to Lagos and reconvened another meeting and reissued another retirement notice insisting that the Primate must go”, our source narrated.
This brought about uproars in the church nationwide, leading to reactions from various angles.
In their separate responses, the duo of the Vice Lay President of the Uyo Central Diocese, Elder Ibanga Ekanem and the Provincial Lay President of Calabar Province, Eld. (Dr.) Ekpanya, made separate appeals urging the management to refrain from issuing the notice to the Primate, on grounds that his tenure was yet to elapse.
They are also said to have pleaded with the management to allow unity and calm in the church, and as well allow the Primate complete his tenure in office but this, according to our source, fell on deaf years. Subsequently, “the Calabar Province has issued a release to the Church’s management that if they are bent on removing the Primate, the Calabar Province is going with him. They will come out of the African Church and go with the Primate”, our source said.
“As we speak, the matter is ongoing at the apex church committee in Abuja”.
Members of the church are anxiously waiting for the outcome of the meeting. As it stands, there are strong indications that some section of the church, particularly the Yorubas do not want the Primate to continue. They have concluded their plans”, our source said.