April 14, 2019

African Church crisis worsens as South South sacks South West Bishops

By Chioma Onuegbu, Uyo

The Leadership tussle in the African Church has assumed a tribal dimension as the South-south region of the church has reportedly issued a marching order to Bishops of the South-West region to relocate from their states.

An inside source who disclosed this to newsmen yesterday in Uyo said Bishop James Bamilede from Ekiti state who was at Fourtowns, branch Uyo, and the Archbishop of the Calabar Province, A. A Odufuwa have been sacked from their stations following the return of embattled Primate of the Church, Bishop Emmanuel Udofia from Lagos.

The source who spoke in confidence further disclosed that Edo and Delta states besides sending bishops of Yoruba ethnic nationality packing, have also threatened a breakaway due to the continued harrassment and schemes by the Western provinces to ensure Emmanuel Udofia did not complete his tenure as the current primate of the church.

During the reception of Primate Udofia at St Stephen’s Cathedral Uyo, penultimate weekend, the Calabar and Rivers provinces had threatened to break away from the Arch cathedral church in Lagos, if Emmanuel Udofia was not allowed to complete his tenure.

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Speaking at the reception, Justice Ezekiel Enang, who is the legal adviser of Calabar Province said the two provinces would stand by the General Council’s decision of the church that “the current primate should retire at 65 years after which the new rule of retirement at 60 would take effect”

Also speaking Vice lay president of Warrie Diocese, Mr Ezekiel Okorode, expressed concern over the humiliation of the primate who happened to the only South-South to attain the position in 118-years of the existence of the African church.

“The Western provinces must retrace their steps and apologize else it is backward never; forward ever,”, he had stressed.

It is gathered that the primate, Dr Emmanuel Udofia is currently being threatened with the sack if he fails to vacate office as primate next month May, 2019 when he would have turned 60 years, however, South-South members of the church are insisting that a new law of the church would not apply to Udofia having been in office on the detects of the old constitution.

However, they advised Udofia to relocate temporarily relocate to Uyo until when the leadership crisis has been put to rest.