Drama As Clergymen Protest Sealing Of Church By Ikpeazu
Clergymen Protest Sealing Of Church By Abia Govt
In Abia, a few clergy members of the Apostolic Christian Church Mission protested.
They protested the church’s headquarters being sealed off at 34 Omuma Road in Aba, the capital city of Abia State and its commercial center.
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Following a protracted leadership conflict that shook the church, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu had ordered the closure of the church’s headquarters.
The directive was included in a statement dated December 31, 2022, and signed by Chris Ezem, Secretary to the State Government.
In their cassocks, the protesting clergymen marched to the governor’s lodge while singing gospel songs and laying out their grievances.
Some of them carried signs that read, “Ikpeazu should open the national headquarters of ACCM,” “ACCM does not support tribalism, Let governor Ikpeazu unseal the headquarters of ACCM,” and other statements.
Apostle Christopher Ogbuagu and Rev. Ugochukwu Onugha, the church’s spokesmen, accused Ikpeazu of allegedly attempting to persuade the church’s leadership to favour his Kinsmen.
The two, who acknowledged that the church was currently dealing with a leadership crisis, questioned why the governor, who is not a member of the church, was interested in the situation. The case is currently before the Owerri division of the Court of Appeal.
The group’s statement, which was provided to our correspondent, stated that a small number of church elders—mostly politicians who also happen to be related to the governor of the state of Abia, Okezie Ikpeazu—want to impose an unpopular bishop on the church in response to the passing of the previous Bishop.
The next in line is a career missionary by the name of Rev. Apostle John U. Esinna; the financial secretary of the church, who is not a career missionary of the church, rose up and is receiving the support of the governor’s kinsmen and political allies; led by Chief Theo Nkire, a former attorney general of Abia state, and Elder Godwin Nna, a former commissioner and local government chairman.
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Over 98% of the clergy and members support Rev. J.U. Esinna’s leadership, while a tiny minority led by Theo Nkire is trying everything in their power to impose P. C. Erondu on the church.
The case is even currently before the Court of Appeal in Owerri, but instead of waiting patiently and lawfully for the court’s decision, Theo Nkire’s group has used every legal tactic at their disposal to coerce the church.
Their most recent maneuver was to convince the governor to shut down the church’s headquarters in order to intimidate churchgoers who oppose his relatives.
He even referred to the pro-Esnna group’s leaders as criminals when he declared their leaders wanted on the state-run radio station.
The entire clergy has started a peaceful protest because they are tired of the governor of Abia state’s ongoing involvement, meddling, and intimidation.
The purpose of this is to inform the public that the state governor should be held accountable for any harm that occurs to any of our leaders and that he should relinquish control of the church.
The governor is interfering in a church matter that is even before the court of Appeal and attempting to intimidate the church into accepting a nonclergy as their Bishop because his relatives and political allies are involved.
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