The Primate of Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, The Most Revd. Henry Ndukuba has expressed disgust at the way some highly influential people in the church treat the issue of election and translation of bishops within the church.
He then placed a three-year moratorium on the translation of Bishops within the church. He expressed deep concern over some bishops who constitute themselves as cabals in the church
Ndukuba expressed the worry during the February edition of the Standing Committee meeting of the Church. The event took place in Abuja at the St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral, Kubwa, Abuja on Wednesday, February 14.
The meeting had the theme, Watch and Pray: Godly disposition when kingdoms rage. It was attended by all bishops in the church and some key lay officials.
Ndukuba who was visibly agitated while delivering his address said “some developments are very worrisome. A situation in which dioceses or influential people, both bishops and laity will insist bishops be elected among the indigenes of the diocese is a development we must address”
He added, “Where the person elected has been handpicked or known is not godly. The episcopal synod must be led by God to choose a servant of God who must be best suited for the growth of the church in that diocese”” he said.
Bishops constitute themselves to cabals
The primate also observed that the opportunity to translate bishops to places where there are vacancies is also being abused in the church.
He stated, “Whenever a bishop is consecrated and enthroned in a diocese, he wears the episcopal ring that symbolises his marriage to the church of God in serving that diocese. The prerogative of the translation from one See to another belongs to the Church. And not to the demands, campaign and lobbying of the bishop who wants to go a greener pasture or diocese.
Bishops constitute themselves to cabals
He said further that “Whatever you need to build the church of God is already provided by God in the diocese where you are. A situation in which some bishops constitute themselves into a cabal for episcopal election is sin. It is sin against the holy spirit and not discerning the move of God.
“Such persons must repent. If a bishop is needed for a place, even when he does not want to go, he can still be translated by 2.3 majority of the votes of episcopal synod.
“We hereby put a three-year moratorium on the translation of bishops in the Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion due to the unhealthy and ungodly rivalry seen in the quest for some bishops seeking translation to vacant Sees”
The Lagos diocese
The election of bishops in the last few years in the church has generated a lot of controversy. The last controversial election was that of the late bishop of Lagos and Archbishop of Lagos Province, The Most Revd Humphrey Olumakaiye. He passed on October 30 2022 after a protracted illness.
Olumakaiye was translated from Osun State to replace The Most Revd Ephraim Ademowo who retired from the church on July 29, 2018. His election generated a lot of controversy with some people alleging that money changed hands.
Unfortunately, Olumakaiye passed on. Since his transition, there have been subtle pressure and scheming on who will replace him. A letter threatening blood bath over successorship in the Lagos diocese was denied by the alleged author.
Read also: Olumakaiye’s election as Archbishop stirs controversy: https://churchtimesnigeria.net/olumakaiye-archbishop-controversy/
With the three-year moratorium, it is clear that no known bishop in the church will have the opportunity to serve in Lagos Diocese which is considered juicy posting by some. The house of Bishops of the church will have to elect a new bishop to occupy the present vacancies in the church including that of Lagos diocese.
This temporary hold on translation is a fantastic move by the primate to check the excesses of lobbying and the likes. I honestly see no reason why men of God who signed up to do the work of God would be interested in masterminding the selections of people for strategic positions, why is there even an idea of a diocese being more juicier than another..
The Anglican Church Nigeria needs to sit up and make sure the people in the congregation ain’t loosing faith in its leaders and start to do things right.
I am 75 years old. We grew up to rever our Priests and Bishops. But these days, the Bishops are high up there chasing after the Rich. It is very shameful for Priests and Bishops to start insinuating Juju in the Christian faith. It is a reflection of their background. They are Anti-Christ and should be properly vetted.