N5 million largesse: “He has no right…” – Church members threaten to sue bishop
by Isi Esene
Some members of the St. Paul Millennium Church, Odo Owa Ekiti, yesterday threatened to sue Bishop of Ekiti West Anglican Diocese, Most Rev. Oludare Oke over the N5m largesse donated to the church by the Ekiti State governor, Kayode Fayemi.
The members are upset with the Bishop for demoting the Vicar who reportedly disregarded his advise to save the said money instead of spending it.
The church vicar, Rev. Mike Ogunniyi, was demoted from the position of archdeacon to a canon for utilizing the money in buying a N3m church bus and renovating the church.
The Punch Newspapers reports it thus:
Two members of the parish Provincial Church Council told PUNCH Metro that some church members had resolved to drag the bishop to the court if he refused to reverse his decision on the vicar.
The members had protested the demotion on Sunday, preventing those that turned up for the Sunday service from having access to the church.
The church members, who pleaded not to be named on Thursday, explained that the PCC decided on what to use the donation for and the pastor was just informed of the decision of the council.
One of the church members even threatened to pull out the diocese over the demotion. The Punch report continues:
One of them said, “The demotion of the vicar has a damaging effect on the status of the church because the church could no longer be regarded as the seat of the archdeaconry. In fact, we might be left with no other option but to pull out of the diocese.
“The venerable cannot decide what to do with the money. The governor announced the donation to St. Paul Millennium Church in the presence of everybody during the burial of late Archbishop Abiodun Adetiloye.
“The cheque was written in the name of St. Paul’s Millennium Church and it was written at the back of the cheque that it was to be used for evangelism.”
They (church members) said that the money was spent for the purpose for which it was meant adding that the bishop had no justifiable reason to demote the vicar.
We shall be watching closely to see how this increasingly messy financial squabble ends.