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Crisis hits major Nigerian chuch



 Crisis hits major Nigerian chuch


The constitutional crisis at the First Baptist Church, Garki, Abuja, is worsening and stalling peace moves, with the immediate past pastor of the church and current president of the Nigerian Baptist Convention, Rev. Israel Akanji, accusing some members of the church, he described as “wolves” as the root cause.

Speaking in Ibadan on the first anniversary of his presidency of the Convention, Rev. Akanji blamed the problem of church members who, he said wanted to take control after his departure in August 2021.

In a video footage that has gone viral Rev. Akanji condemned taking any church dispute to a civil court for settlement, saying that it was against the practice of the Convention to so do.

In a swift reaction however, the spokesperson of the group that took to taking the dispute to court, Ambassador Akin Oyateru, said Rev. Akanji himself was being economical with the truth and that he has conveniently glossed over his subterranean scheming that frustrated internal settlement of the dispute.

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He posited that the serial scheming had left the group with no other option than to seek redress in the civil court.

The spokesperson said what Rev Akanji deliberately failed to tell his audience was that the dispute taken to court was essentially the determination of what the church constitution stipulates as modalities for choosing a successor pastor.

“How does that amount to taking over the Church as Rev Akanji alleged?”

He reiterated that the court case was instituted because of non-adherence to the provisions of the constitution approved by the Church-in -Conference way back in 1998.

He said this constitution and a prepared financial manual for use of the First Baptist Church Garki were handed over to Rev Akanji on his arrival in the Church in 1999.

He added that he was required to go over the Constitution prelude to registering the Church with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC),”he asked.

He noted that unfolding events have shown who indeed had perfected plans to take over, or maybe own the Church. He referred to the deposition of the current Church secretary to an affidavit under oath which disclosed the existence of another Constitution used to register the Church with the CAC in 2012 (13 years from 1999!) apparently at the instance of the Revd Akanji, a development which was not disclosed to Church members and indeed unknown to them until that deposition which was done to answer the summons received from the court in April 2022. The current leadership of the church applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for a certified true copy of the Constitution used to register the Church.




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