Governor of Abia state, Gov, Ikpeazu has ordered the shutting down of Apostolic Christian Church Mission, over a lingering leadership tussle.
The order was contained in a statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Chris Ezem.
Reacting, a clergy from the church’s headquarters located at 34, Omuma Road Aba, took to the to protest the sealing of the Church.
The protesting clergymen, who appeared in their cassocks, sang gospel songs while marching through the Osisioma flyover to the governor’s lodge to lay their grievances, The Punch reports.
According to report, the clergymen who were not happy with action of the State Governor displayed placards with several inscriptions, including “Ikpeazu should open the national headquarters of ACCM, “ACCM does not support tribalism, let governor Ikpeazu unseal the headquarters of ACCM.
The spokesmen for the church, Apostle Christopher Ogbuagu and Rev. Ugochukwu Onugha, accused Ikpeazu of allegedly trying to influence the leadership of the church to favour his kinsmen.
It was gather that there was an ongoing leadership tussle in the church that had been taken to Owerri division of the Court of Appeal.
The duo, who admitted to ongoing crisis wondered why the governor who is not a member of the church took interest in the matter.
According to the statement, “There is a tiny minority of the church elders mostly politicians who incidentally are relatives of the Governors of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu who want to foist an unpopular Bishop over the church due to the death of the former Bishop.
“Also two other senior Apostles who were next in line; the financial secretary of the church who is not career missionary of the church rose up and receiving the support of the governor’s kinsmen and political allies; led by Vhief Theo Nkire, who was one of time Attorney general of Abia State and Elder Godwin Nna,who was one-time commissioner and local government chairman; whereas the next in line is a career missionary by name Rev. Apostle John U Essina; the financial secretary’s name is Apostle P C Erondu. Over 98 per cent of members and clergy are behind the leadership of Rev. j.U Esinna, the tiny minority led by Theo Nkire are using every means possible to impose P.C Erondu on the church.
“The matte is even before the Court of Appeal owerri and rather than the Theo Nkire’s group to be patient and law abiding and await the verdict of the Court of Appeal they have resorted to all means possible to arm-twist the church and their lates move was to get the Governor to shut down the church headquarters to put fear into the members who are against his kinsmen.
“He even declared the leaders of the pro-Esinna group wanted in the state-controlled radio station calling them criminals. The entire clergy are now fed up with the continue involvement and interference and intimidation by the Governor of Abia State, thus, embarked on peaceful protest.
“The idea is to draw the attention of the public to the meddling of the state governor in a church matter that is even before the Court of Appeal and trying intimidate the church into accepting a nonclergy as their Bishop because his relatives and political allies are involved and to inform the world that should any harm come to any of our leaders that the governor should be held responsible and that he should hand off the church.”