Taraba church crisis: group warn police to refrain from taking sides
Some aggrieved pastors and laity of the United Methodist Church in Nigeria (UMCN) have called on the Taraba State Police Command to refrain from taking sides in the ongoing crisis in the church.
The group, which on Thursday converged under the umbrella of the United Methodist Church from the four annual conferences in Nigeria, expressed dismay at the way and manner police in the state have continued to take side with the bishop of the church (John Wesley Yohanna).
Briefing newsmen on the negative effects of the crisis on the church, the group said “we are calling on the Commissioner of Police, Taraba State Command to call his men to order” urging him to refrain them from “taking side with the bishop in order to maltreat pastors and laity in the state.”
Led by Rev. Musa Lana, the group also called on the West Africa College of Bishops to take prompt action “on the complaints filed before it by both the clergies and the laity of the church.”
Vowing never to allow themselves to be intimidated by the bishop they admonished the leadership of the church to tread extra legitimate miles by compelling the bishop to account for all the “money he received. ”
The bishop, Lana said, should also be directed to “stop using the police to harass and intimidate us for rightfully demanding for our collective resources which were placed under his care for the benefit of the church which were misappropriated by him.”
Wondering why the bishop has gone as far as dragging pastors and laity to the police station and courts, they lamented that “he has failed to provide supervisory responses as required in the church constitution.
He stated that “Yohanna has failed to account for over $500,000.00USD is over N230,000,000.00 paid by the General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA).”
While calling on all the pastors and laity of the church to remain “calm while we pursue our constitutional rights as law abiding citizens of this country and members of the United Methodist Church in Nigeria ” the group reiterated their readiness and determination not to go to bed pending when justice finally prevails in the church.
The upheaval in the church which our correspondent noticed was being ignited by leadership tussles among others, was observed to have as well led to the divisions of the members.
The bishop in question, it would be recalled had earlier vowed to quit if the issue of homosexuality which Daily Post noticed to have as well being fuelling the church crisis if not addressed.
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