Adedeji Olayiwola, Ilorin
The lingering crisis rocking Igbomina Diocese, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) reached its peak as members of the Cathedral Church of St. Michael, Esie, on Monday served a quit notice on Bishop Emmanuel Adeoye Adekola.
The letter, dated 20th November 2020, a copy of which was obtained by this medium, advised Bishop Adekola to vacate his official residence in Esie town (the Bishop’s Court) not later than December 7, 2020.
The letter titled ‘NOTICE TO QUIT PREMISES’ was signed by six Parishioners representing members of the Cathedral in Esie, Ilorin, Abuja and Lagos.
The letter listed a tripod of demands that the parishioners insist must be met, thus:“That your authority as Bishop is no more recognized in the Cathedral;“That you must not come near the premises of the Cathedral for any reason; “That you must vacate the Bishop’s Court of Igbomina Diocese latest by 7th of December, 2020.”
They also hinged their demands on the following grounds:“We have discovered that our relationship with you can no more be cordial and your spiritual leadership here cannot be acceptable to us again. Therefore, just as the Bible says “can two walk together except they agree?
“We want you to know that your spiritual leadership over us has ended and your time to go out of this Diocese is now.
“We also found out that you have joined forces with one Venerable Amos Adebayo from the Primate’s office in Abuja to embark on giving threatening phone calls to individuals. We have therefore concluded that you cannot repent of your unexpected hostility and hatred towards us.”
Therefore, they advised Bishop Adekola to “comply with this notice if you want to leave honourably”
It would be recalled that, on January 19, 2020, the Cathedral Church of St. Michael, Esie in Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara State was under lock and key as members prevented the presiding Bishop, Rt. Rev. Emmanuel Adeoye Adekola from conducting the Sunday Service.
It was the first time in the Cathedral’s 107 years of existence that a Sunday service was not conducted
At the time, the protesting Parishioners informed speargists that the Cathedral, which is the headquarters of Igbomina Diocese of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), was shut to press home their longstanding grievances against the Bishop.
Their three-pronged demand, premised on “The Bishop’s style of running the Diocese without listening to advice from respected elders and eminent persons” were spelt out in a press statement issued and signed by stakeholders.
They asked for the immediate removal of the Bishop as members had lost confidence in his ability to lead the Church to greater heights.
Concerted efforts by elders and leading clerics of the Kwara Province of the Church helped to ensure that peace was restored to the Cathedral. But the truce was short-lived.
When our Correspondent visited the premises of the Cathedral in Esie at about 4pm on Tuesday, the entrances of the Church had been locked by the members.
A member who spoke on condition of anonymity explained that the move was aimed at “forestalling any attempt to conduct Diocesan programmes. But we will allow activities by the Cathedral members and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) if the former Bishop is not involved.”
Although efforts were made to him, as at the time of filing this report, calls made to the phone number of Bishop Adekola were not answered. He also did not reply to the text message sent to the number.