From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Less than one month after national officials inaugurated Rev. Joseph Orinya as Chairman of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Benue state chapter, another leadership has emerged.
The new leadership which has Bishop Benjamin Kurudu as it’s Chairman was inaugurated last Saturday to steer the affairs of the fellowship for the next four years.
The inauguration was conducted by immediate past Executive Secretary, National Christians Pilgrim Welfare Board, Evangelist Tor Ujah with 28 officials are to serve in different positions.
Daily Sun recalled that only a few weeks ago, some officials from the national body of the fellowship were in Benue to inaugurate Reverend Joseph Orinya as the state Chairman, a group allegedly loyal to the immediate past Chairman, Bishop Mike Angou.
It was gathered that although, Bishop Angou was supposed to serve for only two terms, he was reelected for the third term but he resigned thereafter.
Speaking after the Saturday’s inauguration of the Kurudu led executives, Evangelist Tor Ujah told newsmen that the event was a fulfilment of an agreement freely entered into by all leaders of PFN in Benue on March 20, 2017.
He recalled that on that day, Governor Samuel Ortom and the Tor Tiv, HRM Prof. James Ayatse who were bothered by the leadership crisis that was rocking the fellowship called for a reconciliatory meeting between the two factions which held at the Government House in Makurdi.
“We were about 400 in number and the Governor called us together to resolve the issue and it was agreed that the Angou led Exco should be allowed to complete its tenure after which Bishop Kurudu led team be allowed to take over the reins of leadership for a full term; thereafter, another election conducted.
“Any other thing outside that is not only illegal but ungodly. This is the fourth time they are inaugurating people in one year. That shows there’s a problem and they are looking on something to stand.
“Angou served for four years without interruption but instead of handing over peacefully to Kurudu, they said they will continue. They want to by this move put the Governor and the Tor Tiv to shame and we will not allow that.
“We waited this long because we wanted national officers to come and do it. But national is reluctant to do it. That is why I was called upon to come and do it.
“And what we have done has laid to rest all the issues of squabbles. We do not want anyone to come and create problem for us. 99 percent of pentecostal leaders in Benue are with us,” Ujah said.
But when contacted, Rev. Orinya who insisted that he remains the chairman of PFN in Benue while Rev. Kurudu is his deputy.
“To the best of my knowledge I am the current PFN Chaiman in Benue state. I emerged after an election on the November 5, 2020. At that election we had about 18 State Advisory Committee, SAC, Members who participated in the process.
“That election was between myself and Arc Bishop Benjamin Kurudu. He scored six votes while I scored 12 votes. I was declared winner, he was asked to be my Deputy, and he I not turn it down. And after then we have had meetings which he attended.
“On December 28, 2020 the National President, North Central of PFN, came to Benue and inaugurated us in the presence of leaders from the 23 Local Government Area of the state and the SAC members. So we were all shocked to hear about the inauguration of another executive of PFN in the state.
“Whatever they did has nothing to do with PFN, maybe they are forming another organisation certainly not PFN. But I hope to bring everybody into one umbrella because this is the work of the enemy to create division in the house of God,” Orinya said.
However, a copy of the March 20, 2017 communique obtained by Daily Sun showed that Bishop Angou, Bishop Kurudu and Governor Samuel Ortom who is the Patron of Benue PFN signed the communique.
The communique had three resolutions which included that Bishop Mike Angou and his team be allowed to finish the remaining period of their tenure as PFN leaders after which Bishop Kurudu and his team be allowed to take over power for one full term before another election can be conducted.
The leaders also resolved that all pending cases in court rnelating to PFN leadership in Benue State should be withdrawn and reported back to the Patron within one month.