Layi Olanrewaju, Ilorin
For the first time since its establishment in 1912, the Cathedral Church of St. Michael, Esie in Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara State, was under lock and key on Sunday as members prevented the presiding Bishop, Rt. Rev. Emmanuel Adekola, from conducting the regular Sunday Service.
The protesting parishioners in the cathedral, which is the headquarters of Igbomina Diocese of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), stated that the church will remain shut until their longstanding grievances against the Bishop are redressed.
The protesting members allege that “the Bishop’s style of running the Diocese without listening to advice from respected elders and eminent persons” was responsible for the logjam.
In a press statement issued and signed by stakeholders, the members are making for three major demands, the most immediate of which is the removal of the Bishop as members say they are losing confidence in his ability to lead the church.
The protest lasted from 6 am to evening on Sunday, with the brief presence of armed policemen who departed after a chat with protesting members of the church drawn from Esie, Ilorin, Lagos, Abuja among other cities.
Members are also demanding the immediate transfer of “Venerable K O Olajide for, according to the protesters, continuing in “unchecked behaviours that have resulted in members losing confidence in his spiritual service to the church and the gradual emigration of members from the church.”
The protesting parishioners also insisted on “the immediate inauguration of the newly elected Dean, Ven. Rev’d (Dr.) Solomon Funsho Oriade Jolayemi as the Dean of the Cathedral Church of St. Michael, Esie.”
Calls to the Bishop’s telephone number were neither answered nor returned up to the time of filing this report.