PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH BANS DEPUTY GOV, COMMISSIONER, OTHERS
The Presbyterian Church of Nigeria has suspended indefinitely, the Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State, Prof. Chigozie Ogbu for 'acts of insubordination and lawlessness capable of destabilising the Church and causing a breach of public peace.'
Also suspended were the Commissioner for Works in Ebonyi State, Mr. Paul Okorie, C. I. Ewa, Jombo Ukoma, Mr. Odicha Ude, Rev. Ibiam Egwu Ukeni, Rev. Eze Nwonu Eze, Rev. Dr. Amarachi Nnachi Ukoma, Rev. Michael Ani, Rev. Aka Aka Ibiam, Rev. David Amaramo and Rev. Nze Nsie Eke. Rev. N. N. Eke has also been removed from office as secretary of the Church's Board of Trustees (BOT).
The Church took the decision at the Emergency Meeting of the General Assembly Executive Committee (GAEC) held at St. Peter's Presbyterian Church, Umuahia, Abia State.
In a statement issued after the meeting, the Church's Director of Information and Public Affairs, Rev. Kalu Eme, said Prof. Ogbu and others were disciplined for violating their ordination and membership vows.
He said the Church discovered that the duo had been using state apparatus as deputy governor and commissioner for works in the Ebonyi State government to sponsor some rebellious members of the Church in actions designed to destabilise the Church and cause socio-political disharmony.
The anti-Church activities of those disciplined, according to Rev. Eme, included the illegal induction of a minister of the Church against the approval and procedure of the Church and acts of threat and intimidation on the lives, property and employment of some Ministers working in the Mid East Synod of the Church, which comprise Afikpo/Unwana, Uburu, Onicha, Edda and Okposi Presbyteries.
'The Church also received reports that they were planning for an unconstitutional public rally in the Presbyterian Church, Afikpo Parish,' he said, adding that the Church has also petitioned Governor Martin Elechi to use his good offices to restrain his deputy, Commissioner for Works and their cohorts from further acts of intimidation and threat to the lives and work of non-indigenous ministers of the Church in Mid East Synod.
In the appeal letter, the Church described these activities as capable of causing disaffection and division in the house of God.
'They are also likely to cause a breach of public peace, which could cause communal crisis in the areas involved and endanger the forthcoming 2011 general elections,' Rev. Eme further said, noting that copies of the letter were sent to the national secretary and the Ebonyi State secretary of the People's Democratic Party (PDP).
But all attempts to get the deputy governor's reaction last night were unsuccessful as he would not pick several calls made to his mobile phone.
However, the Commissioner for Works, Mr. Okorie, in a telephone chat, described the suspension as a huge joke.
'There is nothing like suspension. The man is a joker. You don't suspend somebody from the church that he built. So, that thing should be discarded.
'We've already passed a vote of no confidence on the moderator for running down the church. So I don't even bother about it. He has no right to suspend anybody. You don't suspend anybody from the church just because the man wants to fight injustice that is prevailing in the church. The deputy governor and I have done nothing. It is our turn to produce the general moderator of the church…It is the only session where I worship that can suspend me,' he declared.
does not know what he is doing he is acting outside the rules of the church
us they have the right to suspend us. He does not know what he is doing he is acting outside the rules of the church