LAGOS Chapter of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) said on Tuesday that the Lagos State government has the power to hire and fire any chaplain appointed to manage the Chapel of Christ the Light, Ikeja under the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Chairman of CAN, Lagos chapter, Apostle Alexander Bamigbola, made this clarification while briefing journalists on controversies generated by the sacking of the church chaplain, of Venerable Femi Taiwo, stressing that what was reported in the media was far from the truth.
This was just as he and other clergies, including Secretary of CAN, Israel Akinadewo and Bishop of African Church, Diocese of Ifako, Rt Rev Michael Adeyemi, who were with him at the briefing, maintained that investigations were ongoing to get to the root of the matter.
The wife of Lagos State governor, Mrs Bolanle Ambode, had been variously accused of being the one responsible for the sack of Venerable Taiwo on account that Taiwo showed disrespect to the Office of Lady by not giving due recognition when Mrs Ambode was physically present at the church on May 14, 2017.
Bamgbola, who exonerated the wife of the governor, lamented that the press and social media blew the issue out of proportion.
According to him, the church was built by the Lagos State government for itself and the public and consequently appointed two chaplains to run the affairs of the church, with the Presiding Chaplain the senior.
The CAN chairman said it was the state government which created the anointing service and instituted a Governing Council to run the affairs of the church and report to the Ministry of Home Affairs.
“The Governing Council has the constitutional responsibility to recruit and terminate the appointments of officers who run the chapel. Two officers run the affairs of the chapel, the Presiding Chaplain and the Chaplain. They are officers of the government, they are strictly employees of the state government and subject to terms and conditions of the government,” he explained.
He further stated that the Governing Council acted within its constitutional authority in terminating the appointment of the Presiding Chaplain, having investigated the matter carefully and objectively.
“Having investigated the matter carefully and objectively, we wish to state that the governing council that recruited Venerable Femi Taiwo, acted within its constitutional authority to terminate his appointment,” Bamgbola said.
He maintained that it was wrong for the social media and the print to point accusing finger at the state government for sacking one of its employees, declaring that the accusation levelled against Deaconess Ambode, which was as a result of an anointing service, was far from the truth.
“Mrs Ambode is a true woman of God who fears God and lives a godly life. God raised her at this time,” he said, adding that the dust generated by what occurred was unfair to her.
“The social media should desist from circulating unfounded reports. The Bible said judge not that you should not be judged. This matter should be closed and be left for the church to handle. We are more than able to handle all matters,” he said.
The Secretary of CAN, Israel Akinadewo, also said that CAN had waded into the matter as every Christians in Lagos State comes under the umbrella of the body, insisting that the matter had been blown out of context.
He appealed to the media to allow the church authorities to handle the matter, saying that church matters were not discussed on the pages of newspaper.
Bishop of African Church, Diocese of Ifako, Rt Rev Michael Adeyemi, said the matter was being managed by CAN and that the church trusted the judgment of CAN to do a good job and resolve the matter once and for all.
“The matter is already under control and if we are here to attend this briefing, it is because we are in agreement with CAN. We respect our governor and what he is doing that is why we transfer the matter to CAN and we are happy with everything CAN is doing,” he said.