The leadership crisis rocking the Assemblies of God Church Nigeria took another turn yesterday as the General Committee of the church suspended seven members of the Executive Council (EC) and appointed new ones.
The meeting was held amidst tight security as members of the committee were made to undergo accreditation
and thoroughly scrutiny before being allowed into the capacity filled national secretariat of the church located at Independence lay out,
The conveners of the meeting decided to tighten security following the invasion of the venue earlier in the day by suspected hired thugs, who attempted to block the entrances to the venue but were dispersed by security officials who arrested about 20 of them.
The thugs were said to have arrived from Aba in five hired buses.
The General Committee, the highest decision making body of the church comprising District Superintends, Ordained Ministers and delegates drawn from various parts of Nigeria, accused the suspended Executive council members as responsible for the lingering crisis.
Although they reappointed four members of the suspended executive committee to serve in the reconstituted organ, the committee reaffirmed that the move was part of efforts to restore peace and progress in the church.
They are to work with the embattled General Superintendent of the church, Rev Professor Paul Emeka to find solutions to the crisis which had lingered in the last four months.
But the faction of the suspended Executive Committee members as well as others led by the Assistant General Superintendent, Rev Chidi Okoroafor stayed away from the meeting, even as efforts to get their
view on the development proved abortive.
Addressing the newly appointed executive committee members, Rev Emeka urged them to be strong and truthful as well as live by the dictates of God, insisting that it was the only thing that would speak for them in the course of their duty.
Referring to the crisis that has rocked the church so far, he told the committee that they were on “rescue mission” to save the church and return it to the path of sanity, stressing that several futile attempts had been made to drag the church to disrepute.
“We have come to do things properly and what we have done so far is to set up a body on interim basis that will work with me to get things rectified. What has happened here today is what we call in the Assemblies of God, General Committee which is the highest judicial body. It is above the Executive Committee, which is the highest
decision making body but when it comes to judicial aspect, it is the general committee. We came here to rectify the anomalies that were committed in the last general committee which was unconstitutionally called and unconstitutionally constituted, because the General Superintendent which happens to be me is the only authorized person to call the General committee.
“But in that General committee some persons took it upon themselves to do what I should do and at the end of it, they pronounced me suspended. They were the wrong persons to suspend me and they pronounced that purported suspension on the wrong reason ranging from allegations of financial misconduct and I have gone to EFCC and cleared of all of it to the last point and suddenly some of the Executive committee members started working with me because they were part of that plot, but have now known the truth. So what we have done today is moving towards the resolution of the crisis and we are hopeful that we will get there soon”, he said.
Reminded that executive members led by Okoroafor refused to attend the meeting, Emeka said that they were invited, stressing that with their rejection by branches of the church, he did not expect them to attend
He however promised to accommodate them in the spirit of true brotherhood and called on them to toe the path of truth so as to propagate the gospel which is their calling.
Photo: Embattled General Superintendent, Assemblies of God Nigeria, Rev. Prof. Paul Emeka