Anglican Church urges newly installed chiefs to be faithful
Although church chiefs are elders in the Church, they are more importantly, evangelists and servants of the people. And rather than arrogating undue authority to themselves, they should abide by the relevant portions of the Diocesan Constitution.”
Those were the words of Bishop of the Diocese of Ile-Oluji, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Rt. Revd. Abel Oluyemi Ajibodu, during his sermon at the Cathedral of St. Peter, Ile-Oluji, where he installed six new chiefs. They are Dr. Josiah Babatunde Ogunsusi (Balogun); Mr. Akin Fabusuyi (Otun Ijo Okunrin); Mr. Joshua Akinlalu Fagbamiye (Osi Ijo Okunrin); Mr. Ebenezer Akinbobola (Baba Ewe); Mrs. Florence Folayele Akinyosoye (Iya Ijo); and Mrs. Beatrice Osebola Akinsulure (Majekobaje).
He made it very clear that a gathering of church chiefs can only pass recommendations and not decisions to the Standing Committee of the Cathedral or, in the case of parishes, to the Parish Church Councils, headed by the Cathedral Dean and the Vicars. He added that the two bodies are not to be antagonised or stopped from performing their constitutional roles.
The Bishop urged the chiefs to regard their Investiture and Installation as a call to faithful duty.
Noting that chieftaincy matters had engendered mistakes and bad blood in the Diocese in the past, Ajibodu said there was need to revisit salient issues and make necessary amendments.
He called on more Ile-Oluji people to spend their wealth on the progress of the church of God, stating that true children of God in the laity are not too old or too big to serve the Church in whatever capacity that suits them.
While admonishing all churches in the Diocese to give strangers in their midst a higher sense of belonging, the cleric urged Christians to work in concert with civil authorities for enhanced peace and development in the land, without compromising their faith.
He said: “Where there is a conflict, our credo should be ‘We must obey God rather than men.’”
He called on government to ensure that offenders get properly punished and do all that is necessary to minimise, if not end, the impunity and chaos in the land.