The crisis rocking Sapele Diocese, Anglican Communion, has deepened as members of the church have taken to the streets demanding the removal of the Presiding Bishop, Rev B.A. Erifeta in the early hours of yesterday. The members, who stormed the streets as early as 10 am with banners and inscriptions, chanted “Erifeta must go”.
Bye Bye Erifeta” Primate take you bishop away”, “you can’t force yourself on us”. Some of the members, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, they were fed up with Bishop Erifeta’s alleged style of leadership.
They alleged that the House of Bishops has already voted him out with a resolution to the Primate, His Grace, Nicholas Okoh, to remove him hence the need for the protest to bid him farewell. According to Evangelist Okunoma, the People’s Warden of All Saints Anglican Church, Sapele.
Sunny Akpobasa, the Diocese Secretary, also said “this protest will not end until the Primate carriers out the resolution of the Bishops to remove Erifeta. As for Mrs. Deborah Oyibo, a member of St. Andrew’s Anglican Church, Sapele”, we do not need those who left the church because of his tyrannical style of leadership have since returned, so why do we need him?”, she asked.
The protesters, who started from the headquarters of the Diocese located at St. Luke’s Cathedral, at Boyo Road, marched through all the major streets in Sapele metropolis before heading back to the headquarters, with a vow to protest again if their demands were not met.
For many months, members of the diocese have been at loggerheads with their bishop, whom they want to be transferred.
But in a swift reaction, Bishop Erifeta dismissed the members’ protest as ill-advised, and frivolous, saying that they have no locus to remove him apart from God who ordained him as Bishop.