By Atos Peter

The protesting women in front of the St Luke's  cathedral

The protesting women in front of the St Luke’s cathedral

Women of the Sapele diocese, (Anglican Communion) have protested round the streets of the ancient city, calling for the immediate removal of Rt. Rev. B.A Erifeta (J.P) as Bishop of the diocese.

 

The youths of the diocese had earlier, ten months ago, staged a protest at the cathedral church of St Luke’s, Boyo Road, Sapele, headquarters of the diocese with the same message.

The women under the aegis of “Mother’s Union and the women’s guild of diocese who thronged the streets after a prayer Convocation at the “All Saint Church, Isoko lane, off new Ogorode road Sapele, went round other branches of the Anglican communion bearing placards with different inscriptions.

 

Sapele Anglican women on the march for Bishop Erifeta's removal

Sapele Anglican women on the march for Bishop Erifeta’s removal

Some of the placards which were copiously displayed along the streets of Sapele read  “Anglican women say no to Erifeta, Bishop Erifeta our church is not your feeding bottle, Bishop Erifeta must go, Bishop Erifeta leave our diocese alone, our diocese is not your property, Anglican women say no to greed, oppression must stop, bribery and corruption you must go, stop buying time, Bishop Erifeta, Erifeta king pharaoh leave our diocese alone, our diocese say no to embezzlement e.t.c.

Some of the women who spoke with journalists during the protest, listed some of the alleged sins of their Bishop to include mismanagement of the diocese finances, business and fund since
assumption of office six years ago, insubordinations to elders, raining abusive words to members at the slightest provocation, frequent travelling abroad with diocese funds, training of his children abroad with diocese fund without due approval, e.t.c

Mrs. M. keyoma, Mrs. Dora Oyibo, Mrs Vivian Oyibo and others said before the arrival of the Bishop, they have been worshipping their God in peace with the churches growing and expanding rapidly, but since he came, there has been little or no improvement across all the branches in the diocese which sent all their monthly revenues to the headquarters through what they called Assessment Levy with little or nothing left for the Church to develop further.

 

St Luke's cathedral church of Sapele under lock and key.

St Luke’s cathedral church of Sapele under lock and key.

They explained further that due to his high handedness and continuous curses on members, many of them have drifted to other denominations as membership of the entire Sapele Anglican diocese have dwindled within the six years of his leadership, remarking that his avaricious and flamboyant  life style has pushed him into the diocese funds in such a way that  even the Holy Trinity Grammar School (funds) owned by the diocese, the fund of the pure water firm owned by the diocese cooperative society was not spared by the Bishop whom they also claimed refused to pay the salaries of the clergies who are not his cronies.

 

Bishop Erifeta

Bishop Erifeta

The group maintained that despite all the good effort made by the Assistant Inspector General of Police (A.I.G) zone 5, Benin City to settle the matter, the Bishop has frustrated all attempts to remove him from office by posting false publications against their leaders through the internet as well taken them to court, pointing out further that the Bishop has completely destroyed the Church of God built by their forefathers.

In a swift reaction, a senior clergy of the diocese who does not want his name on print, said the position of the diocese as it were is unfortunate in the sense that to remove the Bishop as demanded by the agitators would not be easy since any move in that direction will spell doom to the entire diocese because other diocese will follow suit to make demands for the removal of their Bishops at the slightest provocation.

 

Anglican Bishops led by the Primate, Nicholas Okoh after a meeting in Ughelli.

Anglican Bishops led by the Primate, Nicholas Okoh after a meeting in Ughelli.

Meanwhile, attempt to reach the Bishop on the matter for his comments was not successful, especially with is cell phone lines permanently swift off, as he was also said to have moved out of his
official residence near the diocese headquarters.