Opposition rises against new Lagos Anglican Archbishop – Investigation
Opposition rises against new Lagos Anglican Archbishop -Investigation
The recent election of The Most Rev Bamisebi Olumakaiye as Archbishop of Lagos Province of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, has been criticised by some priests and laypeople in the church, investigations revealed.
Some, however, believe his election is a fallout of his trajectory in the Church.
Sources in the Church revealed that some faithful believe there are some unpalatable undercurrents that influenced his election as Archbishop.
Archbishop Olumakaiye was transfered to Lagos from Osun State three years ago as Bishop of Lagos Diocese, during which some laypeople in the church kicked.
Some then reportedly staged protests and attempted to frustrate his coming.
“But the Church defended its decision. The dust settled and he began in earnest his duty as the Bishop of Lagos,” a source recalled.
Last Thursday, barely three years after, Olumakaiye was again elevated and elected Archbishop of the Lagos Province.
The election took place during the Standing Committee meeting of the church which was held September 20 to 24 in Lagos.
Some of the priests in the church who spoke with Church Times alleged that the election that brought him in as the archbishop was heavily influenced.
They, however, could not give clear evidence of the alleged inducement.
According to them, it was morally wrong for Olumakaiye to have contested against The Most Rev Michael Fape who just completed his first term of five years as Archbishop of the Lagos province.
Apparently, Olumakaiye, 52, was the only person who contested against Archbishop Fape, 62. Since Fape lost in the election, he won’t be eligible for a second term.
A priest who spoke with Church Times on the condition of anonymity said it was within the rights of Olumakaiye to contest the election with him.
He said doing a second term is not a must for any Archbishop. He also observed that the diocese from which the archbishop is contesting is a factor in his emergence.
He said, “The Bishop of Lagos has a lot of resources at his disposal and has the capacity to pull support and win any day.
“The person who was there before- Archbishop Fape, is from Lagos. I think that factor played out. I don’t think there is anything wrong in being denied a second term.’
He explained that what people call inducement when elections hold in the house of bishops is not inducement but the solidarity of bishops who belong to the same caucus.
“In the house of bishops, there are caucuses. Your winning election depends on the caucus you belong to. What I think happened is that The caucus Archbishop Fape belongs to is not strong.
“There are some cliques in the house of bishops who decide where the pendulum swings. I don’t think any Bishop will start distributing money to other bishops so they could vote for him.
“If for instance, the Bishop of the diocese of Lagos has been reaching out to some dioceses that have financial challenges to help them in missions, it’s just normal that the bishops of those dioceses will feel obliged to him during election time. I think it’s as simple as that.”
The priest explained further that it will also be wrong to blame Olumakaiye for contesting against Archbishop Fape.
“The man may have the ambition of becoming the Primate because, after the current primate, the seat will rotate to the southwest. So it’s a game of time. If he is able to finish the 10 years; if he gets a second term, age will still be on his side to vie for the office of the primate. It’s about personal ambition,” the source said.
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