The constitutional crisis at First Baptist Church, Garki, Abuja is deepening and stalling peace movements, with the church’s former pastor and current president of the Nigerian Baptist Convention, Reverend Israel Akanji, accusing some members of the church described it as “wolves” as the root cause.
Speaking in Ibadan on the first anniversary of his chairmanship of the Convention, Reverend Akanji blamed the problem on church members who he said wanted to take control after he left in August 2021.
In video footage that has gone viral, Reverend Akanji condemned bringing any religious dispute to civil court for settlement, saying it was against Convention practice to do so.
In a quick reaction however, the spokesperson for the group that took the dispute to court, Ambassador Akin Oyateru, said Reverend Akanji himself was frugal with the truth and conveniently glossed over its underground intrigues which frustrated the internal settlement of the conflict.
He posited that the serial storylines left the band no choice but to seek redress in civil court.
The spokesperson said what Reverend Akanji deliberately failed to tell his audience was that the dispute brought to the courts was essentially the determination of what the church’s constitution stipulates as the modalities for selecting a pastor. successor.
“How does this amount to taking over the Church as Reverend Akanji claimed?”
He reiterated that the lawsuit was brought because of the failure to comply with the provisions of the constitution approved by the Church in conference in 1998.
He said that this constitution and a financial manual prepared for the use of the Garki First Baptist Church were given to Reverend Akanji upon his arrival in the church in 1999.
He added that he was required to review the prelude of the Constitution to the registration of the Church with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC),” he asked.
He noted that the unfolding events showed who had indeed hatched plans to take over, or perhaps possess the Church. He referred to the deposition of the current Church Secretary to a sworn affidavit that revealed the existence of another Constitution used to register the Church with the CAC in 2012 (13 years from 1999! ) apparently at the instigation of Reverend Akanji, a development which was not disclosed to members of the Church and in fact unknown to them until this deposition which was given in response to the summons received from the court in April 2022. The current leadership of the church has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for a certified copy of the Constitution used to register the Church.