Emotions ran high at the Chapel of Christ the Light, Alausa, Ikeja, on Wednesday, as the Lagos State Government honoured a former presiding Chaplain of the chapel, Venerable Femi Taiwo.
The congregation, consisting of church members, family, friends and well-wishers of the cleric, sang songs after songs as they celebrated the occasion.
The state Commissioner for Home Affairs and Culture, Mrs Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, who was joined by top officials of the ministry, presented a gift to Taiwo on behalf of the government.
It was learnt that the special service, which held for about 30 minutes, was kept under wraps, as many church members were not informed.
In May 2017, It was reported that Taiwo, his wife and their two children were evicted from the vicarage after being given a 24-hour notice to quit.
Church members contributed money to buy cooking utensils for the family, even as a new accommodation was sought for them.
Taiwo had been accused of not according Bolanle, wife of then-governor Akinwunmi Ambode, preference and recognition during an anointing service.
Bolanle, with her entourage, was reported to have stormed out of the Sunday service in a fit of rage.
Efforts by women leaders in the church to persuade them to stay on were said to have been rebuffed.
Shortly after they left, the priest was served a dismissal letter by the chapel’s governing council.
The incident had generated outrage from Nigerians, who criticised the former governor and his wife for humiliating the chaplain.
Head of the African Church, Ifako Diocese, Rt. Rev. Michael Adeyemi, who seconded the cleric to the chapel, had said Mrs. Ambode committed a sacrilege.
However, Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria in the state, Apostle Alexander Bamgbola, justified the government action, saying the priest was a government employee and therefore could be fired by his employers.
Bamgbola also dissociated Bolanle from Taiwo’s sacking.
The Christian leader, however, parried questions on the propriety of the 24-hour eviction order.
Two years and six months after, the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration, through the Ministry of Home Affairs and Culture, honoured Taiwo.
A member of the chapel said the special service was kept secret, adding that officials of the ministry, including the commissioner, special adviser, permanent secretary and some members of staff were present.
“Everything was done very quickly too. We started with a hymn, followed by an address by the special adviser to the governor. After brief remarks, the commissioner presented a gift to Taiwo,” he stated.
The source said though the government’s action was commendable, the Church wanted the priest to be honoured in a bigger way.
A senior official of the chapel said he got a text about the event around 2.00 p.m. on Tuesday.
He insisted that the programme was an initiative of the state government.
He stated, “I got a text stating that the ministry was coming to the chapel to honour Venerable Taiwo. Some members started sharing and spreading the message till late last night (Tuesday).
“When we arrived, the special adviser to the governor was the first to talk.
“He said something like, ‘Since I have been in Alausa, nobody has told me that you (Taiwo) stole money; nobody said you are a womaniser.’
“It was a very brief remark testifying to the integrity of the priest and I believe that was all Venerable Taiwo wanted.”
Our Correspondent learnt that the female group in the church turned out in a colourful aso ebi to mark the occasion.
The source said despite the short notice, the women mobilised and organised to wear the uniform to honour Taiwo.
While thanking the state governor for the honour, he appreciated Nigerians for their kind words.
Taiwo said, “I thank God for His faithfulness and the uncommon grace and rare privilege He has given to me.
“I thank the Lagos State Government and Mr. Governor, Aduramigba Iyanuoluwa Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
“I appreciate you and everyone. In the midst of the storm of life, you stood by me.
“The day I was to leave here, I saw angels coming down in the form of men.
“Spontaneously, I saw members of this church come around me and providing all a man could need to survive.
“What happened that day, nobody prepared for it; nobody thought of it. But God went ahead and made the crooked way straight.
“I thank and appreciate all of you and I pray that the glory of God will shine on your lives.
“Throughout the time I spent here, I had no regrets, because you were all around me.
“That is why I cannot forget this place; I cannot forget your beautiful faces.”
BREAKING: Minister Of Transportation Rotimi Amaechi Attacked By ‘Misguided’ Nigerians In Spain
Some persons described as “misguided Nigerians” on Friday attacked the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, in Spain.
Amaechi said he was attacked at an event on climate change held in Madrid, Spain.
The minister disclosed this on his Twitter handle, @ChibuikeAmaechi.
He said Spanish police officers succeeded in stopping his attackers before they could hurt him.
He did not disclose the identities of his attackers.
The minister had tweeted:
Some minutes ago, I was attacked by a few misguided Nigerians while on national assignment at a climate change event in Madrid, Spain. They were quickly repelled by the Spanish police before they could do any harm. I am fine. I was not hurt. Thanks for your support & prayers.
— Chibuike.R. Amaechi (@ChibuikeAmaechi) December 6, 2019
Recall that the immediate past Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, in August, confirmed a physical assault on him by some members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra in Nuremberg, Germany,
Ekweremadu confirmed the attack in a statement released by his Media Assistant, Uche Anichukwu, in Abuja.
The senator, who also gave an account of the event on his social media handle @iamekweremadu, also said that he was safe.
He condemned the attack and said he had immediately reported it to the Nigerian Ambassador to Germany, Mr. Yusuf Tuggar.
Ekweremadu had said, “I attended the Second Annual Cultural Festival and Convention organized by Ndi-Igbo Germany in Nurnberg today where I was billed to give a keynote address along with the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, who, however, could not make it eventually.
“I was given a resounding welcome by Ndigbo in Germany and everything went smoothly until some men, who identified themselves as IPOB members stormed the venue and began to complain about the killings in the South East, stressing that there would be no Igbo event at the venue.
“I tried to engage them, but when they became unruly, I had to leave the venue. The organizers also invited the police and I was accompanied out of the venue.
“Much as I am disappointed in their conduct, especially as I am one of the persons who have spoken up on justice for Ndigbo, the Python Dance, judicial killings in Igbo land and elsewhere both on the floor of the Senate and in my written and personal engagements with the Presidency and the media as well as rallied the southeast Senate Caucus to secure Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s release with Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe taking him on bail to douse tension in the South East, I nevertheless do not hold this to heart against them, for they know not what they do.”
Sowore Vs DSS: Suspend The Nigerian Constitution, Declare Full Military Regime —- Deji Adeyanju Advises Buhari
Convener of Concerned Nigerian, Deji Adeyanju, on Friday charged President Muhammadu Buhari to suspend the country’s constitution, disband National Assembly.
Speaking with newsmen, Adeyanju also charged Buhari to abrogate the judiciary and transform into a Military Head of State because he is a “tyrant.”
He was reacting after operatives of the Department of State Services, DSS, invaded the courtroom of an Abuja Federal High Court, chased away lawyers before re-arresting Omoyele Sowore, convener of RevolutionNow Movement.
Adeyanju said: “This is tyranny taken too far. We are now in a full military regime. Buhari should suspend the constitution, disband the national assembly, abrogate the judiciary and come out fully as military head of state.
“You saw the way they stormed the court like gangsters, chased away lawyers and took him away.
“Buhari is a tyrant. He has no human Sympathy.”
This is coming less than a day after he was released by the DSS after an Abuja Federal High Court ordered for his release within 24 hours.
Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu also ordered the DSS to pay the sum of N100,000 to Sowore, for refusing to release him on bail despite two court orders to that effect.
Hadiza Lied! We Never Sponsored Thugs To Harass NPA MD – Ocean Marine Solutions
The management of Ocean Marine Solutions Limited (OMSL) has debunked any knowledge or involvement in the physical attack of the Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Ms. Hadiza Bala Usman, at the National Assembly.
NPA boss Ms. Hadiza Usman petitioned the President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan alleging that she was physically attacked by hoodlums at the premises of the National Assembly in Abuja on Tuesday.
She claimed that her attack was sponsored by Chairman of Messrs Ocean Maritime Solutions Limited (OMSL), Captain Wells Okunbo apparently over the decision of the NPA on the Secure Anchorage issue after attending an investigative hearing in the Assembly.
She said that she was only saved a bigger assault by her security agents who took her into Senator Danjuma Goje’s office where she waited for the hoodlums to leave.
Reacting to the allegation, Commodore Chuma Adogu (rtd), said the allegation was a falsehood and a figment of imagination, saying the Chairman of OMSL, Captain Wells Okunbo, a fine gentleman who has served the nation diligently in various capacities, could not have sponsored thugs to attack the NPA boss.
Commodore Adogu (retired) noted that on that Tuesday there was no any sign of such alleged attach or rented crowd in the premises of the National Assembly that could warrant such allegation, maintaining that OMSL Management came to the National Assembly just like other invited organizations on the day of the investigation by the Joint Committee of the Senate investigating the Secure Anchorage Area (SAA).
‘’On the day of the investigation at the National Assembly, we came like other invited organizations and we never came with any thugs or rented crowd to harass anybody talkless the Managing Director of NPA. The security at the premises of the National Assembly was very tight as everybody was routinely checked and controlled while entering thus forestalling any rented crowd or thugs to gain entrance. We came before the panel and presented our position in the SAA without nursing hatred against anyone.
‘’Let me make it clear to the Nigerian public that OMSL is a responsible corporate organization with a lot of Nigerians working as its employees. We are mindful of this and never can we trade it away. I repeat we do not have hands nor did our Chairman sponsor any group of thugs to attack Ms. Hadiza Bala Usman. We see this as part of the attempts to discredit OMS and distract attention from the main issue which is already with the Senate’’ he submitted.