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You are here:Home>>Strategic Research & Analysis>>Edo Chiefs Call For The Removal Of Archbishop Akubeze
Tuesday, 23 July 2013 18:21

Edo Chiefs Call For The Removal Of Archbishop Akubeze

Written by Codewit and Guardian News
Archbishop of Benin Catholic Diocese, Augustine Obiora Akubeze. Archbishop of Benin Catholic Diocese, Augustine Obiora Akubeze. photo:

Crisis rocking the Catholic Church in Edo State took a turn for the worse as Edo chiefs of Bini extraction, led by Iyase (Prime Minister) of Benin, Chief Sam Igbe, on Friday, called for the immediate removal of the Archbishop of Benin Catholic Diocese, Augustine Obiora Akubeze.


The call, according to Igbe, becomes necessary over the alleged refusal by the Archbishop to conduct mass in the local dialect and his disrespect for the Benin monarch. A group, Edo Liturgical Group, had last year called on the Catholic Pontiff, Pope Benedict XVI, to remove Akubeze, who is of Igbo origin. It also demanded use of Bini language in church officiating.


Igbe, in a prepared speech, called on the pope to urgently effect Akubeze’s transfer out from the diocese.

The statement read in part, “We, the Edo people see the archbishop’s appointment as a conquest of the Benin archdiocese and we want our honour restored, we cannot allow a missionary tribal ruler priest to dilute the moral strength of the Church.”


Igbe stated that Catholic priests of Bini origin were being overlooked, while others were imported from Eastern Nigeria.


He said, “We find it unacceptable that the Catholic Church and Augustine  Akubeze decided to treat our revered king and our people with such disdain and disrespect. In consideration of all these and the desire to create an enabling environment for honest evangelisation, we have come to the inevitable decision that Akubeze cannot continue to remain as a shepherd of the Catholic Church in Benin."


Archbishop Akubeze with Governor Oshiomhole (middle)



Chairman of the Indigenous Catholic Bini Priests, Rev. Fr. Felix Igbineweka, at a press briefing, said Archbishop Akubeze, since his installation in the past two years, had demonstrated openness in all his dealings.


The indigenous priests urged the aggrieved liturgical group and laities to toe the path of dialogue and peace, noting that Akubeze remains the spiritual head and father of the faith in the archdiocese.


“The church has always acknowledged the manifold gifts of the people of God to be utilised in carrying out her divine mandate. However, this should be done within the structures and strategies of the church with reference to the hierarchy,” they noted.


Source: Codewit and Guardian News

Last modified on Tuesday, 23 July 2013 18:32

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