By Izunna Okafor, Awka
An Anambra-based Anglican priest, Reverend Canon LumenCristi Eboh has resigned his office as a priest of the Anglican Communion.
The priest who announced his resignation at a press conference in Awka, the Anambra State capital on Monday, where he cited harassment, instigation and conspiracy by the diocesan authourities of the Anglican Diocese on the Niger, especially from the bishop of the diocese, His Lordship, Rt. Rev. Owen Nwokolo, as reasons for his resignation.
While alleging that some forces in the church had caused his wife to leave him, and quartered her at an undisclosed place, the also accused Bishop Nwokolo of witch-hunt and land grabbing.
Eboh who owns a charismatic congregation and prayer ministry known as God in Action Adoration Ministry alleged that the Bishop wanted to take over his (Eboh’s) personal land where his ministry is situated.
He explained that his involvement in charismatic activities was among the major cause of his conflict with Bishop Nwokolo, whom he accused of high handedness, intimidation and conspiratorial manipulations, leading to his decision to resign.
A radio and televangelist, Canon Eboh also accused the bishop of insisting that the registered trustees of the adoration ministry be altered to include the bishop and his wife, which he refused to do, on the condition that God did not reveal the bishop to him as a vessel in the ministry.
His refusal to include the Bishop as trustee as demanded and to hand over landed property of the adoration ministry to him, he said, drew the battle line between him and the Bishop.
He also claimed that the troubles instigated by the diocesan authourities soon began to affect his private life as a family man as his wife was soon bought over by forces working within the diocese to become instrument of subversion and opposition against him.
He said, “My refusal to include the Bishop as trustee and to hand over landed property of the Adoration Ministry brought about the conflict between the Bishop and I.
“The troubles instigated by the diocesan authorities soon began to affect my private life as my wife has been bought over by forces working within the diocese to become instruments of subversion and opposition against me.
“I’m permitted by my communion to enter the sacred institution of marriage. As a married man, I have very private moments with my wife and we shared endearing words just like every young couple.
“But at the moment, my wife is living differently in an apartment paid for by someone who knows that she is someone’s wife.
“With the crash of my marriage, I have sought to reorder my life, but those fighting me have been sending to me young women targeted at using marriage prospects to malign my character and reputation.”
He further said the diocesan authourities used stooges and agents to try to smear his character, including spreading rumours of sexual misconduct and voodooism against him.
However, a priest who is close to the Bishop, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, said that Canon Eboh was already sacked by the diocese before his resignation.
In his own reaction, Bishop Nwokolo dismissed all allegations leveled against him by the embattled cleric as false and baseless.
Speaking through Legal Officer of the Diocese, Humphrey Udechukwu Bishop Nwokolo said the priest also violated church’s principles amidst support from the Bishop.
He said, “The crux of the matter is that Rev. Eboh wanted to run the affairs of his ministry independent of the Diocese.
“He has also refused to abide by the code of conduct of the church and has been disobedient to his superiors despite all efforts by the Bishop to support him and his ministry.”