How Chaplain was Sacked a Day after Governor Ambode’s Wife Allegedly Left the Church in Anger

The Presiding Chaplain, of Chapel of Christ the Light, Alausa, Lagos State, Venerable Femi Taiwo, has been sacked, allegedly on the orders of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode after he (Taiwo) allegedly angered Ambode’s wife Bolanle during an anointing service on May 14.

The church is under the Lagos State Ministry of Home Affairs, while the Office of the Lagos State First Lady supervises church.

PUNCH reports that Bolanle got angry after waiting in line for some time before being anointed.

A church member said:

The church had declared seven-day fasting after we lost two prominent members. The Sunday service, which was declared as anointing service, was supposed to end the fasting.

The First Lady, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, was present with her entourage. She comes to the church once in a while. When it was time to be anointed, the cleric asked people to come forward, adding that it was optional. Three people stood at the stage to anoint people. They included the chaplain, the presiding chaplain and one other person.

People started stepping out one after another. The governor’s wife, after some time, also stepped out and was anointed.

Another member said that Bolanle left the church in anger minutes after taking the anointing.

“As she stepped out, it was obvious that she was angry. The president of the women’s fellowship and the pastor’s wife ran after her. She shunned them, entered her car and zoomed off.

When we came to the church on Tuesday, we heard that Venerable Taiwo had been sacked. We were told that he was sacked because the the governor’s wife didn’t get the anointing oil first and she felt disrespected.

The man that signed the letter is also a civil servant.

The children went to school on Thursday without knowing that they would not be staying in the vicarage that evening. Church members bought bed and other household items for them because they did not have their own property.

The members said their pastor did not offend them, and protested the sacking. The governing council members, however, said they should forget it because whatever came from Alausa was final. Most of the church members are civil servants who can’t talk too much,” the church member said.

According to another source who is privy to the matter, no reason was stated in the letter of termination. Taiwo was said to have two more years to complete in his tenure before his appointment was terminated.

“Let me be straight with you, in the letter there was no reason for the sack. Whatever you are hearing are what members of the church believed could have happened. And there was indeed a protest by the church and the governing council assuaged them on the sacking. There was nothing official in that sacking. No investigation, no query, nothing. We had an anointing service on that Sunday. The following day, the venerable was served the sack letter,” the source said.

Taiwo’s termination letter, which was dated May 15, 2017, was signed by the Chairman, Governing Council of CCTL, Olugbenga Solomon. The letter also ordered the Assistant Chaplain, Very Rev. Ayo Oyadotun, to take over with immediate effect.

Taiwo and his family leaving the vicarage. Photo Credit: PUNCH

When Taiwo was contacted, he said: “If you have any enquiry, direct it to the church. But one thing I can say is that I have tried as a pastor to live above board. It will not be right engaging the church or the government on the pages of a newspaper.”

The Lagos state government, through the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Steve Ayorinde said Taiwo had been queried a couple of times for “conducts unbecoming of his office”.

“The culmination of various indiscretions led to the Governing Council of the church issuing yet another query that led to his being relieved of his post. This has got nothing to do with the First Lady. The Chaplain is looking for an excuse to cover his insouciance. It’s nothing but cheap blackmail,” Ayorinde said.

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