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Catholic church suspends priest for banning Igbo songs

The Catholic church has ‘suspended’ the Parish Priest in charge of Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Ewu-Owa Gberigbe in Ikorodu, Lagos, Rev. Fr. James Anelu.

The priest was said to have been stopped from working for discriminating against Igbos and banning Igbo songs and choruses in his parish.

Alfred Martin, the Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, in a “disclaimer”, directed Anelu to proceed on “an indefinite leave of absence”.

The suspended priest was said to have complained bitterly about the domineering attitude of Igbos which led to him banning Igbo songs and choruses in his parish, insisting that the excesses of Ndigbo must be contained.

The cleric, according to the viral report, angrily stopped a soul-lifting chorus during the second collection in one of his Sunday worship services, arguing that Igbo people cannot be allowed to keep dominating other people in his parish.

The priest was said to have gone further to cite the case of his Benin Diocese where Igbos dominate to the point of becoming the Bishop.

However, Martins, in the letter dated February 7, said, “It has been brought to our notice that Rev Fr James Anelu, the priest-in-charge of Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Ewu-Owa, Ikorodu, made some completely unacceptable comments about Igbo songs being sung in the Church and unsavoury remarks that do not represent the Catholic church’s position on the common brotherhood of peoples of all tribes and religions.

“For this reason, he has been asked to proceed on an indefinite leave of absence to give an opportunity for a thorough investigation of all the matters relating to his ministry on the parish. The leave of absence takes effect from Tuesday, February 8, 2021, till further notice.”

The Archbishop called on the church faithful to continue to serve God as one big family and in unity.

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