Femi Taiwo, presiding chaplain of the Chapel of Christ the Light, Alausa, Lagos, has been sacked because he did not accord preferential treatment to Bolanle Ambode, the first lady of the state.
According to PUNCH, Taiwo was sacked on Monday, May 14, a day after the anointing service during which the incident occurred.
The church members reportedly filed out for anointing, and Ambode was said to have spent quite some time on the queue before it eventually got to her turn.
After receiving her anointing, she was said to have stormed out in annoyance and ignored the women leaders who rushed after her.
A church member was quoted as saying that, “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.”
The termination was carried out by the governing council allegedly on the order of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.
The cleric and his family were said to have been ordered out of their official abode.
Taiwo refused to comment on the matter, saying: “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.”
Steve Ayorinde, the state commissioner for information and strategy, denied that Taiwo’s termination anything to do with the governor’s wife.
“The former chaplain had been queried a number of times in the past 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,” he was quoted as saying.
“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.”
Taiwo’s tenure as presiding chaplain was not to end for another two years.