I’ve never instigated police against anybody – Methodist Bishop
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John Wesley Yohanna, Bishop of the United Methodist Church in Nigeria (UMCN), has finally broken his silence on the crisis threatening to split the church.

NDREPORTERS had reported how the bishop was alleged to have used the police to intimidate and harass some pastors and laity of the church who were not loyal to him

The group, which came under the umbrella of the United Methodist Church from the annual conference in Nigeria, accused the bishop of failing to account for the sum of over N230 million paid by the General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) for staff salaries, medical allowances and pension.

Reacting to the numerous allegations leveled against him by some of the pastors and laity of the church, led by Rev. Musa Lana, the Bishop urged them to count him out of such allegations.

Yohanna, who could not fathom why the “acclaimed clergies” have continued to drag the hard earned image of the church to the mud, said ” I am surprised that these types of allegations are coming from people who claimed to be ministers of God.”

He dismissed claims that he was using police saying, they “are people who are put in the society to secure others.”

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Yohanna, who went ahead to narrate how he has been working tirelessly to ensure a round table dialogue between both parties, said “I have not instigated any police person and I am not using any police against any person.”

Stressing that “we are clerics who are supposed to work by order ” he felt dejected that the reverse has turned out to be the case stating that ” if you hear the stories behind some of these things that people are saying, you will be very surprised.”

“For people to go about saying we are using the security to harass and intimidate them,” he said “it is a lie” adding that “the security are here to ensure that things are done orderly “.

The bishop who also spoke extensively on the calls made by the aggrieved clerics to the West Africa College of Bishops on the need for them to compel Yohanna to account for the aforementioned funds, also exonerated himself from the alleged misappropriation of the fund.

The bishop, who said he has never been financially found wanting by the leadership of the church at both international and national levels said “since I became a bishop, I am always audited” stating that “there is no year in and year out that auditors don’t come around. ”

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Auditors from both abroad and internally, he said, always come around to audit the church.

Throwing his weight behind the bishop, the Administrative Assistant to the Bishop, Rev. Yoti Filiya, told our correspondent that the bishop has never, for once, taken any member of the church to the police station.

The only case the church has ever known, according to him “was between the Taraba State Police Command and some pastors and laitys of UMCN ” who as stated by him were being “prosecuted for spying on the sensitivity property of the State Police Command and sending picture to foreign partners abroad, which the police according to him “said contravenes the Official Secret Act”.

Rather than going about soiling the image of the church, he aligned his weight to that of the bishop to beckon at aggrieved to accept the olive branches that the bishop has been extending to them

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