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Angry Catholic priest bans singing of Igbo songs in church

He was also accused of railing against Igbos allegedly “dominating” the Benin Catholic Diocese, with “Most Revd. Akubueze” appointed its bishop.

• February 8, 2022
Archbishop of Lagos Archdiocese, Alfred Adewale Martins
Archbishop of Lagos Archdiocese, Alfred Adewale Martins

An upset Catholic priest, James Anelu, stunned his parishioners when he told them that singing Igbo songs was prohibited in the church.

Mr Anelu, the parish priest of Holy Trinity Catholic Church Ewu-Owa Gberigbe in Ikorodu, Lagos, was alleged to have angrily stopped a chorus, sung in Igbo, during the second collection at mass last Sunday.

In his anger, the parish priest stood up and stopped the Igbo song, saying the Igbos could not keep dominating other people even in his church, it was alleged. 

He was also accused of railing against Igbos allegedly “dominating” the Benin Catholic Diocese, with “Most Revd. Akubueze” appointed its bishop.

Confirming the incident to Peoples Gazette, a member of the executive of the Ijede Catholic Deanery (who pleaded anonymity because she was not authorised to speak on the matter) said the priest’s outburst caused an uproar among the congregation and led to the disruption of the mass. 

Meanwhile, the priest has been suspended.

In a circular signed by the Archbishop of Lagos Archdiocese, Alfred Adewale Martins, Mr Anelu was given an indefinite leave of absence pending when all investigations on the issue will be concluded.

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