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Peace, Military Presence As New Chief of Takum Arrives Town

The Governor of Taraba State Dr Agbu Kefas has installed and presented Staff of Office to Barr S...



Blame game has never brought succor to an ailing patient needing medication. For the benefit of those who do not know the nature and dimension of the United Methodist Church of Nigeria, UMCN crisis, it is very important to give you a small substance of the history of the crisis pinning it to the ultimate creator of problem. As a popular Hausa adage goes "wanda ya daura kura shine zai kunce shi"-meaning if you tie a lion to a stake, you are the one that will know how to untie it.

The crisis in United Methodist Church as we see it today predates the UMC in Nigeria spanning through the days of EKAN Muri church from 1969 through 1984.

But the recent one started in 2003 when the first Resident Bishop Done Peter Dabale who was consecrated in May 1992 saw the need for an additional conference in view of the rapid Church growth and development under his leadership.  Although four places initially contested for the conference headquarters of the proposed Northern Conference viz Bambur, Pero, Bauchi and Jos, but Jos withdrew from the contest. The election for the headquarters of the new conference that was held at Jatutu Memorial Cathedral, Magami in Jalingo under the chairmanship of Bishop Simon Mutum of Anglican Dioceses, Jalingo on the 24/4/2004 had the following results of voting:

A.  Bambur  -93 votes

B.  Pero  -121 votes

C.  Bauchi  -7 votes

The people of Karim Lamido under the leadership of Rev.  Johnwesley Yohanna and Mr.  Danladi Balutu formed a rebel group called "Concerned United Methodist Church". Rev. Johnwesley Yohanna was the chairman of Steering Committee till date and Mr. Danladi Balutu was the chairman Advisory Committee till date.

 They preached hatred against late Bishop Done Peter Dabale and introduced tribalism and dual offering in most Churches within Jalingo. Rev. Jolly Nyame was the Governor of Taraba State as well as a Minister of United Methodist Church ordained in 1981 as at then.

 On 24/4/2005 due to the activities and incitement by Rev. Johnwesley Yohanna, a fight broke out at UMCN Mayo-Gwoi where 1 person was killed, another person's hand was amputated, houses where burnt and properties worth millions of naira were lost.

 The Government of Jolly Nyame closed down 10 UMCN Churches in Jalingo until the intervention by the then President, Council of Bishops of the UMC delegation led by Bishop Peter D. Weaver that these closed down churches were reopened on the 15/12/2005. Rev.Johnwesley organized and supervise several attacks on the person of late Bishop Dabale motorcade. In one of such attacks, it was Mrs Priscilla Nyame's security aides that rescued Bishop Dabale from Rev. Johnwesley's attacking forces.

 Rev. Johnwesley Yohanna and his cohorts kept terrorizing late Bishop Dabale asking him to vacate his position as the Bishop. They fabricated all sorts of lies which led to the suspension of Late Bishop Dabale by the council of Bishops for six months.  After his return from the suspension, he eventually died on 25/8/2006 at Houston Hospital USA. His death was celebrated by Rev. Johnwesley Yohanna and his group i.e "Concerned Methodist".

 Rev. Johnwesley Yohanna and his group kept on fomenting trouble in the church.  All efforts by CAN Chairman Taraba State, Bishop Simon Mutum of Anglican Church, Bishop Timothy Yahaya, the former State CAN chairman, Professor Ethel Johnson from USA, Bishop Peter D.  Weaver former council of Bishops President, Bishop Nkulu Ntanda Ntambo, Late Elder Barau Banti, all fell on deaf ears of the 'Concerned United Methodist' leaders.

In March 2007, late Bishop Kefas K. Mavula was elected as the second Resident Bishop of Nigeria, Rev.  JohnWesley Yohanna and his group refused to recognize him as Bishop until his death after serving for 10 months and days, he died on 11/1/2008. Rev. Johnwesley introduced deviant behavior in the church in the UMC Nigeria till today. 

Rev. Johnwesley took over the Jatutu Memmorial Cathedral of the UMC in Magami, renamed the Cathedral as McBride church even with a Resident Bishop Dabale on ground. It is the same Rev. Johnwesley that is now demanding that the same Cathedral he seized without recourse to the resident Bishop. He applied the same stlye by denying late Bishop Kefas Mavula the chance to conduct his induction as a newly elected Bishop in the cathedral thereby forcing Bishop Mavula to go to his home village of Nyaja in Lau LGA to do his induction ceremony.

Following the death of Late Bishop Mavula, Retired Arthur F. Kulah was assigned by the council of Bishops in March 2008 to reconcile the church. But Bishop Arthur Kulah who led the church for 4 years succeeded in throwing the church into deep mess we are witnessing today. During Bishop Arthur F. Kulah, Rev. Johnwesley and his group continue to rebel against his leadership. Even when unity, peace and reconciliation service was organized by Bishop Arthur F. Kulah in consultation with Late Governor Danbaba Suntai of a blessed memory on 18/10/2010, Rev. Johnwesley and his group called "Concerned United Methodist" rejected the peace move, and organized thugs to loot our church property at Jatutu Memorial Cathedral. Late Governor Danbaba intervened by sending security who arrested 5 pastors and 7 members involved in looting of church property at that time.  They were arraigned before the Commissioner of Police Aliyu Musa on 16/10/2010. After the arrest, Rev. Johnwesley and Concerned United Methodist took Bishop Arthur F. Kulah to court. It took the intervention of the Anglican Bishop Timothy Yahaya who pleaded with High Court Judge for out of court settlement.




 December 2012 was slated for the election of a new Bishop in Sierra Leone.  Bishop Kulah introduced strange policy outside church law call identification, that 3 conferences will vote separately using 2010 accredited delegates: 

Southern Conference 671 delegates

Central Conference 314 delegates

Northern Conference 156 delegates 

The Southern and Northern Conferences conducted their identification base on the number of 2010 delegates while Central Conference because of Rev. Johnwesley desperation used 567 delegates instead of 314 delegates. 

Southern and Northern Conference said no to it and boycotted both the final nomination session held in Karim Maundi and the purported election that took place in Sierra Leone on 6/10/2012 and the eventual consecration that took place on 7/10/2012. After several written warnings and petitions for the right things to be done, Bishop Kulah refuse because he sold his conscience for materialism.




 On returning from Sierra Leone, Late Governor Danbaba Suntai having realized that only 7 out of 20 delegates from Nigeria participated in the election in Sierra Leone while 13 delegates from Nigeria boycotted the election. Taraba State Security Council meet and directed the suspension of 'the Bishop Election' on 16/10/2012 to calm down the already heightened tension  at that time. Till date no further directive to revoke the order was given. It may interest the world to know that when Late Danbaba Suntai had plane crash, Rev. Johnwesley and his group celebrated the crash even his eventual death. Rev. Johnwesley and his people blamed his lack of recognition by the Taraba State Government on Late Governor Danbaba Suntai.

Unfortunately, whoever that tries to wade into the UMCN crisis, Rev. Johnwesley tend to accuse him of fueling the crisis he fomented in the church. He blamed Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), TEKAN/ECWA block of CAN Taraba State, Rev. Caleb Ahima President of Christian Reformed Church in Nigeria, Rev. Magaji Isaiah Jirape the State Chairman. This blame game on Arch. Darius Dickson Ishaku did not start today.




Unfortunately, Rev. Johnwesley started his faulty rule in the UMCN by posting Pastors out of Jalingo as a hate campaign against those he perceived as his enemies within the clergy. Secondly, he started taking pastors and laity of the Southern Conference to the police and courts by instituting a petition against seven pastors including Rev. John Simon Jatutu (former Special Adviser to the government of Taraba State on religious matters) accusing him of refusing to hand over the church to him.

He equally reported same pastors to the AIG Office Zone 3 in Yola. He also instituted other cases at SIB Police department at the Jalingo command headquarters. He reported members of the UMC of Mutum Biyu, Garba Chede, Nukkai, Bali, Taka Wurkum before the Police Divisional offices in their respective areas. 

In fact, part of his ministry is going to the courts and police stations. He used his kangaro Board of Trustees to take the Southern Conference to the Federal High Court in Jalingo, State High Court Jalingo, Magistrate court Jalingo and Mutum Biyu.

 It may interest you to know that the Acting government of UTC instead of studying the problem of the church very well just ordered security operatives to seized our Cathedral, Guest House and Secretariat and gave it to Rev. Johnwesley simply because he is from the same local government of Karim Lamido with Rev. Johnwesley. The same Rev. Johnwesley and his people deceived UTC that they will vote for him to be the next Governor of Taraba State. 

 We reported the matter to Alhaji Sani Danladi who took over as Acting Governor from UTC on the seizure of our properties to him he did not do anything about it, because he is also from Karim Lamido with Rev. Johnwesley.




 Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku came on board on May 29th 2015, when the crisis was 12 years old. The Governor set up different committees to ensure peace and normalcy return to the church such as:

CAN peace committee Chaired by Late Dr. Ben Ubeh, Rev. Isaiah Jirapye Magaji and Fr. James Vonti as members. The report of the committee was submitted to the Governor for action on March 16th 2016. The recommendations by CAN which would have brought far receiving solutions to the crisis, yet Rev. Johnwesley referred to CAN's recommendations as bias.

 Yet Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku further mandated UMCN public servants to mediate and proffer solutions under the Chairmanship of Hon. Danladi Baido, the present Federal House of Representative member for Karim Lamido, Lau and Ardo Kola Federal Constituency. The report was submitted to the Governor on 4th March 2016, Rev. Johnwesley refused to abide by the submission of the committee. 

Another CAN committee effort at peace for the UMC Chaired by Rev. Dr. Innocent Solomon, the then State CAN Chairman with Bishop Nedison of Anglican Diocese Jalingo, Rev. Dr. Caleb O.S Ahima, the present CRCN President and the National Vice President of CAN and former LCCN Bishop Joshua James Jen. All these efforts and many more put in place by Governor Darius Dickson, Rev. Johnwesley did not see anything good out of this committee. 

 If all these efforts made by the Governor and CAN to bring truce to the church cannot be appreciated by Rev. Johnwesley, then he cannot seek relevance from the press by accusing "Governor Ishaku of Taraba responsible for fueling crisis of the United Methodist Church Nigeria". The world must know that Governor Darius have a very good heart and intention towards maintaining peace and normalcy in all churches in Taraba not only UMCN. If he cannot be appreciated by Rev. Johnwesley and his camp, he should not be maligned for fueling crisis in the UMC in Nigeria.

With a sarcastic disposition, Rev. Johnwesley has claimed (to people that do not know him) that his hands are always wide open to receive the people he is tormenting.

Conclusively, it is expected that when Rev. Johnwesley Yohanna was given the post of a Bishop since 2012 in Sierra Leone and he meant well for the UMC Nigeria, God would have given him the wisdom to wriggle himself out of the messed he has put the Nigerian church since his rebellion of 2003.








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1 comment:

  1. Well, this Narrative is not carrying the concentrated logical, moral and spiritual truth, the writing failed to recognize Bishop johnwesley efforts which were geared towards making peace. Now, let's assume all these sentences are true, can we still rebell or also cause trouble in order to correct things? Two wrong things cannot be Produce atomic goodness, well, to me all we are having now in UMCN is like incompetent is weighing incompetent in this situation then. Most pastors are revolutionary , not revivalist. What the present trouble is, is like using greater evil to overcome lesser one. To me this not Christianity UMCN should differentiate between Revival and revolution, so that they don't swallow revolutionary pills without proper prescription. Thanks. May God have mercy on UMCN. Lord we need REVIVAL!