Suspended Catholic priest who banned Igbo songs in Lagos parish reinstated

Rev-Fr-James-Anelu who banned Igbo songs

Catholic Archbishop of Lagos Alfred Martins has reinstated the parish priest of Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Ewu-Owa, Gberigbe in Ikorodu, Lagos, Rev. Fr. James Anelu, who was suspended for banning Igbo songs and choruses in his parish.

Martins had given Anelu “an indefinite leave of absence” on February 7 after the priest told his congregation that his move was to curtail the influence of the Igbo people in the church.

A statement seen by the press on Wednesday which was signed by the archdiocese’s spokesman Rev. Fr. Anthony Godonu announced Anelu’s reinstatement.

The statement read, “The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. Alfred Adewale Martins, has recalled Rev. Fr. James ANELU, the Parish priest of Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Ewu Owa from the indefinite administrative leave to which he was sent on Feb. 7th 2022. Fr. ANELU proceeded on the leave following allegations that he banned the singing of Igbo songs in the Parish.

“Following a thorough investigation, conducted in consultation with the Parish Pastoral Council, the Parish Laity Council and Ad hoc Committee set up by the Archbishop, it was discovered that the posting on the social media that brought about the administrative leave did not give a complete picture of the incident.

“Fr. James has therefore been asked to return to the Parish in order to remedy the situation created by the social media posting and bring about reconciliation and unity in the parish.”

Martins urged the parishioners to, in the spirit of Lent, work together with the priest for the greater glory of God and the good of the community.