The Baptist Church came to Nigeria in 1850 when Revered Thomas Jefferson Bowen entered the country through Badagry, Abeokuta and stationed at Ijaye Orile before he headed to Ogbomoso in 1851 to preach Christ. It was this Bowen that the Bowen University was named after. As an elder in the Baptist, I want to state that the Bowen University sited in Iwo, Osun State, is not a one-man business inasmuch as the Baptist Church denomination is a family.
What we call family is a group of people and not a solitary organization that the Bowen University is now, which is not how it was set up. The Bowen University belongs to the whole Baptist Church in Nigeria and not a single family but all families in the Baptist Church. I want to believe that the Nigeria Baptist Convention at Oke-Bola, Ibadan is aware of the unpalatable and atrocious situation of mass retirements going on in the university. On June 23, another 147 workers were sacked making it about 300 workers that had been sacked.
Are all those that were sacked offenders? If that is true, it means something is going on in the Baptist Church; if not, it means there is something hidden which needs to be uncovered.
This sack, if not checked, can rip the fabric of the church apart all over the country. I know a Baptist Church in Iwo where over 20 of their members were sacked simultaneously. They are all back bones of the church paying their tithes regularly. The convention is on a monthly basis asking for collections of 20 per cent of their incomes to the convention. Such church members who are involved and many other churches may change their minds and stop their contributions for the development of the church.
What is the president, Samson Ayokunle, doing to redeem Baptist Church from collapse? The Nigeria Baptist Convention should look into the situation quickly; call them back and perhaps cut their salaries. There is more wisdom in that than outright termination of appointment. Many of them were the pioneers of that college who had worked assiduously for the college to reach that standard. Can Nigeria Baptist Convention at this crucial period retrench his staff?
S.A Alao, Osun State.
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