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Gov. Wike charges Church to participate in democratic process, donates N300m to Anglican Church – From Chukwudi Ejimofor/PH

Gov. Wike

It was Wednesday, 23rd February 2022. The Church of Nigeria Standing Committee meeting hosted by the Diocese of Evo, in Rivers State, Niger Delta Anglican Communion Province, provided  Governor Neysom Wike who was the guest of honour, an ample platform to call on the church to be be part of the the democratic process in Nigeria, especially the 2023 general elections

The churches he reiterated claim tens of millions of registered members with branches everywhere, yet according to him these numbers are not available in votes during crucial national elections. 

“If the Church doesn’t like what is happening to Nigeria; the ravaging insecurity, the lack of meaningful development; the mass poverty; the unending economic pains on ordinary Nigerians; the recurring violent conflicts and recriminations; the violence on women and children; the discrimination and widespread social, economic and political injustices and the general lack of hope and direction; 

“Then, it must start to mobilize its members and Nigerians in general to join and actively participate in the political process to bring about the genuine and sustainable change that the our country so urgently needs.”

Addressing the congregation, the Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria, Anglican Communion, His Grace, The Most Rev’d Dr. Henry Chukwudum Ndukuba stood for about two hours, harped on issues of the nation, Christian living and Anglican Church matters in Nigeria and beyond.

The Primate in addressing the theme of the meeting: “The Christian Dual Citizenship and Responsibility” taken from Matthew 22: 20-22, reminded all Anglicans in Nigeria and beyond that they are both citizens of their country and citizens of the kingdom of God. 

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As he believes that charity must start from home, The Most Rev. Dr. Ndukuba announced the Church of Nigeria Alternative Dispute Resolution Taskforce to reconcile all members who have issues with the church and all dioceses which have disputes with one another. The eleven-man Taskforce is headed by the Hon. Justice B. A. Georgewill.

In line with the need for peace in the Church of Nigeria North American Mission (CONNAM), the Primate announced that all appointments, preferments, and creation of parishes, deaneries and arch-deaneries done after the the resolution on restructuring and which conflict with the restructuring and delineation is annulled. 

“Obedience to the rule of law and ordering of the society is the first responsibility of believers in Christ. Lawlessness, indiscipline and anarchy are sins against God and detrimental to humanity” He averred 

According to him, patriotism is required of every citizen and more so, as people who know their God and His purpose in creation.

The Primate called for a National Truth, Peace and Reconciliation Commission as the nation is deeply divided on ethnic and religious lines.

In his 50-page Primatial address, the Primate focused on the state of the nation; the forthcoming 2023 general election. He admonished all Anglicans throughout the country to be fully mobilised in the political process beginning with registration as voters, collection of their voter’s cards, their national identification numbers and actual voting on the election day. He said that Christians should no longer see politics as a dirty game rather a process to choose national leadership.

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“Christians should register in any party of their choice and be involved in the activities of the party from the ward level to the national,” he said. 

On the economy, Ndukuba spoke on the proposed removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government of Nigeria. “Subsidy removal will throw more Nigerians below the poverty line and further reinforce our unenviable status of being the poverty capital of the world,” he said.

Disturbed about the state of insecurity in the country especially as it concerns the killings of Christians and burning of church buildings in different parts of the country. He posited it should stop and called on the Federal government and her security agencies to address the issue squarely.

As he believes that charity must start from home, The Most Rev. Dr. Ndukuba announced the Church of Nigeria Alternative Dispute Resolution Taskforce to reconcile all members who have issues with the church and all dioceses which have disputes with one another. The eleven-man Taskforce is headed by the Hon. Justice B. A. Georgewill.

In line with the need for peace in the Church of Nigeria North American Mission (CONNAM), the Primate announced that all appointments, preferments, and creation of parishes, deaneries and arch-deaneries done after the the resolution on restructuring and which conflict with the restructuring and delineation is annulled. 

The speech received a standing ovation and the governor of Rivers State Nyesom Wike who was the guest of honour commended the primate for standing for two hours and speaking truth to power.

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The Governor donated the sum of  N300 million to support the Anglican church of Nigeria.

The host Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Innocent Uchechukwu Ordu in his earlier address of welcome said the Diocese of Evo was happy to host the Standing Committee meeting and National Women’s Executive meeting.

All the Archbishops and Bishops of the 170 Dioceses of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion and their wives, as well as three delegates from each Diocese attended the event which began on Monday, 21st February and ended on Friday, 25th February, 2022 at two venues namely the All Saints Cathedral Rumuokwrusi and St Andrew’s Anglican Church Rumuobiokani Deanery, all in Port Harcourt, Rivers State

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