As the tempo of campaigns for next month’s general election increases, the Archbishop Metropolitan and Primate of all Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Most Reverend Nicolas Okoh, has called on politicians to refrain from overheating the polity.
The clergyman charged politicians to be mindful of their utterances and to conduct themselves in a manner that would promote peace and the rule of law, during and after the general elections.
The Anglican Primate, who spoke at the Cathedral Church of Andrews Amichi in Nnewi South Local Government of Anambra State during a two day working visit in the diocese for the 10 years anniversary celebration of its creation and Bishop Ephraim Ikeakor’s 10th year episcopacy, tasked politicians on peaceful elections.
Okoh, who expressed serious worry over what he described as “very high tension” in the country, warned that such tension was a threat to Nigeria’s unity.
“The Nigerian state is bigger than any individual. So, all of us have a duty to ensure that Nigeria is not harmed in the course of electioneering campaign, during the election and after the election,” Rev. Okoh said.
“These three stages are very critical. We should work hard to ensure that peace reigns. If you win, be considerate in your victory, and if you lose, don’t kill anybody because of that.”
On Amichi Diocese, Okoh congratulated Bishop Ikeakor for his 10 years Episcopal anniversary and commended him for dedication of projects he built in the last 10 years, noting that the diocese was replicating the tripod evangelism of the early missionaries, hinged on education, medical services and the church.
He said, “Let Amichi diocese continue with what they are doing because they are building along the tripod that the missionaries brought to us. That is education, medical services and the church. It is not enough to go to church; you must serve the people and make sure that when they come to church, they have opportunity to get their problems solved, not only through prayers but through medical and agriculture because the diocese is also involved in agricultural development.”
Some of the projects dedicated by Primate Okoh include: College of Nursing Sciences, Masters Vessel Seminary, Sure Anchor Micro Finance Bank, Diocesan Integrated Farm, Admin secretariat among other facilities.
During the occasion, Bishop Ikeakor honoured some individuals and families that contributed for the progress of the diocese including, Chief Chidi Anyaegbu, Chief SN Ukachukwu, Sir Emmanuel Umeohia, Sir Michael Agazie, Mr and Barr Mrs Chinedu Okeke, Chief Abraham Oti and Chief Okwudili Oti.
Others were families of Ikebaba Nzewi, Dr Samson Obichi, Chief Benjamin Atuchukwu and Prof G.EO Ogum all of whom bagged the Distinguished Temple Builders award.
Bishop Ikeakor, while speaking to newsmen, thanked God for giving him the strength and wisdom to shepherd the flock in the past 10 years, noting that the diocese introduced some programmes like the prayer breakfast, wailing women prayer summit for the women, the first born search, kneeling in his presence for the women, covenant Sunday, night of evidence to arm the congregants on spiritual matters.
He also expressed happiness that he was able to accomplish the mission and vision statement of the diocese as enshrined in the maiden Synod of the diocese held at Osumenyi which, according to him, included preaching the gospel holistically and propagating the evangelism in four dimensions as quality education, robust healthcare provision, agriculture, and pragmatic social welfare and services.