Aloysius Attah, Onitsha
The feud between Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, and the Anglican Church in the State appears to be getting worse by the day.
A group, under the auspices of Concerned Christian and Non-Christian Citizens of Anambra State, yesterday, embarked on a peaceful protest to the police headquarters in Amawbia Awka, where it submitted a protest letter to the state Commissioner of Police, Garba Baba Umar.
The group comprising young men and women and bearing placards of various inscriptions, amongst which was, “Bishop Owen Nwokolo is a politician,” urged the Nigeria Police to call the bishop to order.
The group accused the bishop of blackmail, campaign of calumny and feeding the public with baseless information, which they said were aimed at casting aspersions on Governor Obiano.
The group’s protest letter, jointly signed by the Coordinator, Ernest Anafonye, and the Secretary, Onyedika Nwosu, read in part: “The said Bishop Owen Nwokolo deliberately, with the intention to incite the public, has taken to both the traditional and social media, to spread false rumours claiming that Governor Willie Obiano is marginalising members of the Anglican church in Anambra State.”
Meanwhile, Diocese on the Nigeria, after a meeting, in its reaction, said the demonstration in Awka, today, against Nwokolo, Bishop of the Diocese on the Niger, was not by Anglicans, but by hirelings,
“who called themselves concerned Christians and non-christian citizens.
“They are bent on tarnishing the image of the Anglican church, Rt. Rev. Dr. Owen Nwokolo and the Diocese on the Niger, who are the rightful owner of the land at Nkisi Road, G.R.A, Onitsha, where there is Bishop Crowther Memorial Primary School, since 1926, with a duly registered document in 1927,” the Anglican church said.
The group, however, accused Nwokolo of fanning the embers of war in a peaceful state for alleged selfish reasons. It accused the bishop of spending time and resources to incite the Anglican congregation and the public against Obiano, the government of Anambra and the Catholic church, and warned that such acts were capable of instigating religious war in the state.
The protesters said the activities of Nwokolo were unbecoming and intolerable and urged the Anambra police commissioner to call him and his cronies to order, to avoid religious war and breakdown of law and order in the state.
The police commissioner, Umar, however, assured the protesters that the police will take necessary action, but enjoined the youths to maintain peace.
Umar said the police were not unmindful of the crisis of understanding between the Anglican church and the state government, with respect to a property in Onitsha, which both parties claim ownership.