Fred Ezeh, Abuja
The Primate, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Nicholas Okoh, has the clergy against giving out the pulpit to politicians for the purposes of electioneering.
The primate declared that the pulpit remains a sacred and dwelling place for God and should not be used otherwise particularly as activities heralding the 2019 general elections gather momentum.
Okoh gave the warning in Abuja at the annual meeting of eminent Anglican Church members who are either in business, social or civil service, political office or seeking same during the forthcoming general elections.
He was unhappy that some clerics have been making statements that embarrass the church, hence the need to caution them to keep the sacredness of the pulpit. “We shouldn’t allow such thing to continue,” he said.
“We don’t give opportunity to any politician to speak in churches under my immediate watch. It could happen elsewhere but definitely not in Abuja province.
“Our bishops across Nigeria are aware of the rules. They know that pulpits are dedicated to preaching the word of God and not for politics or criticising anybody. It was clearly stated in our operational manual. Any of our clerics that surrenders the pulpit for political campaign knows that he is doing the wrong thing.”
Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, told journalists that the meeting was timely due to the charged political atmosphere and the need to acquaint political office seekers of the expectation from the church.
He appreciated the church leaders for organising the meeting which he believed would provide opportunity to discuss the way forward for the church and Nigeria.