…Archbishop Chukwuma drums support for Ugwuanyi’s second term
From Chidi Nnadi, Enugu
A mild drama ensued on Sunday at the St. Matthew’s Church, Amechi, when Archbishop Emmanuel Chukwuma tried to woo back Senator Jim Nwobodo to the Anglican fold as the Diocese of Enugu Anglican Communion, Awkunanaw Archdeaconry marked its 100 years of existence.
Nwobodo, a former governor of old Anambra State, who came to the church service in company of a large number of Catholic faithful, had left the Anglican Church following some family disagreements when his son, Ifeanyichukwu Nwobodo (Jnr), died in 2014.
The Most Rev Chukwuma who led other two Anglican archbishops to the centenary service of the church pointedly accused the Catholic Church of “stealing” their sheep (Jim), pointing out that the former governor was not known to have the mastery of reading the holy rosary.
The fiery Anglican priest traced the history of Nwobodo in the Anglican church, saying that he did not only build the church where the centenary service was celebrated when he was governor, but also his father, Peter Nwobodo, was one of the earliest Anglican faithful to be wedded in the church founded in 1917.
He, therefore, noted that Jim’s father would be happy in his grave as he had returned to sit on the platform which he sat on in the church many years ago.
“Those stealing Peter’s son should leave him. Peter should be happy that the seat he left in the church has been recovered by the son today,” Chukwuma said, adding that he would reach out to Archbishop Calistus Onaga of the Enugu Catholic Diocese for him to release Nwobodo formally back to the Anglican Church.
Chukwuma also announced that he and his followers have endorsed Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for a second term in 2019.
He urged the All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftains, many of whom were in the church, to shelve party differences to support Ugwuanyi again, pointing out that the governor himself does not discriminate amongst parties.
He also implored Ugwuanyi to ensure that power returns to Nkanu land after serving out his second tenure in 2023.
He also condemned the Operation Python Dance 2 mounted by the army in the South-East zone, advising the military to rather focus more attention to the menace of herdsmen in the region.
Nwobodo, who was bestowed with outstanding leadership award by the church alongside Ugwuanyi and Chukwuma in his response, said that he was old enough to know what is good for him, saying that the Catholic church had filled a gap in his life when it mattered.
On the request for him to return to the Anglican fold, he used an Igbo proverb to say, “when we get to the bridge, we will know how to cross it.”
Governor Ugwuanyi in his response thanked the church for the honour done to him at the centenary celebration.
“I feel highly humbled and indebted for the outstanding leadership award which you have so graciously conferred on me today,” he said.
The governor noted that the Anglican church in the last 100 years in the state has contributed immensely to the intellectual, moral, spiritual and social development of the people of the state and beyond.
He also thanked the Anglican faithful for their support of his administration, promising that with their continued prayers and support his government would not fail to deliver on its mandate.