Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
The Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe is worried about the unhealthy rivalry within the Christendom; particularly among church leaders in Nigeria.
Achebe attributed the in-fighting among Christians and church leaders to lack of faith in Christ who should be emulated and whose vineyard; the church derived its strength and inspiration.
The royal father warned various church denominations against rivalry and competition while charging them to be cooperative, humble as Christ did till death and resurrection.
Achebe who gave the charge when The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) Province 3 Anambra state (a.k.a) Province Destination; led by Pastor Robert Joshua Igbo visited him in his palace at Onitsha, maintained that churches cannot preach the gospel of truth and salvation unless they were united and have cordial relationship as one body in Christ.
His counsel: “Jesus binds us together as Christians. We have to work in cooperation; we should not see rivalry among the churches as well as playing negative politics in the church. We should preach the gospel in low tone without disturbing others. We should respect God and other human beings. We should stop fighting ourselves as Christians over who is bigger, stronger, richer and more powerful than others. Christians should not indulge into unnecessary competitions which have negative and positive, advantageous and disadvantageous effects”.
He said that Onitsha as an ancient city tolerates every religion, as indicated by the Onitsha mosque which according to him, has been there for over 100 years. To buttress his point, he stated that Christianity especially the Anglican Church came into the city in the 18th century and was followed by the Catholic Church which he said made the people of the area to embrace Christianity early enough.
Earlier in his remarks, leader of the delegation, Pastor Joshua Igbo said their visit to the royal father was to familiarize with him since the church created new province 3 for the commercial city of Onitsha.
As he put it, they wanted to have cordial relationship with the traditional institution because Christ said the church should pray for those in authorities of power.
He said that the province would organize crusade alongside medical outreach in Onitsha and urged the monarch to mobilize his subjects to the programme.
Igbo however, commended Igwe Achebe on the way and manner he has sustained and showcased the culture of Onitsha despite civilization. “We appreciate you in what you are doing in Onitsha kingdom in terms of development and culture,” he stated.