Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Activities that would herald the retirement of the Primate, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) Most Rev Nicholas Okoh, is expected to commence in Abuja, later this week, with a book presentation and foundation launch.
The book titled “Not by power nor by might,” is a collection of selected messages of the primate over the period, while the Nicholas Okoh Foundation, will be a multi-faceted and committed Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) that will promote quality political and religious leaders, as well as holistic human development.
Okoh’s tenure as Anglican Primate is expected to end in March 2020 when he will complete his 10 years tenure at the helm of affairs of the Anglican Church. He took over from Most Rev. Peter Akinola, in 2010.
Anglican Bishop of Kubwa Diocese, Abuja, Rev. Dr. Duke Akamisoko, who disclosed the information at a press conference in Abuja, on Monday, said that a lot of activities have been lined up to celebrate the outgoing primate whose tenure, he said, impacted positively on the church and the nation as a whole.
He confirmed that processes that would herald the emergence of a new primate would be transparent, and in strict accordance with the constitution of the church.
The Registrar, Anglican Church of Nigeria, Dr. Abraham Yisa, attested to the credibility and transparency of the processes that would produce Okoh’s successor.
He said: “The process begins from the table of Primate Advisory Committee (PAC), which is made up of the clergy and laity selected from 165 Anglican dioceses in Nigeria. They would advise the House of Bishops that conducts the election, on the quality and qualifications of the person the church wants as primate.
“After that, one of the PAC members is elected to present the suggestions/recommendations to a meeting of the House of Bishops, when they gather for the election. Remember that every Anglican Bishop is eligible to be a primate. But the recommendations and suggestions of PAC members go a long way in electing new primate.
“On election day, communion is served and the recommendation of PAC is distributed to the bishops to study. Four bishops are nominated for the election which is always secret ballot and church registrar presides over the election.
“The election is not by simple majority but by 2/3. Previously, no one scored 2/3 in the first ballot and in that case, the last person is dropped, paving the way for three persons to contest. The constitution allows for four ballots. If at the end of the fourth ballot, no one scored 2/3, then the election is adjourned to the next day for a continuation of the election until a winner emerges.”
He confessed that leadership of Anglican Church is unique because “it’s episcopally led and synodically governed. It means that bishops are the leaders of the church but the laity has a strong voice, not only in the governance of the church but in the selection of the leaders.”
The church registrar, however, confirmed that plans were underway to amend the constitution of the church so that it could provide a credible platform for arbitration in cases of conflict and disagreement.