Common Roots: Ancient Evangelical Future Conference

Archbishop calls upon politician to put the country first

Nigeria’s parlous political state was the theme of the presidential address of Archbishop Nicholas Okoh to the Church of Nigeria Standing Committee last month.

Nigeria’s parlous political state was the theme of the presidential address of the Primate of All-Nigeria to his church’s standing committee meeting held from 2-7 Feb 2015 at Bishop Agori-Iwe Memorial Anglican Church, Ovwodawanre-Ughelli, in the country’s southern Delta State. Archbishop Nicholas Okoh urged all candidates standing for election in the country’s general elections to ‘’be mindful of our common identity which is the nation Nigeria. We might have different political parties’ ideologies, personal or corporate interests but we essentially remain Nigerians and that should engender unity even in the midst of politicking.” The church wished the candidates would have a “spirit of sportsmanship since there could be as many contestants as possible but only one winner must emerge. They should put the interest of people first because ‘the mark of true, Godly leadership is not power and privileges but humble service’.” The archbishop affirmed the church should not endorse any specific candidate, but supported general principles who hoped were shared by all. “The spirit of ‘it must be me or no one else’ is in itself undemocratic and mark of inordinate ambition which must be discouraged,” he said, and cautioned against political violence. “Nobody should die for anybody. We strongly urge youths to refuse to be used as thugs to cause violence by anybody no matter how much they offer,” he said. Elections have been scheduled for 14 February 2015, but where postponed to 28 March 2015 by the electoral commission due to the instability in the North.

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