Nigerian bishop returns govt hand out

The Bishop of Owerri has returned a cash donation from a state official saying the church would not be party to Nigeria’s culture of corruption. At last month’s diocesan synod held at St John’s Cathedral in New Owerri, a representative of Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State in Southeastern Nigeria presented the diocese with a donation of N200,000 (£650) drawn from state coffers. The Rt. Rev. Cyril Okorocha — who served as Director of Mission and Evangelism at the Anglican Consultative Council in London from 1991 to 1998 — returned the donation to the governor’s representative saying it was inappropriate for the church to be given money when the state claimed it did not have the funds to pay civil servants. “Please take your money and return it to the government. If l take this money, lmo people will say that l have collected their pension money and worker’s salary. Go and pay pensioners and workers. I won’t touch this money,” the bishop said according to press reports from the synod. Bishop Okorocha called on the governor to “what he is doing with lmo money. We need explanations”, he said.

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