12th triennial synod meets this week in Port Harcourt
The Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh has kicked off the 12th triennial meeting of General Synod of the Church of Nigeria. Gathered from 18-22 Sept 2017 at St Paul’s Cathedral in Port Harcourt in Southern Nigeria’s Rivers State. The five day gathering of bishops, clergy and lay delegates from across the Anglican Communion’s largest province will focus on internal issues of importance to the church, said the host of the meeting, the Archbishop of the Province of the Niger Delta, the Most Rev. Ignatius Kattey.
Sources in the Nigerian church tell Anglican Ink the delegates will also endorse the decision by their primate not to attend next month’s primates’ meeting in Canterbury, voicing their support for his call for sanctions against the Episcopal Church of the USA and other provinces who have moved against church teaching and tradition through the normalization of same-sex marriage.
The theme of the meeting, Archbishop Okoh told reporters during a visit to Government House in Port Harcourt was “thou shalt not steal.”
In a meeting with reporters at the close of the third day of proceedings, the archbishop said the Church did not support calls for the break-up of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, obliquely pushing away pleas from Igbo bishops for the question of an independent Biafran Republic to be debated. The church supported the right of equal treatment of all Nigerians throughout the country, and repudiated calls made by radicals for Igbos to leave Northern Nigeria and Hausa to flee from the South.
“The Church of Nigeria as the name implies is the church that covers the whole Nigeria, so, we cannot support any break away, so, we believe in one Nigeria.
We believe in one Nigeria that is based on the principles of reciprocity; that is based on justice; that is based on fairness; so that we can live in a country where no man is suppressed. That is the position of the Church of Nigeria.
“We do not support any break away, we want one Nigeria where everybody is comfortably at home”, the archbishop said.
However, he urged the government not to ignore the demands of the poor.
“For the leaders of Nigeria, we appeal to them to lead well, so that everybody will be comfortable. And for the ordinary people, we appeal to them not to create trouble but to follow with sense of purpose having a goal to achieve things and make our country better.”
PHOTO: Archbishops Ignatius Kattey and Nicholas Okoh at Synod, courtesy of Facebook