Anambra 2021: Churches At War Over Governorship Candidates

Churches in Anambra State are at war over which denomination will produce the next governor of the state.

Development in the state show that denominational politics may go a long way in determining who wins the  November 6, 2021 governorship election in the state.

Dominance of the political space by members of the Catholic Church in the state over the years has triggered feelings of dissatisfaction among other church denominations with the Anglican Church at the forefront. Members of the Pentecostal denominations, including traditional worshippers have also not hidden their disaffection with the dominance of the Catholic Church in the political affairs in the state.

The church’s Strategic Committee for the Election of Indigenous Bishop of Nnewi Diocese made the appeal when they visited the bishop-elect, Diocese of Nnewi (Anglican Communion) Ven. Ndubisi Obi in his office at St. Augustine Anglican Church, Federal Housing Estate, 3-3 Onitsha.

The committee led by former President of Council of Knights, Diocese of Nnewi, Sir. Emeka Nzewi, his Secretary, Sir. Sunny Ijezie and Prof. Ben Ufodike reportedly said that the church had been marginalized in governance, infrastructural development and grants which they needed to be corrected when a member of the church becomes governor of the state.

Leader of the protesting priests alleged that so many Anglicans in the state were denied All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) tickets for various positions in the party primaries that were held that year, describing such as a threat to peaceful coexistence. He said: “This present administration is turning Anambra State to a denominational state.”

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The venerable said, “we are going to hold another meeting before the election. Some of our leaders are playing hide and seek, but our decision is final, which is to vote for our member.

“We don’t care whether he or she is a cripple, a blind person or deaf and dumb. Our church has really suffered in this state when it comes to the issue of governorship.

“Any political party that has our member as its candidate, even if the person belongs to a spirit party, we will vote him or her. Enough is enough.”

The group also, declared that it has not endorsed any candidate in any political party, to replace governor Willie Obiano in the November 6 election as being speculated.

While congratulating all the governorship candidates, PFN warned that they should do issue based campaigns devoid of violence.

 “We have emphasized that Anambra State needs a God-fearing man, a good manager of resources, a man of impeccable character and humanity.

“We need a governor for everybody; someone that will carry everybody along. We are praying for the right candidate to take over Anambra State on Nov. 6, 2021.

“We want to call on the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC  to be an impartial empire by giving all the candidates equal and level playing ground.

“The INEC must resist the temptation of being used by anyone to rig the election. We are calling on all the voters to guard their votes after voting and resist any form of rigging in the coming election.” Ezedebego said.

One of the outspoken Catholic priests in the state, Rev.  Dr Martin Chuks Anusi, told the reports at the weekend that the church is only interested in a good man and not his or her religion.

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Anusi, who is the Director of Social Communications, Catholic Diocese of Awka and the Director of Fides Media Limited (Publishers of Fides Newspaper), said it is the responsibility of religious leaders to hold to such tenets and not decide and rule.

According to him, “the Catholic Church is only interested in any person who is good and not where he worships or the party the person belongs

“In Fides Newspapers which is faith based, our employees are from Anglican, Mountain of Fire and other denominations and not only Catholics. What we need are good hands and not the person’s church.

The Priest said “Our people should wise up and forget primordial issues. The electorate should look for that person who can give them what they want and not look at the church, this has been the message of our bishop all the while,” .

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