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BREAKING: Edeoga vows to remove Blessed Sacrament from Gov’t House Chapel, says it’s turn of Anglican Church to produce governor

…laments Catholic, Methodist domination of government

…Says Bishops Chukwuma, Onyia, betrayers of Anglican faith

By Ugwuoke Chidiebere

As the struggle for Enugu State’s seat of power intensifies, politicians have been devising all means to oust the ruling political party, PDP from office using religious and clannish sentiments, and even incitement of violence.

Among the worst hit is the Body of Christ, which has been dragged by certain politicians, who accuse the Catholic Church, Methodist Church and Pentecostal churches of dominating power and occupying sensitive positions in the state to the detriment of Anglican Church.

This is even as the Labour Party governorship candidate, Chijioke Edeoga, has vowed to remove the Blessed Sacrament from the Government House Chapel, appoint an Anglican Chaplain, and re-model the Chapel to suit the Anglican mode of worship.

According to a source at the meeting, who was displeased by the growing politicization of the church, Chijioke Edeoga, the governorship candidate of the Labour Party, recently held a closed-door meeting with Anglican clergy in Enugu North senatorial district at St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral Nsukka. The purpose was to seek their support ahead of the March 11 gubernatorial election.

The impeccable source said Edeoga lamented what he described as the marginalization of the Anglican Church by the Catholic, Methodist and Pentecostal-dominated government of Enugu State since 1999, saying it’s time for the Anglican Church to take over the Government House.

Edeoga reminded members of the Anglican clergy that Enugu State has had three Catholic governors since the creation of the state in 1991, namely Dr Okwesilieze Nwodo, Mr Sullivan Chime and Mr Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, while the Methodist produced Dr Chimaroke Nnamani.

He therefore stressed that the alleged exclusion of Anglicans was no longer acceptable.

Edeoga equally called another meeting of the Anglican priests at Itchi community, the hometown of the Enugu North senator-elect under Labour Party, Okey Ezea, for the same purpose.

According to the source, addressing the meeting at Itchi, Igbo-Eze South Local Government Area, which had over 100 Anglican priests in attendance, Edeoga accused Archbishop Emmanuel Chukwuma, Bishop Onyeka Onyia, and others, of sabotaging the efforts of the Church to produce an Anglican governor of Nsukka extraction.

The Labour Party candidate, during the meeting was said to have commended the clergymen for the role they played during the past presidential and National Assembly elections, which contributed so much to the victory of the Labour Party in the state, saying it was time for someone from Anglican Church to be elected governor.

He equally appealed to them to help him in his governorship project and also direct the congregation to vote massively for him at the March 11 polls as they did for the Labour Party in last Saturday’s election.

While addressing the clergymen, he reminded them that there was every need for them to work with him in order to ensure that an Anglican candidate emerged as the governor of Enugu State because since the creation of the state, no Anglican faithful has ever sat on the seat of the governor, adding that they should see him as an Anglican project.

The guber candidate went on to question the rationale for having the Blessed Sacrament permanently kept at the Government House, asking if there is any sacrament existing between the Catholic church and the Lion Building, while calling on the Anglicans to change the religious dominance of the Roman Catholic, Methodist and Pencostal churches in the affairs of Enugu State politics.

The Labour Party candidate also called out the Archbishop of Enugu Ecclesiastical Province, Rt. Rev. Emmanuel Chukwuma for his earlier statement that Enugu State is only Obidient at the national level and not on gubernatorial election, saying that such an utterance depicts an inferiority complex of an Anglican head.

He further lamented a recent post by Chukwuma urging Enugu people to go for the best candidate, describing him as a betrayer of the faith.

He maintained that Archbishop Emmanuel’s outburst was as a result of his own pursuit of personal political gains.

“Be it known unto us today that an Anglican has never been governor of Enugu State. All the past governors were either Catholic or Methodist adherents, who conspired with Pentecostal churches to marginalize Anglicans.

Are we not competent to wear the shoes of Enugu State number one citizen?

“I want to tell us the Peter Obi factor offers us the best opportunity ever to install one of our own in the Lion Building. Or don’t we want to be governor?

“The aftermath of this religious domination can be felt in the manner the Blessed Sacrament is kept in the Government House. This will show us that it is also about religion. How many Anglicans are Commissioners in the state? How many of them are heading state parastatals? The discrimination is too obvious for all to see”.

Continuing, the former two-term Commissioner in the Ugwuanyi administration accused the governor of utilizing state resources in promoting the Catholic faith.

“We all know the role the present governor of Enugu State played in the St Theresa’s Catheral in Nsukka before it was completed. Huge state funds were spent by Ugwuanyi in upgrading, completing and beautifying the church without bating an eyelid, while doing little or nothing for our own Cathedral.

“My administration will redress the grave injustice and the entire Anglican Communion will know that they have a governor in Enugu. If Bishop Godffery Igwebuike Onah is good enough to be the Chairman of the Governing Council of ESUT, then of course Bishop Aloysius Agbo must take his turn under my administration.

“Bishop Emmanuel Chukwuma was for long the Chairman of the Christian Pilgrims Board and favoured Catholics and Anglicans in the allocation of pilgrimage slots. All these must stop”, Edeoga maintained.

Speaking further, the Enugu North senator-elect, Okey Ezea urged the priest to get hold of their sheep to work assiduously for the victory of Labour Party at the polls in the coming guber election, stressing that the party’s victory in the governorship election was a victory for the Anglican Church.

But, reacting, Rev. Obika Aneke exhorted that this is not the time to play into the hands of politicians, but the time for the people to look at the past records of achievements of the candidates and know who is worth the vote of the church, cautioning against any division in the Body of Christ.

He was however hushed down by many dissenting voices, which assured the governorship candidate of their unalloyed support, promising that his appeals will be thoroughly passed to their members.

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