The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) has assured the Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, of the church’s support for his administration’s effort to ensure peace, law and order in the state.
The church also distanced itself from the activities of one of its clerics, Right Reverend Abiodun Ogunyemi, the Bishop of Zaria Diocese, who it said was engaging in “unguarded and unacceptable writing”.
According to a statement, Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Most Rev Nicholas Okoh, stated these when he led a delegation that visited el-Rufai at Sir Kashim Ibrahim House on Wednesday.
The statement was signed by Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication , Mr Muyiwa Adekeye.
Okoh led a delegation that included included bishops from Lokoja, Kaduna, Kubwa and Dutse, and Odein Ajumogobia, the Chancellor of the Church.
“Our brother, Bishop Ogunyemi , has been cautioned and warned to desist from making utterances and writing that are tantamount to threatening the peace of Kaduna State and the nation at large.
“The Church of Nigeria is not partisan in the politics of the nation and that the position of Bishop Ogunyemi is not the position of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion).
“The Church of Nigeria has sat severally in meetings and extensive discussions with our brother, Bishop Ogunyemi , where he was cautioned and charged to desist from utterances and writing that could lead to a misunderstanding between the Church and government , and stir up religious crisis. Your Excellency, we can assure you that he has given an undertaking to be of good behaviour,” the statement quoted Okoh as saying.
“We believe God sets up leaders and that the government of Kaduna State is in existence by the grace of God. The Anglican Church does not engage itself in fighting governments , rather , it seeks fruitful ways of engaging the government for the benefit of the citizens of the land,” Okoh was further quoted as saying.
The statement quoted the primate as expressing gratitude to the state government that the status of St. George’s Cathedral, Zaria, had been clarified.
Responding, El-Rufai thanked Okoh and his delegation for the visit, but expressed disappointment over the conduct of Bishop Ogunyemi on the issue of St. George’s Cathedral, Sabon Gari, Zaria.