Church of Nigeria

Primate’s Address – 2014 Standing Committee

The Federal Government of Nigeria has been commended for its developmental projects in improving the lives of Nigerians and in particular the assenting of the anti-gay law by Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, the Nigerian President.

The Primate of all Nigeria Anglican Communion, the Most Rev. Nicholas D. Okoh gave this commendation in his formal opening address to the Standing Committee meeting of the Anglican Communion at the Cathedral Church of St. James’ the Great Okebola Ibadan, the Oyo state capital.

Archbishop Okoh said by this singular gesture the National Assembly and Mr. President have articulated the minds of the Nigerian people in this issue of same sex marriage, thereby representing the interest of the masses adding that doing otherwise would have been a great error that could spell doom for the country.

The Primate who spoke at length on contemporary issues in Nigeria commended steps taken concerning the National Conference, reasonable reduction of food importation and elimination of the bottle neck of middle men in the distribution of fertilizers to farmers, expedite actions on agreement with ASUU, INEC and 2015 elections, Boko Haram, rape and violence against women, and the prosecution of the war of terror so far.

The head of the Anglican Church in Nigeria reiterated that the Church of Nigeria tenaciously upholds the traditional Biblical understanding of marriage as a lifelong union between a man and a woman. He told the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Church of England some home truth on the letter they wrote by affirming that homosexuality and the ministry of ordained and lay homosexuals have no force in Nigeria. He vowed that it is not and will not be applicable in Nigeria. He therefore called on all African Church leaders to reject the obnoxious letter and to lead their people without any foreign moral imposition.

On the theme of the conference, “You shall not bear false witness”, Primate Okoh said if there is anything one can say about Nigeria without the slightest fear of contradiction, it is that Nigeria is intensely religious with the personally owned Churches making the most noise. However, he couldn’t reconcile the yawning gap between profession of faith and moral decline thereby pleading that a correlation between faith and action; thus bridging the gap between fabulous religiosity and deficiency in moral quality and integrity of the religious adherents.

He said it is this hydra headed issue that informed his address on how to restore moral relevance and integrity to the society and moral failure in every area of life. He itemized six things which the Lord hates and seven which are abomination to him namely; haughty eyes, a lying tongue and hands that shed innocent blood. Others include hearts that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies and a man who sows discord among brothers.

He called on the people of God to steer clear of heresy, the politicization of theology which leads to the great apostasy. The Primate called on all and sundry to abhor lying and all forms of insincerity that has taken root in the society adding that the commandment of God, “Thou shall not bear false witness” as the medicine to the ailment of Nigeria which has entered the premises of the judiciary where judgment are now negotiated.

Concluding, Archbishop Nicholas D. Okoh opined that a family, Church, community or society built on falsehood will surely come to ruin. He said their yea should be yea and their nay should be nay; adding that parents, leaders in the larger society and the courts should treat issues of lying with uttermost seriousness and inculcate in the children.

The Governor who opened his speech with apologies for coming late pleaded for leniency in tune with the Lord’s Prayer. He eulogized the Church for her contribution which is age long and asked for prayers for his administration. Governor Abiola Ajimobi said while he was not soliciting for votes, his government stands on a three pronged vision of restoration, transformation and repositioning.