(BY VEN. FOLUSO TAIWO)
The Primate of All Nigeria, Most Revd Nicholas D. Okoh (Anglican Communion) has reiterated that the Chancellors, Legal Officers and Registrars of the Church are the souls and life of legal administration in the dioceses and the Church in general and the Church is feeling their impact.
Primate Okoh made this assertion at the formal opening of the 7th annual conference of Chancellors Registrars and Legal Officers of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) held at the Basilica of Grace Church, Apo District, Diocese of Abuja.
He appealed to the learned men and women to continue to play leadership roles always on ground and ensure that the Church continue to play occupy and maintain her position in the entire Nigerian society.
According to the Primate who was represented at the occasion by the Bishop Designate for Owo Anglican Diocese, the Rt. Revd Dr Stephen Ayodeji Fagbemi, the Anglican Secretariat at the centre has been mandated by calls of people showing dismay and disappointment at the rate at which the so called Orthodox Anglican Church has been given publicity in our land. He said it is unfortunate that the consecration of that Bishop using the name Orthodox Anglican. He appreciates the efforts of the legal team put he believes that they should not have been caught unawares by not pre-empting what they did.
He appealed that all hands should be on deck to ensure that the name Anglican is not abused here in Nigeria. He said the name Anglican is the exclusive name for Church of Nigeria for exclusive use not to be shared by any other group.
He added that they should do all in their powers to make sure that the name Anglican is not bastardized or should. He said that identity Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) is a name an identity that should not be shared or compromised.
The Chairman of the occasion who is the outgoing Dean of Church of Nigeria, the Most Revd George Latunji Lasebikan, the Archbishop of Ondo Ecclesiastical Province and Bishop of Ondo Diocese said Christians have slacked back from the faith but want to be in the public service. He called on Nigerian Christians to come out into the open space and affirm that their lives start from being Christians before anything else if not so he said the Muslims would have an easy run over of Christians in Nigeria. He said Christians should not be a decorative sack of the Church but be actively involved in the life of the people.
Dr George Lasebikan said it is unfortunate that the Anglican Church is being robbed of their land at will, but he called on the legal experts of the Church to stop this henceforth because according to him the Church needs the land to enlarge the coast of God on earth.
In his welcome address, the Registrar of Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Barrister Abraham Ndama Yisa, reminded the legal advisers of the theme of this year’s as contained an Acts 1: verse 8 said that their main witness in various dioceses is offering their services in diverse capacities as Chancellors, Registrars and Legal Officers.
He expressed his gratitude to the Primate for the support received in organizing the conference.
Barrister Yisa formally introduced to the Conference the New Chancellor of the Diocese of Abuja who also doubles as the Chancellor of Church of Nigeria, Odein Ajumogobia SAN one time Attorney General and commissioner of Justice of Rivers State and Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and Foreign Affairs.
He seized the opportunity of the conference to congratulate and welcome the democratically elected Executive Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Aheredolu SAN who is also one of their own as the Chancellor of Owo Anglican Diocese.
He prayed that God will grant him the Wisdom of Solomon to successfully steer the affairs of the Sunshine State.
Among the Bishops and Archbishops at the Conference this year are Most Revd Dr George Latunji Lasebikan, (Chairman), Most Revd. Dr Ikechi Nwosu, Most Revd. Akinyemi, the Rt. Revd David Onuoha (Episcopal Secretary), the Rt. Revd Daniel Yisa (Bishop Diocese of Minna) who chaired one of the sessions and the Rt. Revd P.O.J. Imasuen a Botanist and Bishop of Benin Diocese, one of the Resource persons and the Rt. Revd Dr Ayodeji Fagbemi who represented the Primate