BY NGOZI ADIGHIBE
The Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion has consecrated five new Bishops, including two Suffragan Bishops for the Diocese of CANA West, and presented two Archbishops.
The service of Consecration and presentation was held at Holy Trinity Cathedral Church, Lokoja in Kogi state.
The Dean of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, the Most Rev’d Buba Lamido who preached at the service said that the functions of a Bishop are manifold, but that above all he is to be a shepherd of God’s flock. According to him, Bishops have been called to be shepherds, not just decision makers.
Archbishop Lamido observed that today’s Bishops are under pressure to conform to the ways of the world; however he pointed out that it is required for them to be found faithful to God and in Him. He opined that people are in desperate need of visionary leadership; leaders who are not willing to settle for the mediocre, but for greater things.
He said, “The Church needs leaders who are sound, visionary and who take action. Leaders who are willing to commit their time, talents and treasures to the cause of Christ. ”
The Cleric said the Church is growing and so it is bound to have challenges. He however added that it is because of these challenges that Church leaders were called and also why they must work with others to achieve more.
The Dean of the Church charged the Bishops to be bold, courageous and have a vision for the future, because they have received the Holy Spirit for the great commission. He said being a Bishop is about God, His Church and not self. Therefore, he urged the new Bishops to be loyal to God, His Church and to submit to the authority of the word of God.
Archbishop Lamido advised the new Bishops to give their time to their families and the Church of God, which has been committed to their hands. He said they must be Bishops who listen and are able to discern. He added that they should not be quick to take decisions and by so doing they would operate in wisdom.
The Most Rev’d Lamido concluded his message by saying, “Faithful stewardship of time, talents and resources is a must for every Bishop.”
Those consecrated are Bishops Felix Olorunfemi for Etsako Diocese, Cletus Tambari for Gombe Diocese, Benson Chukwunweike for Awgu/Aninri Diocese, and Suffragan Bishops Scott Seely and Celestine Ironna for CANA West Diocese. While those presented as Archbishops are The Most Rev’d Markus Ibrahim for the Ecclesiastical Province of Jos and The Most Rev’d Cyril Odutemu for the Ecclesiastical Province of Bendel.
Present at the service were the Primate of All Nigeria, Anglican Communion, the Most Rev’d Nicholas D. Okoh, the Primate-elect and wife, the Most Rev’d Henry Ndukuba and Mrs. Elizabeth Ndukuba, a host of Archbishops and Bishops of the Church of Nigeria, Chancellor CON, Odein Ajumogobia SAN, Registrar CON, Barr. Abraham Yisa, Chancellor Lokoja Diocese, Hon. Justice Ngozika Okaisabor, traditional rulers, CON officials, members of the Houses of Clergy and Laity, family, friends and well-wishers.