By Odogwu Emeka Odogwu
By 2022, Anglican Church would mark it’s centenary anniversary in Amanuke Community in Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra State. Despite it’s rich history, the Anglican Communion in that community, like a dwarf, has remained stunted, remaining in one inglorious spot over these years. On contrary, were it to be the Roman Catholic Church that was planted in that community for that long period of time, the entire community would have been converted to Catholics. The fields would have been converted to shops and villagers barred from using the field.
Is it right to say that , all the Church workers sent to the Holy Trinity Anglican Church Parish Amanuke were either sleeping or selfish without focusing on evangelism and soul winning since 1922 the seed was planted in Amanuke Community.
Immediately on arrival the Church Missionary Society expectedly established Union Primary School Amanuke to cater for the educational needs of the community. Regrettably, the Roman Catholic Church that came in 1960, many years after Anglican Church settled, is at the verge of taking over the Anglican primary school.
If not for few heathens who stood their ground Anglicans had chickened out on the ground that since government returned the school to the community, the Roman Catholics can take them over. It will be recalled that Nze Emeka Olisah, former ASUBEB chairman, himself a die hard Catholic, had abused his office by posting Roman Catholic fanatics to head the school with intent to covet same for the catholics. Though their antics were rebuffed by those locals they are still not giving up their desperate scheming and manuavering.
It is worthy of note that all schools in Anambra state originally owned by Roman Catholic Churches were returned to them without any exception. On the contrary, several schools originally owned by Anglicans were not fully returned to their host communities with intent for the affected schools to be taken over by Roman Catholic Presidents General of such communities thereby escalating Roman Catholics domination in the state.
Community Schools in Amansea, Urum among many others were Anglican schools now being coveted by fanatic heads from Roman Catholic Churches in whatever guise.
Taking advantage of their infesting every aspect of our state government, Roman Catholics in charge of school system gave only Central School Amanuke to the Anglican Church not minding that Central School was carved out of Union Primary School Amanuke for purposes of attracting more government attention. That the schools are demarcated by a road network does not translate in anyway to differentiate in ownership.
I was in a meeting where religious bigots were not in attendance and I wept when people who were not Anglicans placed the blame of the anomaly on the doorsteps of Anglican Church leaders. They claimed that rather than crying wolf the top echelon of the Anglican communion should hold themselves responsible for the marginalisation of their members in the scheme of things in the state.
This raises the question ‘Why should such failure of leadership and betrayal, if their assertion was anything to go by, happen? Could their stance be attributed to their belief all Christians irrespective of denomination belong to one body of Christ? Do Roman Catholics and Pentecostals share same view? Born again syndrome has no doubt pierced a sword between the Pentecostals and other christian fold with their holier than thou posturing even when some of their characters are not worthy of emulation.
As the Anambra State gubernatorial Election approaches; precisely on November 6, 2021, one is won’t to ask what the Anglican leaders have done or is doing to position their members to mount leadership ladders in the state? How many of them are aspirants in different political parties in order to compete favourably during the primary election just like the Roman Catholic leaders have discreetly positioned their members to continue with political monopoly of the state.
If there are no Anglicans picking forms to contest primary elections in the major political parties, how then can they compete for political positions? If truly APGA is property of Roman Catholic Church by it’s modus operandi in the state, then Anglicans should make efforts to own one? If all the Commissioners are Roman Catholic Church members and all the appointments same, what are Anglican leaders doing to balance the equation?
Why should Anglican Bishops not be united in this 2021 Anambra Governorship Election? Why should they prefer someone from another church to their congregants probably? Could it be because of financial inducements and other sundry benefits that accrue from the other ‘popular’ personality? It’s really a shame Anglicans are not strategizing for the battle ahead to wrestle power come November 6, 2021.
Who are the financiers of election in Anambra state and Southeast? Who are the electoral Mafias? Are they not Anglicans? Why can’t these people throw their financial muscles behind Anglican candidates for the forthcoming November 6th gubernatorial election?
An Anglican media guru handling media consultancy for top Roman Catholic Priests lost the job in a manner unbelievable just because they discovered the Consultant is an Anglican. Is this not the reason religion is described as the opium of the masses. Why relive a competent hand of the duties handled for years, because of differences in denomination? Who has gone to heaven for fighting religious denominational wars as we battle here in Anambra. While there is so much hues and cries over moslems who kill to defend their religion, yet Christians who are supposed to be one body in Christ tear themselves apart.
Anglicans should know it’s 2021 or never unless God wants to remedy the biasses and injustices with a good man of another religious denomination like Valentine Chineto Ozigbo; Nonso Smart Okafor and few others not Anglican Church members. But, should Anglicans put their acts together, this November 6th Governorship Election would be theirs for the asking.
It’s worth mentioning that whoever wins this election should remember that Awka North has the best chances of producing a Deputy Governor in the spirit of equity and fairness as is being canvassed now with Anglicans turn to govern the state for justice, equity and fairness to thrive in our state with sobriquet, light of the nation.
The injustice of Governor Willie Obiano to Awka North is equated to injustice done to Anglicans and Pentecostals as well as other groups in the four arms of Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN in the state. CAN’s motto remains …….that we may be one. Are Christians in Anambra state one? Now , Roman Catholic Church members are deaf and dumb with leadership style of Chief Willie Obiano, but if it’s another denominational member that is Governor performing below expectations, the roof would have been blown off with negative propaganda against the person.
Why can’t we bring out good men, buy the tickets for them and sponsor their election? If Prince Arthur Eze ,an Anglican could doll out Billions of Naira to Ebonyi State governor, Dave Umahi, to contest election even as an incumbent, why can’t he sponsor good spirited honest Anglicans.
Is it possible for the Anglican Bishops to unite for the interest of their collective belief and stop pursuing shadows? Why should actions of the Anglican Bishops and priests be discussed outside by non Anglicans? Are affairs of Reverend Fathers and Catholic Bishops discussed so brazenly? Why this belittling? Why can’t Anglicans speak with one voice on this 2021 Anambra state Election? Why can’t Anglicans defend and protect their own outside , even if they chastise them inside.
Anglicans are born leaders. Several years back, one Chief Mrs V.V.I Okoye from old Nnewi region, an Anglican married into Roman Catholic founded Catholic Women Organization (CWO) alongside Mothering Sunday, which today is making waves as if it’s senior to Mothers Union ,Women’s Guild and Girl’s Guild of the Anglican Church existing several years alongside Mothering Sunday before CWO existence. Same goes for Catholic Men Organization, and Catholic Youths organization among others formed. Talk of Synod, the Catholic diocese organize now, it’s just recent development while Anglicans have done that since time immemorial, but that of Catholics flourish as if it sets the pace.
Anglicanism is Known with training for leadership from infant to adult age. That’s what Anglicans are known for. But, today Anglicans are losing those values because of their accommodating spirit. True democrats, Anglicans are indeed.
An Anglican is needed now as Governnor of Anambra state to show class because an Anglican respects equity, fairness and justice at all times. That’s what Anambra state needs now.
My own experiences with religious bigots in the Church of Christ were ridiculous. I am not into religious politics or identification. I am just there but once I was appointed Media and Communications Director of the Province of the Niger and Diocese of Awka, Anglican Communion, some of my friends in the other divide abandoned me because my denomination has been pronounced. It’s a story for another day, trust me.
I am dumbfounded that all we accuse moslems of doing against Christianity are what we do in our blind denominational domination and suppression in Anambra state. How many Pentecostals are in Obiano’s Government? How many Anglicans are in Obiano’s Government today? Insignificant 3 percent out of 100 percent?
In my piece last two months on Anambra 2021 and Religious politics thereto, I was emphatic on the dangers these religious politics is brewing but it appears no one is yet listening.
Anglicans should forget this propaganda by Roman Catholic Church members that non Roman Catholic Church member would be Governor of Anambra state. Let the Anglicans start a movement that would be sustianeable, not a hit and run organization. Anglicans must be formidable and take the bulls by the horns to build a lasting structure. The time to start is now.
Comrade Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, PhD is a Conversationalist, Journalist, Editor and [email protected] www.odogwublog.com