by Azubuike Azikiwe
The Anglican church has decried what it calls the alleged marginalisation of the church’s members by the Catholics, in the political leadership of Enugu.
On Wednesday, December 17, Anglican Communion Bishops under the Enugu Ecclesiastal Province expressed the disenfranchisement of their flock in the scheme of things in the state.
The Bishops, while declaring their support for the candidature of Hon Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, as the consensus candidate of the party in the state, also called on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to pick its governorship running mate from its members, or risk losing the support of the Anglican Church.
Addressing reporters in Enugu, Archbishop of the Enugu Ecclesiastical Province, Most Rev Emmanuel Chukwuma, said the Anglican Church was opposed to Catholic/Catholic ticket for the governorship position of the state next year.
According to him, Ugwuanyi is a Catholic, therefore, his running mate should be picked from the Anglican Church if the PDP hopes to enlist the support of the church to win the elections.
Chukwuma said: “We the Anglican Bishops are crying and appealing that Anglicans in Enugu state will not tolerate marginalisation and should be giving the position of deputy governor of the state. For the position of governor and deputy governor to be Catholic/Catholic will not be acceptable to us.”
“In the Federal level, people are not happy with Christian/Christian ticket, hence the president has taken a very good stand to return as President and pick a Moslem as his running mate. Why should Enugu State, therefore, nominate a Roman Catholic governorship candidate who we are not against and wanting again to nominate a Roman Catholic as the running mate?”
“We Anglicans say no to this kind of arrangement. We are not in minority in Enugu state and we totally reject that intention and are warning that if they want peace to reign in this state and for them to enjoy our cooperation, it should not be Roman Catholic/ Roman Catholic ticket.”
Chukwuma said that apart from Chiefs Jim Nwobodo and Late Chief Christian Onoh, all other past governors after them had been persons of other faith.
He added: “Former Governor of the State, Chimaroke Nnamani who served from 1999 to 2007 is a Methodist. He picked Okechukwu Itanyi, a Catholic as his Deputy. Nnamani handed over to Sullivan Chime who is Roman Catholic. Sullivan chose Sunday Onyebuchi, a Methodist or so, not an Anglican as Deputy. As they are going out, all those who want to become governor are Catholics and in the PDP, they are plotting to make their running mate a Catholic. We are saying give us an Anglican Deputy, otherwise you are looking for our trouble.”