BY NGOZI ADIGHIBE
The retiring Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, the Most Rev’d Nicholas Dikeriehi Okoh has stated the reason for the division in the Church of God.
He said the greatest weapons of wolves in the Church “are tribalism and ethnicity.”
He warned that members of the Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion “must kill this spirit of tribalism and ethnicity, to avoid the destruction of the Church.”
The Primate was speaking during his retirement service, which was held at the Cathedral Church of the Advent, Life Camp, Abuja, Primate Okoh said what has torn the Church apart was careless teaching.
He said for the future of the Church to remain strong and for the Church to match forward with one vision, “she must watch out for false Apostles, so that they don’t lead the people astray.”
He urged Church leaders to protect the Church from false teachings by being sufficiently learned in the things of God and about the Anglican church, which they belong to, so that they could make adequate contributions to its progress.
The head of the Anglican Church in Nigeria warned the congregation to beware of people who had gifts, without divinely inspired character.
According to him, “This generation have forgotten that self-control is a gift of the Holy Spirit.”
He charged Christians to allow the fear of God to be restored to the Church, to Church groups and fellowships, so that people would obey God. He stressed that everything in the Church must be done for the edification of the Church of God, and not for selfish reasons.
Primate Okoh observed that the greatest weapon of wolves in the Nigerian context “is tribalism and ethnicity.”
He said the Church of Nigeria must kill this spirit of tribalism and ethnicity, to avoid the destruction of the Church.
He further urged Church leaders to do everything to promote the peace and unity of God’s Church.
The cleric encouraged Christians to immerse themselves deeper in the word of God, because according to him, knowledge of the word of God would enlighten them and shed light on the path they ought to follow on earth.
Archbishop Okoh apologized to all who couldn’t attend the retirement service due to the coronavirus pandemic and in observance of the directive from the Federal Capital Territory administration that public gatherings should be limited to 50 persons.
He said, “The Anglican Church cannot be seen to be disobeying the government.”
Lastly, the Most Rev’d Nicholas D. Okoh appreciated the Almighty God, who led him from grass to grace; and the entire members of the house of Bishops and Abuja Diocese. He thanked them for their support and for their gifts.
Present at the retirement service were some Archbishops and Bishops of the Church of Nigeria; the Governor of Delta State, His Excellency, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa and his wife; His Excellency, Peter Obi, former governor of Anambra state; some legal officers of the Church of Nigeria; some members of the House of Clergy and the Diocese of Abuja, friends and family members of the celebrant.