Tribalism may destroy Church of Nigeria – Archbishop Okoh

Archbishop Nicholas Okoh

Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, outgoing Primate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), has cautioned the Church against tribalism and ethnocentrism.
In his valedictory service at the Cathedral Church of the Advent, Life Camp in Abuja, Okoh expressed concern that  tribalism and ethnocentrism were prevalent in the Church.

“If the Church of Nigeria did not kill tribalism, it is likely going to disorganise the balance completely. If the bishops fail to kill tribalism, it is going to destroy our Church.“If the bishops themselves do not destroy ethnocentrism in their dioceses, it is going to destroy the dioceses and Churches around them,’’ he said.

Okoh decried a situation where people who were baptized and share the communion could not accept themselves because of tribalism.

He also urged the Church to guard against false teachings.

“False teachings abound today. There are many people teaching anything that comes to their head; that does not make it right.

“What has torn our church into pieces is this same careless teaching, a senior bishop and a senior clergy going about opposing and rebuking God in a way with false teachings.

“I attended a meeting of very senior bishops outside the country and they gathered black people with placards around the Cathedral. They were asking us, Anglicans from Africa, to repent because what we say and do amount to persecution of homosexuals.

“They told us the future of Africa is homosexuality. I know they are here but God will protect us.

“Beware of people with gifts without character. They lack self-control and in this generation we have forgotten that self-control is a gift of the Holy Spirit.

“They claim to be under the influence of the Holy Spirit but have no self-control. That is abomination. The Holy Spirit cannot condone immorality,’’ he said.

Speaking with newsmen after the service, Okoh noted that the Coronavirus had humiliated the entire world, indicating that “there is only one super power – God.’’

“We have not be able to find solution to the virus. So, we must turn to God for solutions, we must appeal to Him to save us from this kind of destruction.

“Government must also look for ways to police and protect the rural people and educate them to prevent an outbreak,’’ he said.

Okoh will be succeeded by Archbishop Henry Ndukuba, the Primate-elect, who was until his election in September 2019, the Bishop of Gombe Diocese and Archbishop of Jos Province of the Anglican Communion.

His presentation is scheduled to hold on Wednesday at the Cathedral Church of the Advent in Abuja.

Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta and Mr Peter Obi, PDP Vice Presidential candidate at the 2019  general election attended the service. (NAN)