The Church has been described as “the arbitrator and guide of the political order” while Nigeria’s seemingly intractable problems have been traced to both bad leadership and followership which define salvation “in purely material terms.”
The Anglican Bishop of Owerri, Rt. Rev Cyril Okorocha, PhD made the above submission, among others, in his presidential address yesterday to the Owerri Diocesan Synod at Holy Trinity Church Obazu Mbieri in Mbaitoli Local Government Area of Imo State.
In an authoritative and well-researched piece centering on the theme of the Synod –“The Gospel of Our Salvation: What is it and how is it?” – the prelate faulted the tendency and temptation for some churches to form political parties or sponsor their own candidates “to represent us and fight for our cause in the political arena.”
He warned: “such a church ceases to be the Church of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, God’s son and saviour of the world”.
Bishop Okorocha, an expert in Religion and Church history, likened Church leaders to sports umpires who are expected to be neutral “to be able to pray for and encourage those who do well and rebuke and warn those who forget that they are accountable to God and man and yet remain available to all for consultation and guidance.”
On why salvation for Nigeria appears far-fetched, the Bishop of Owerri blamed it on the “glaring absence of the fear of God and sense of accountability and hatred for any call for transparency.”
The bishop proceeded to list the conditions for Nigeria to be a better nation, free from hatred, kidnapping, self-destruction and corruption.
According to him, such will materialize “when the message of repentance, forgiveness and goodwill is enshrined in our body politic… and when leaders learn the meaning of transparency and accountability…”