By Victor-Clark Alisigwe
The first Orlu Diocesan Political Awareness Summit organized by the Anglican Diocese of Orlu has been held at All Souls Anglican Church, Orlu Diocesan Church Centre, Dim-Na-Nume Isu in Nwangele Local Government Area of Imo State.
Addressing participants at the summit, the Archbishop and Bishop of Orlu, Most Rev. Bennett Okoro (JP), stressed the need for the church to be politically conscious and still maintain its godly integrity.
Archbishop Okoro, who described politics as the biggest industry in Nigeria where politicians “share our money”, said that without an affiliation to politics, the church cannot do much to change the society.
“If the church confines itself and only prays, politicians will mess things up, but if we are close to them, we speak to them and give them wise counsel on things to be done”, he said.
According to him, the church must develop powerful interest in all levels of political affairs, be it at the local government, state or federal level, knowing that “politicians’ assets and investments are the people and the people are in our hands”.
Archbishop Okoro maintained that the church must start early to mobilize the flock for active participation in 2015 and to map out strategies and use every available window to make the presence of the Church of God felt, particularly the Anglican Communion.
He commended the vision of the church of Nigeria in setting up the Directorate for Civic and Political Affairs, and noting that the perception of politics as a dirty game by Christians who alienate themselves from it has offered many ungodly people the opportunity to dominate governance in Nigeria.
The prelate, therefore, called on the church to articulate core Christian values to regulate participation in politics.
He commended the Director of Politics and Social Affairs of the Diocese, Ven. Godwin Emeh and his team.
Speaking, Ven. Emeh said that the summit was not partisan but rather serves as “a watchman who sees danger coming and warns his Lords”.
He urged participants to reason together and adjust their ways according to the scriptures.
In his paper entitled, Good Governance and role of Christians in politics, the Archdeacon Theologian and Clerical Synod Secretary of the Diocese, Ven. Maxwell Mgbemere PhD, described governance as a process of decision making and implementation.
The seminar attracted politicians, priests and notable parishioners including Ven. (Prof.) Israel Okoye of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Prof (Barr.) Chukwumaeze (KSC) a Professor of Law (Criminology) of the Imo State University (IMSU), the Vice-President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Barr. Reuben Okoro (KSC) among others.