Like all ndi Anambra, the Coalition of Civil Society Organizations in Anambra State (CCSOAS) is dismayed at two videos which the Anambra State branch of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Andy Uba Campaign Council (AUCC) have been circulating for the past one week in which two senior Anglican priests are seen demanding all Anglicans in the state rise against political institutions and all Catholics in the state. The issues raised by the priests were resolved amicably some three years ago. Why the APC and the Andy Uba Campaign Council decided to resurrect a most debilitating sectarian controversy with the November 6 2021 gubernatorial election fast approaching is a matter of conjecture.
This is not the first time the Andy Uba Campaign Council has attempted to engage in a religious controversy. On Saturday, September 4, 2021, Senator Uba appeared at the investiture of 40 persons into the knighthood Order of St Christopher at the Cathedral of St John, Ekwulobia, Aguata Local Government Area, in the regalia of a knight of St Christopher. He was overheard tell many at the major ceremony where that “it is now the time for an Anglican governor”.
Those who saw or heard him were astonished. The senator could not have been a knight of the Anglican Communion. He has had three failed marriages and is about to enter the fourth with a former member of the House of Representatives from a respectable family in Abia State. People with more than one wife or with failed marriages cannot become knights in the Communion.
In any case, the senator parted ways with the Anglican Church decades ago. He remembers the Anglican Communion only when he wants to contest an election. Senator Uba did not belong to the Episcopal Church in the United States for the decades he lived there. Nor is he with the Anglican Church in Abuja where he has been living since 1999.
When he married Pastor Faith from Bayelsa State, the third wife, Uba helped her to build a church which combines elements of a white garment-wearing church and a Nigerian Pentecostal church. He has been worshipping there as an Elder.
Both the APC in Anambra State and the Andy Uba Campaign Council are reminded of the profound dangers of sectarian politics. It has ruined Lebanon, once a great country. It set the United Kingdom back for several years until the Good Friday Agreement of April 10, 1998.
Anambra is probably Nigeria’s most homogeneous state. Practically everyone is Igbo who speaks about the same dialect of the Igbo language. Almost everyone belongs to western-rite Christianity.
This is why the people easily voted Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife its first democratically elected governor, despite the fact that Dr Ezeife belongs to a sect whose members are not up to one per cent of the population. It also accounts for why the people overwhelmingly voted for Dr Chinwoke Mbadinuju as their governor even after he had decades earlier left the Anglican faith to join a minority sect in the state.
Anambra State is one peaceful, united and homogenous state. Both the APC and the Andy Uba Campaign Council must be discouraged from continuing with their incendiary sectarian politics. Christ himself prays for the unity of his disciples known as Christians in the following words: “… for all shall be one” (John 17: 21).
Comrade Joseph Ikeagwuani
Interim Secretary General.