Anglican Bishops back Ugwuanyi for Enugu guber seat
By Chibota Edozie
Anglican Communion Bishops under the Enugu Ecclesiastical Province have expressed their support to the candidature of Hon Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, a Catholic, as the consensus candidate of the party in the state.
Addressing reporters in Enugu, Archbishop of the Enugu Ecclesiastical Province, Most Rev Emmanuel Chukwuma, said the Anglican Church was opposed to Catholic/Catholic ticket for the governorship position of the state next year.
He stated that Ugwuanyi being a Catholic, his running mate should be picked from the Anglican Church if the PDP hopes to enlist the support of the church to win the elections.
Flanked by six other Bishops, Chukwuma said: 'We the Anglican Bishops are crying and appealing that Anglicans in Enugu state will not tolerate marginalization and should be given the position of Deputy Governor of the state.”
“For the position of governor and Deputy Governor to be Catholic/Catholic will not be acceptable to us. In the Federal level, people are not happy with Christian/Christian ticket, hence the president has taken a very good stand to return as President and pick a Moslem as his running mate. Why should Enugu state therefore nominate a Roman Catholic governorship candidate who we are not against and wanting again to nominate a Roman Catholic as the running mate? We Anglicans say no to this kind of arrangement.
“We are not in minority in Enugu state and we totally reject that intention and are warning that if they want peace to reign in this state and for them to enjoy our cooperation, it should not be Roman Catholic/ Roman Catholic ticket'.
Chukwuma, who reeled a rundown on how governorship positions have been allocated in the state, said that apart from Chiefs Jim Nwobodo and Late Chief Christian Onoh, all others coming after them had been persons of other faith. He quickly added that the demand for the office of Deputy Governor had become necessary following an alleged marginalization which the Sullivan Chime administration had meted on the church since he took over the reign of power in 2007.
He added: 'Former Governor of the State, Chimaroke Nnamani who served from 1999 to 2007 is a Methodist. He picked Okechukwu Itanyi, a Catholic as his Deputy. Nnamani handed over to Sullivan Chime who is Roman Catholic. Sullivan chose Sunday Onyebuchi, a Methodist or so, not an Anglican as Deputy. As they are going out, all those who want to become governor are Catholics and in the PDP, they are plotting to make their running mate a Catholic. We are saying give us an Anglican Deputy, otherwise you are looking for our trouble.
'If you look at Enugu state right now; if you talk about governor, not Anglican; deputy, not Anglican; Speaker not Anglican; SSG, not Anglican; Chief of Staff, not Anglican where are we?, even Commissioners we are marginalized, we don't have good number, they are not more than three and we are saying no to this kind of marginalization'.
He continued: 'We have helped in the development of this state, educationally, socially and otherwise. There is nobody that will say Anglicans have not helped in the development of Enugu state, and we are not in minority. There are eight Anglican Bishops in Enugu state and three Roman Catholic Bishops that does not mean that Catholics were in Majority.