Thursday, 17 September 2009

New Orthodox Archbishop for Nigeria

A new Primate has emerged for the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) in the person of Archbishop Nicholas Orogodo Okoh. (57 this November ) He is presently the Archbishop of Bendel Province and bishop of Asaba.

The news of his election was announced today 15th September, 2009 by the Dean of the Church of Nigeria, Most Rev. Maxwell Anikwenwa immediately after the election by the Episcopal Synod held in Umuahia, Abia State.

Here's a statement from CANA Bishop Martyn Minns:
“Archbishop Okoh is a Godly leader and CANA is delighted that he will be leading the Church of Nigeria. He is a strong supporter of CANA and the Anglican Church in North America, and has been instrumental in helping to advance the orthodox Anglican GAFCON movement. Archbishop Okoh is committed to spreading the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is a personal friend, and I’m pleased that he is stepping into this leadership role during this crucial time in the life of the worldwide Anglican Communion.” -The Rt. Rev'd Martyn Minns, Bishop of CANA in the ACNA and the Church of Nigeria.
Australian Archbishop Peter Jensen has this to say about the new primate-elect:
“Nicholas Okoh was present at the foundation of GAFCON and has played a leading part in the movement. Archbishop Okoh has made a significant contribution as the Chairman of the Theological Resource group. He is an able and committed Christian leader and we warmly welcome his appointment.” -The Most Rev'd Peter Jensen, General Secretary of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, is Bishop of Sydney and the metropolitan of the Province of New South Wales.
Of the election, George Conger writing in the Church of England Newspaper says,
"The Dean of the Church of Nigeria, Archbishop Maxwell Anikwenwa reported the new primate received over two thirds of the votes of the 149 diocesan bishops present in a secret ballot, and the registrar of the Church of Nigeria, Mr. Abraham Yisa certifying the results of the election.

Archbishop Okoh will be translated as Bishop of Abuja, Archbishop of the Province of Abuja, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria in March upon the retirement of Archbishop Akinola.

A former Lieutenant Colonel in the Nigerian Army, Archbishop Okoh was ordained priest in 1979, appointed Bishop of Asaba in 2001 and elected Archbishop of the Province of Bendel in 2005.

“I am grateful to God and to the Church of Nigeria, particularly our laymen, clergy and House of Bishops” for their confidence in me, the primate-elect told the House of Bishops after the vote was announced.

Archbishop Peter Jensen of Sydney, the general secretary of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA) told The Church of England Newspaper he was pleased with the choice.

Archbishop Okoh “was present at the foundation of GAFCON and has played a leading part in the movement,” Dr. Jensen said. “Archbishop Okoh has made a significant contribution as the Chairman of the Theological Resource group. He is an able and committed Christian leader and we warmly welcome his appointment.”

“Archbishop Okoh is a Godly leader and CANA is delighted that he will be leading the Church of Nigeria,” Bishop Martyn Minns of CANA said.

The new primate was a “strong supporter” of the Nigerian Church’s American arm and of the Anglican Church in North America, he said. “Archbishop Okoh is committed to spreading the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is a personal friend, and I’m pleased that he is stepping into this leadership role during this crucial time in the life of the worldwide Anglican Communion,” Bishop Minns said."