Archbishop of Enugu Ecclessiastical Province of the Anglican Communion, Most Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Chukwuma, Sunday, described former governor of old Anambra State, Senator Jim Nwobodo, who dumped the church for the Catholic Church on Saturday as an unfaithful member of the church.
He said that Nwobodo never contributed anything to the growth of the church in spite of all the top political offices he occupied.
Speaking during Sunday service at the Good Shepherd Anglican Church, Independence Layout, Enugu, Dr. Chukwuma declared that the church would not miss the former governor because he was not useful to the church in any way.
He was reacting to the renewal of marriage at the Catholic church by Nwobodo and his wife, Patricia yesterday, after which the former governor formally announced his exit from the Anglican church.
Dr. Chukwuma said: “We are not worried by Jim Nwobodo’s decision to join the Catholic Church for another marriage 15 years after his wedding in the Anglican Church with his second wife.
“Nwobodo has never made any contribution to the church, he has no contribution whatsoever in the Cathedral building, Bishop Court project or the development of the Anglican Diocese of Enugu. As a top member of PDP he has never helped any member of the church.
“He has no reason to do what he did but we have nothing to lose because he has not been a faithful member of the church. I understand that Jim’s problem may have arisen from the burial of his son, Ifeanyi last year when he refused that he would not be interred in his compound.
“The church and other leaders intervened to settle the matter and the church even offered that Ifeanyi should be buried at the church premises but eventually he was buried in his uncle’s compound. That was after the burial was earlier aborted because of the crisis which led to the disappearance of Ifeanyi’s corpse. Jim was not comfortable with our intervention as he accused me of turning his own children against him.
“He felt that the Church did not agree with him to bury his first son outside his compound. He was not happy but we have no regrets for what we did.”
He said that when Nwobodo’s late son, Ifeanyi was admitted into the Knighthood of the Anglican Church, Nwobodo approached him (Chukwuma) requesting to be made a Grand Knight, which was turned down owing to his lack of commitment.
Dr. Chukwuma said he could not understand why the Catholic Bishop of Enugu, Most Rev. Callistus Onaga accepted to conduct the fresh wedding, insisting that it was not a good decision.
He said that governor Ugwuanyi did not understand the political undertone involved in the marriage held a day after Nwobodo decamped from PDP to APC.
He said that given the allegation of N100 million hanging on Nwobodo’s neck, the APC would not take him seriously, stressing that his decamping would not make the anti-graft agency to overlook the matter.
Meanwhile, three Catholic Bishops, Bishop emeritus of Enugu Catholic Diocese Most. Rev. Dr. Anthony Gbuji , Matthew Kukah of Sokoto Diocese, and Most Rev. Callistus Onaga of Enugu Catholic Diocese participated in a thanksgiving mass held Sunday to mark re-wedding of old Anambra State Governor, Senator Jim Nwobodo into the catholic church.
In a homily during the holy mass which also coincided with the service to mark the 2016 Armed Forces Remembrance /Appeal Fund Week at the Holy Ghost Cathedral, Ogui, Enugu State, Catholic Bishop of Sokoto State, Most. Rev. Bishop Kukah warned the catholic faithful not to be over excited that they have gained where the Anglicans lost.
He said that there was no gain and loss in the matter, appealing to all Christians to close ranks and endeavour to achieve success in evangelism which is the most important Christian goal.
Bishop Kukah Commended the Anglican Church for nurturing Chief Jim Nwobodo from birth till the time he joined the Catholic Church.
He added that Senator Nwobodo’s entry into the catholic church was a home coming, recalling that all Christian churches pulled out from catholic church, because of the protest from the then Rev. Fr. Martin Luther.
He warned that people should not judge others but allow judgement for God.
The bishop expressed happiness that since the enthronement of Pope Francis and the emergence of his down to earth simplicity and freshness the catholic church has continued to grow.
The bishop regretted the inequalities between the public office holders in Nigeria and the people and attributed this to corruption among public office holders.
He added that this has resulted in persistent crisis and youth restiveness in the nation.
He observed that life does not depend only on power and money, enjoining the Christians irrespective of their denominations to close ranks and strive towards evangelism which is the common goal.
Bishop Kukah called on Igbos as a people with a common language and culture to be united and ensure security and peace in the area to actualize socio-economic development, regretting that Nigeria is today a country that is more divided.
In a remark, Senator Nwobodo noted that his entry into the catholic church is a home coming which God has destined.
According to him, since he embraced Catholic Church, things have started turning around positively for him and his family.
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State who was the sponsor of the wedding with his wife Monica took the first reading in the church service attended by top government officials, friends and relations of the celebrant.