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Clergyman urges PDP, APC to end campaigns of calumny


AS campaigns of acrimony continue towards the March 28 presidential election, Primate of the Orthodox Anglican Church, Nigeria, Bishop Christopher Umane, has called on the two major presidential candidates to be cautious in their utterances and desist from the calumny “that seems to be dominating their campaigns.”

   Speaking to journalists Tuesday in Benin City, Edo State, where he recalled his recent coronation, Umane urged President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and his opponent in the All Progressives Congress (APC), Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, to end personal attacks.

   According to him, personal attacks by politicians indicate that they are bereft of ideas. As a clergy, however, he said he would not pitch tent with any of them but would rather be convinced by their manifestoes, which he lamented was lacking. 

   “They approached me few months ago and wanted me to be part of a group praying for one of the presidential candidates, they want to corrupt the image of the church,” he said. “I asked them what about my responsibility, because I have a responsibility to all of them. 

   “In other words, in my church, I cannot tell my members to vote for A or B, what I will say is look at what they said they want to do and we are praying that God should give us a better candidate and a better candidate will come from the things they are telling us they will do. 

   “I will pray that God should give the better one. If you are campaigning, give us the best manifesto, don’t say you are going to do this or that and you are not going to tell me where the money is going to come from, there are so many things they are taking for granted.”

   He continued “It is when they are bereft of ideas that they begin to personalise campaigns, they have nothing to offer us that is why they are going emotional, attacking themselves instead of issues. 

   “Somebody who wants people’s votes should be able to say I will do this and that for you and the people will have a reason to vote for you or not. They should leave name calling – this one was a thief, this one is a thief, then I ask, who has not been a thief?”

   According to Umane, the Orthodox Anglican Church is determined to go back to the basics of Anglicanism, which he said was rooted in the Acts of the Apostle, but is presently in parts of the world corrupting God’s ordinances. 

   “For example, anything that is not in the bible the Orthodox Church will never support it, we will never agree,” he added. 

   “Some of the bishops of the Anglican Communion, especially from the East, are questioning the deity of Jesus Christ. They doubt the virgin birth, they doubt so many aspects of the life of our Lord Jesus Christ; they even question whether he was born at all, and these bishops attend the meeting called Lambert Conference. The Anglican Church has lost its originality.”

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