Diri urges Church not to abdicate responsibility, hails Anglican for new Bishop


Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, on Wednesday, lauded the Niger Delta West Diocese, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, for the seamless election and enthronement of its new Bishop.

Diri gave the commendation at the enthronement service of the third Bishop of the Diocese, Right Reverend Nixon Akpotunumubofa Enekeme, at the Cathedral Church of St Luke Nembe in the Nembe Local Government Area of the state.

Represented by his Deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, the Governor noted that the collective prayers, cooperation and sense of singleness of purpose demonstrated by the people and friends of the Niger Delta West Diocese, contributed to the emergence of the new Bishop.

He also acknowledged the various roles played by the Primate of the Anglican Communion, Most Reverend, Dr Henry Ndukuba, and the Archbishop of the Niger Delta Province, His Grace, Dr Blessing Enyindah, for effectively superintending over the affairs of the Diocese.

Diri, however, urged the church universal not to abdicate its responsibility of encouraging people to live pious lifestyles that will qualify them for heaven.

The governor stressed the need for religious leaders to be above board in the discharge of their ecclesiastical duties, including speaking truth to those in authority for the betterment of society.

“The church must play its role. The church should not abdicate its duty for anything. The duty of the prophet is to speak to the King about what God says.

“He is not to speak to the King what he (prophet) thinks he should say because of pecuniary gains, aggrandizement or for self exultation.

“Unfortunately, with due respect to all the bishops who are here, the Church has recalibrated itself from what it should be to something else. The pulpit must not be polluted to pollute the pews.

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“But we are happy today because the Anglican Communion has brought to us a man who is committed, dedicated, courageous and spiritually endowed at this time of our history. He is one of the few voices that believe in the apostolic mandate.”

He also used the opportunity to call on politicians seeking elective positions to play by the rules and avoid the use of violence in the pursuit of their political ambitions.

While congratulating the new Bishop, Right Reverend Nixon Enekeme on his successful consecration and enthronement, Senator Diri enjoined him to maintain his integrity as a committed, dedicated and truthful cleric.

Taking the Oath of Canonical Obedience at the service, Enekeme swore to be loyal to the Primate of the Church of Nigeria in all things lawful and honest.

The Amassoma-born Bishop also promised to respect, maintain and defend the rights, privileges and liberties of the Church and the Diocese in addition to promoting truth, justice and charity.

The high point of the service, which was well attended by people from all walks of life, was the presentation of the Pastoral Staff, which is the symbol of the bishopric office to the newly enthroned Bishop by the Primate, Most Reverend Henry Ndukuba.

The Primate was, however, represented by the Archbishop of the Niger Delta Province, Anglican Communion, Dr Blessing Enyindah, who until the enthronement of the new Bishop, served as the Supervising Bishop of the Niger Delta West Diocese.

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