The Catholic priesthood is insulated from partisan politics. This is why any priest who feels strongly enough about participating in partisan politics has his Faculties suspended by his Local Ordinary, the Bishop of his diocese, and cannot celebrate Mass for people or carry out such other priestly functions until such a time he returns back to the fold from his foray into partisan politics.
The reason for the above policy by the Catholic Church is because partisan politics by its nature and practice is divisive and has the capacity to erode the unity, harmony and brotherhood of her members who are people of diverse political leanings.
In that case, the Church considers her priests as unifying agents needed by society to pull together straying brethren possibly schismatised by political affiliations.
This does not in any way strip the priest of one of its primary functions of holding leaders accountable at all levels. In doing this, the priest must avoid the slippery and dangerous path of partisanship so he can continue to be a credible harbinger of peace, love and unity to God’s people.
This is where Revd Fr Anokwuru Christian Uche of the Catholic Diocese of Umuahia and Provost of Madonna College of Health Education, Olokoro, Umuahia, has failed God, the Church and the people. His participation in Abia politics is not only aggressively partisan, it also reeks of brashness, bitterness and malice, vices that are deeply against his priestly calling. He has turned himself and reduced his elevated sacerdotal status to that of Alex Otti’s ‘otimkpu’.
It is so bad that he has chosen to strip himself of his priestly title of ‘Revd Fr’ because of the contradictions between his priestly calling and his self-appointed function of being a ‘Lai Mohammed’ to Alex Otti.
In his latest intervention wherein he mischievously congratulated Alex Otti in advance in view of the upcoming Supreme Court judgement to determine the true winner of the last governorship election in Abia State, Revd Fr Anokwuru Christian Uche deceitfully expunged his ‘Revd Fr’ title from his name obviously because he was aware that his essay was so partisan and laden with his usual divisive postulations that it was not fitting to be associated with a ‘Revd Fr’.
Anokwuru’s relentless voyage of mischief, malice and mendacity has become his trademark to the extent that he is now synonymous with them.
It would have even been bearable if the government Anokwuru so brazenly exalts is one that practices the Christian virtues of fortrightness, sincerity, transparency, accountability, prudence, compassion and care for the people which he is supposed to be promoting.
How can a Catholic priest be hanging around a governor who appropriated a whopping sum of over N5bn to himself in the name of Governor’s Office just within three months, July – September 2023, even when he is running the Governor’s office from his private residence, sacked over 10,000 Abia civil servants for no altruistic reason, spent a huge N397m on an amorphous welfare on non-existent entities, another spurious N927m on feeding of government officials and their friends, all within the very short period of just three months, July – September 2023?
Conversely, Alex Otti spent a paltry N25m on public schools in the entire state just as he spent another paltry sum of N737m on education generally, and another miserly N1.12bn on health. All within the same period.
This is the character a Catholic priest has ‘defrocked’ himself and compromised his cassock for just to sound politically correct.
Anokwuru is a typical example of that hood that does not make the monk and his attempt to impose an impostor on Abians through a mischievous ‘congratulations’ is an attempt to hoodwink the people and launder the image of his new paymasters who have imposed so much hardship on the people. But, as always, God is not a man, and only Him has the final say.
NB: Michael Nwabueze sent this piece from Umuahia