In the last couple of years, the Nigerian Anglican church—under the leadership of Peter Jasper Akinola, who retires this month (March 2010)—has been at the forefront of the fight against homosexuality in the worldwide Anglican Church. However, what personally amazes me is that the amount of time, energy, and resources which this guy had expended on fighting homosexuality ostensibly was never devoted to dealing with the mammoth of problems identified with the church he leads in Nigeria. I will cite two such problems.
First, occult practices amongst some Nigerian Anglicans. Some leading and influential Nigerian Anglicans (lay and ordained) are members of different cults and fraternities. As an Anglican myself, I’ve lost count of how many times—and, yes, during Akinola’s tenure—I’ve been to cemeteries for interment which takes place after funeral services in the church, only for the members and officials of different secret cults to which deceased belonged to take over from the officiating clergy. Besides, there are some Anglicans (like some Christians of some other denominations) up and down the country who are involved in fetishistic practices. How many times has Akinola spoken out to condemn this? And, can we reasonably compare his outspokenness on this matter with the way he championed the cause against homosexuality in the worldwide Anglican Communion?
Second, the practice of polygamy amongst some Nigerian Anglicans. [/i]Some Nigerian Anglican Church officials, ranging from the ordained (vicars and bishops) to the lay (church wardens, PCC members, and diocesan officials like Registrars and Chancellors) including highly influential members of the Nigerian Anglican Church are polygamists. One classic case is that of His Excellency, Senator (Chief) Evan Enwerem, former governor of Imo State, former President, Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, whose funeral “goes down as one of the most scandalous events in Nigeria in the year of our Lord, 2007” (See http://www.thesourceng.com/meridianoct15.htm). Again, how many times did Akinola speak out to condemn this? And, can we reasonably compare his outspokenness on polygamy with his bluntness on homosexuality in the worldwide Anglican Communion?
In my own humble opinion, I think, as an Anglican, that the contents of Matthew 7: 3-5—Why do you see the speck in your neighbour’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbour, "Let me take the speck out of your eye,' while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbour’s eye—aptly applies to Peter Jasper Akinola. If the amount of energy, time, and resources which Abp Akinola expended on the campaign against homosexuality had been diverted to kick against the evil perpetrated and perpetuated by the Nigerian political class ([i]JUST AS ABP DESMOND TUTU RELENTLESSLY FOUGHT APARTHEID IN SOUTH AFRICA), all Nigerians should, today, be reaping the good fruits and dividends of democracy.