Retired army officer will be Nigeria's new primate

Orogodo Okoh to succeed Peter Akinola
The Church of Nigeria has chosen a 57-year-old retired lieutenant colonel from the Nigerian army, Archbishop Nicholas Orogodo Okoh, as its new primate to lead some 20 million Anglicans in the west African country.

Okoh was elected September 15 by the country’s Anglican bishops. Some Nigerian Anglicans say their new leader is strongly opposed to the ordination of women and homosexuals—as is retiring archbishop Peter Akinola, whom Okoh will succeed in March 2010.

“I am grateful to God and to the Church of Nigeria, particularly our laymen, clergy and House of Bishops, for thinking that I can do it,” Okoh said in his acceptance speech. “It is a lot of confidence reposed in me, and I pray to God not to allow me to fail.”

An official in the Asaba diocese, who preferred to remain anonymous, told ENI that Okoh’s leadership style was unlikely to be much different from that of Akinola, as they share similar views on many issues concerning the church.


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