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Anambra Guber: Catholic Laity Reject -Soludo

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Ahead of the November 6thgubernatorial elections in Anambra Members of Catholic Laity of both Awka, Nnewi, Ekwulobia Dioceses and Lay members of Onitsha Archdiocese Laity, have rejected the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) Prof Charles Soludo.

The Catholic Women Organization (CWO) group leaders have also rejected the N10 million offered them by Governor Willy Obiano to conscript them into convincing their members to vote for Soludo.

This as is they expressed their shock and anger over a statement made by one Rev Fr Celestine Aniofor( Chaplain Laity Onitsha Archdiocese) during APGA Professor Charles Soludo visit to the Basilica of Holy Trinity Onitsha on Wednesday 27th of October where he told them that the Laity in the state (and not the Bishops nor the clergy,) has adopted the APGA candidate for the November 6th governorship election.

The spokeswoman for council said that no inter Diocesan meeting of the laity was held and that no such decision taken and wondered how a chaplain of a diocese could make such a statement and worst still,during a campaign tour of a political party.

According to her “the murmuring and hisses that greeted Rev Fr Celestine statement spoke volumes, promting the Diocesan Catholic Women Organisation, Director to address her members immediately urging them to”please vote according to your consciences , this is not from our Bishops”.

Other speakers alluded to the last election in the state and the present hardship being experienced in state by the Laity and their families.

Earlier on Wednesday 20th October, at St Michael Parish fegge Onitsha, some parishioners nearly mobbed their parish priest Rev fr Jude Mgbobukwa for asking them to vote the APGA candidate.

The Parish priest had announced after the morning mass that Soludo has been chosen by the church, however when questioned by Arch diocesan authorities, the priest said it was his private direction.

Our Correspondent further gathered that following this text message “ The laity chaplains of the four (4) dioceses in Anambra state has an important message for us all. Pls may you, together and with President and Sec, go and hear it authoritatively at St Felix Catholic Parish Otolo Nnewi by 2.00 pm on Sunday 24th October. The message is from the Catholic Bishops of the four (4) dioceses in Anambra state”

At the Nnewi meeting of the Diocesan chaplains, wise counsel however prevailed when three priests representing different dioceses disassociated their bishops from any plan to adopt or endorse the APGA candidate, which according to our source was left for the Laity and Laity alone according to Canon law of the church.

While the majority of the clergy and Laity want a departure from the old order, a few vocal minority championed by an Auxiliary bishop, Jonas Benson want the Status quo maintained due to selfish reasons.

Meanwhile,the Parish priest of St Michael’s Parish Fegge Onitsha has been queried by the diocese and the outcome is being awaited.

As it stands now if the Laity council fails to meet and take a collective stand on a candidate for November 6th election, it may be ” Vote your Conscience all the way.”

It was further learnt that the Governor’s Wife has invited the Catholic Women Organization leaders for a meeting fixed for Saturday October 30th to see how she would convince them to support Soludo.

Meanwhile the Catholic Church is at a cross roads as any attempt to foist an unpopular candidate on them would spell doom for the Church.

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