October 6, 2022

From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
A Catholic priest, Rev Fr. Moses Iorapuu, has warned lay faithful against dragging priests into political contests saying it is wrong for any priest to go into active politics for any reason.
The Director of Communication, Catholic Diocese of Makurdi, Benue State, gave the warning during a seminar organised by the Makurdi Diocesan Laity Council.
The entry of a Catholic priest, Rev.Fr. Hyacinth Alia, into partisan politics had been enmeshed in controversies.
Alia, who purchased the nomination and expression of intent forms of the All Progressives Congress (APC), contested in the primary and a rerun and was subsequently declared winner, a development which majority of his co-contestants have rejected with some of them seeking redress in court.
The embattled priest was suspended from the exercise of sacred ministry by the Catholic Diocese of Gboko by the Bishop, Most Reverend William Avenya, who said Fr. Alia’s action was against the doctrines of the church against  clerics getting involved in partisan politics insisting that the “canonical suspension lasts until he ceases from contumacy.”
In a paper titled, “Effective implementation of the Catholic Vote for good governance in the forthcoming 2023 elections: An idea that the time is here,” Fr. Iorapuu who quoted from Acts 6:2, described the priest  as those especially ordained for divine service, stressing that, “it is not right for us to neglect the preaching of God’s words in order to serve tables.”
While positing that those who are not in the clerical status have the obligation to participate in politics, and must do so with the spirit of the gospel, Iorapuu queried the lay faithful who are in their millions for thinking themselves unworthy and not trustworthy with the affair of their own state, but instead prefer a catholic cleric.

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