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Bayelsa Poll: CAN Throws Weight Behind Gov Diri  



A section of the clerics

Bayelsa State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has endorsed the second term bid of Governor Douye Diri in the November 11 governorship election in the state.

CAN made its stand known at a one-day interactive session with the governor at the St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Swali, Yenagoa, on Monday.

The state CAN chairman, Very Rev. Father Joseph Opelema, said the body was impressed by the governor’s performance in infrastructure development in the last three and a half years and wants him to continue.

The Christian organisation said the state needed a God-fearing leader to pilot its affairs, and that  Diri fits its choice.

It also noted that the governor has given the state a ray of hope through his commitment to prayers, support for the church, and developmental initiatives.

Other areas include his commitment to prompt payment of salaries, pension and gratuities as well as the construction of the three senatorial roads among others.


CAN however noted that all the contenders in the election were brothers and sisters and enjoined political actors to shun violence in the electoral process and allow the electorate to choose who to lead them.

Opelema said: “We stand with you (Diri) on our choice for continuity and consolidation. You are our choice.

“We are impressed by your commitment to prayers and support for the church and CAN as well as sponsorship of pilgrimage to the holy land.

“We thank you for the construction of the three senatorial roads, Glory Drive phase two, and commencement of the Glory Drive phase three.”

In his response, Governor Diri appreciated the CAN leadership for endorsing his second-term bid.


 He attributed his administration’s success to God and the support from the church.

Diri stated that the gesture was a motivation to do more and enjoined members to vote for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the election to enable him to consolidate his first tenure achievements.

Diri said: “I appreciate the leadership of CAN and PFN (Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria) for your support for this government. You have been so committed.

“You did not wait for me to ask but you endorsed me without our asking. On behalf of a grateful government and party, I say a very big thank you to the church. We will not take it for granted.

“When you endorse, you are saying we should do more. So for us, it is a motivation to do more in our second tenure.


“You are the ones counting what we have done. To me, that is the essence of democracy. It is for people to review you. After reviewing you, they either say you have passed or failed. Today, you have reviewed us and given us a pass mark.”

The governor, who condemned politics of violence, said his campaign will be issue-based.

The  Christian community presented a Bible to Governor Diri at the event.

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Should Fr. Louis Nwobi Leave Fr. Ehusani Alone?



Father Louis Nwobi

By Val Obienyem*

Due to prior obligations, I had to attend the 5:30 a.m. Mass at St. Joseph the Worker today. Rev. Fr. Louis Nwobi, the priest who presided over the Mass, was in his element as he dissected the readings for the day. I was especially pleased when he encouraged the congregation to take pride in their Catholic heritage, not just through words, but by embodying the values for which Catholics are known, whether in private or public life.

At this point, Fr. Nwobi directed our attention to Fr. George Ehusani’s sermon. How can we do justice to a pen as powerful as Ehusani’s in such a short space? His career exemplifies Catholicism’s ability to attract exceptional men who can excel in any field. He speaks to Nigerians through his “Lux Terra” Leadership Foundation, usually in a warm and bright style, using carefully chosen words from his inexhaustible storehouse. In the sermon in question, he encouraged Catholics to consider the lives of Christian heroes from the early centuries and to emulate their heroic faith.

What was Fr. Ehusani attempting to say? We live in a permissive world where a 30-year-old man wakes up every day and starts pointing accusing fingers at the Catholic Church. How could 30 years comprehend more than 20 centuries? As a result, active conversation with those who lived through those centuries is necessary to become acquainted with them. The Catholic Church has given this gift to the world.

Indeed, we see enough of the 8 doctors of the church (36 now) he mentioned in the early days, including Athanasius, Basil, and Gregory Nazianzen in the East and Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine, and Gregory the Great in the West. Before them, we had Clement of Rome, Ignatius of Antioch, Justin, and Irenaeus, among others.


I agree with Louis and Ehusani; they are correct. Reading about the lives of these Christians is like having a conversation with them. It provides important insights into the origins of Christianity, the challenges they faced, and the principles they upheld. It offers inspiration, guidance, and a deeper understanding of the faith’s origins, thereby strengthening one’s own spiritual journey and connection to Christ’s teachings.

It is also beneficial to interact with new ones. I still enjoy Fulton Sheen’s sermons and the debate between Copleston and Russell about God’s existence and the nature of metaphysics.

In our context, Fr. Louis mentioned Fr. Ehusani; I now include sermons from Bishop Godfrey Onah of Nsukka, as well as my own Bishop, Paulinus Ezeokafor. His sermon at the Chrism Mass in Awka, where he sensed the large number of people from various places, emphasised all aspects of life, including speaking with the government about what should be done for the holistic upbringing of children. We also have the sermons of Fr. Blessed Mbang Njume and Fr. John Oluoma.

Yes, priests should listen to sermons from well-known preachers as well as one another and synthesise them for greater output. This is a beneficial collaboration in the Lord’s Vineyard. I am not referring to “Pentecostal priests’” sermons, which are annoyingly full of commercial metaphors and the display of account numbers. Priests with such an inclination may find guidance in Rev. Fr. Dr. Modestus Anyaegbu’s book “Vendors of the Gospel,” as they appear to be still searching in the dark.

It is fitting that we conclude our reflection with the question we began with: Should Fr. Louis Nwobi leave Fr. Ehusani alone? I believe he should not leave him alone. People like him should be listened to in order to learn more and contribute to existing knowledge for the continued edification of the church.

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Methodist Prelate Says Abia Is Subject Of Discussion Home, Abroad As Gov. Otti Vows To Reverse Anti-People Policies



Dr. Alex Otti, Governor of Abia State, has stated that the people’s interests will continue to be prioritised in policy enactment and implementation, and that his administration has taken steps to reverse anything found to be contrary to this expectation.

In a press statement issued by Kazie Uko, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Otti described his administration as selfless leadership oriented towards the welfare of the people and promised to continue providing good governance for the benefit of Ndi Abia.

The Governor spoke on Saturday while receiving the leadership of the Methodist Church Nigeria, led by the Prelate, Dr. Oliver Ali Abba, who paid him a visit at his home in Umuehim, Nvosi, Isialangwa South.

“This is a very selfless leadership in Abia State; leadership that is oriented towards the welfare of the people of Abia, and we have taken very bold initiatives in reversing anything that we find that is not in the best interests of the Abians.

“I also listened when you mentioned opposition. As you correctly observed, the opposition will always be present. Even in the Church, there is opposition, but I took note of what you said, and that is precisely what we are doing.


“The reality is that they are in a very small minority, because the majority of the people want good governance, and one thing you can take away from this is that Abia people will get good governance,” Governor Otti declared.

According to the Governor, Abia is ‘God’s own State,’ and thus in God’s hands. As a result, he promised to do only what was approved by God’s people.

While admitting that he may make mistakes as a human, Governor Otti stated that such mistakes, if discovered, would be corrected immediately, insisting that he would make a concerted effort to do things in the people’s best interests.

“On our own, as humans, we make mistakes, but when we discover them, we go back and fix them.

“We are not perfect, and we do not claim that we do not make mistakes, but deliberate efforts to do things that are not in the best interests of the people will not occur here under my leadership,” he promised.


Governor Otti thanked the Methodist Church for its massive support during the campaigns for the 2023 governorship election, which brought him to office, particularly for mobilising massively during the election.

Earlier in his address, the Prelate of Methodist Church Nigeria, Dr. Oliver Ali Abba, who stated that he was in the state on a routine apostolic visit to the Umuahia Archdiocese, congratulated Governor Otti on his resounding victory in the 2023 governorship election.

Dr. Abba also recalled the joyous celebrations that followed Governor Otti’s victory across the state, which he said demonstrated that the Governor is God’s chosen man for Abia State.

He praised Governor Otti for restoring the dignity of the Abia people by instituting good governance and quality political leadership in the state. He noted that Governor Otti’s policies and successes have become a topic of discussion both at home and abroad.

The Methodist Prelate cited significant improvements in power supply in Aba and its environs through the Geometric Power Plant, retrofitting of the Abia State healthcare system, reconstruction of strategic roads such as Port Harcourt Road in Aba and Ossah Road in Umuahia, and payment of salary and pension arrears in the State as examples of the Governor’s accomplishments in just under a year in office.


“I applaud your record of accomplishments in Abia in just under a year.” You have done an excellent job, particularly in ensuring that workers and pensioners receive what they are owed,” he told the Governor.

The Methodist Church’s leader charged the Governor with remaining upright in all his dealings and being courageous enough to challenge what he described as the old governance order, while also encouraging him not to be afraid to make the right decisions and to continue to look to God for divine guidance.

The Prelate’s visit to the Governor was accompanied by the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Umuahia Methodist Church Nigeria, Most Rev. Dr. Chibuzo Opoko, and other church leaders.


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Pastor Kumuyi Prays For Gov. Otti, Says, ‘God Has Set You Up To Be A Star’ In Nigeria



Governor Otti and his wife, Mrs. Priscilla Otti, pose with the visiting Deeper Life GO, Pastor Kumuyi, and his wife, Mummy Esther.

Pastor W. F. Kumuyi, Founder and General Overseer of the Deeper Christian Life Ministry, also known as Deeper Life Church, believes there is a bright light shining in Abia State.

Pastor Kumuyi, who has been in the state for about a week for a crusade titled “A Glorious Transformation Through Christ,” spoke on Tuesday during a working visit to Abia State Governor, Dr. Alex Otti, OFR, at his home in Nvosi, Isialangwa South Local Government Area.

The revered cleric, who arrived with his wife, Mummy Esther, praised the breath of fresh air and ongoing reformation in Abia State under Governor Otti over the last 11 months, particularly in the areas of road infrastructure, citizen welfare, and security, among other initiatives of the current administration.

He declared that Governor Otti’s exemplary leadership has elevated Abia to a position of pride among Nigeria’s progressive states, as well as in terms of economic development and growth.

“It has not even been a year since you became Governor, and your accomplishments are impressive. Even before I arrived, we had heard about Abia state’s progress and reforms. Apart from preaching, we have heard the state’s story from 2023 to the present.


“May the Lord continue to strengthen you and assist you in achieving all of your goals for the state, as evidenced by the state’s security, progress, and productivity.

“We pray to the Lord to keep you strong and healthy. We pray that this work will continue, and that others will see the bright light shining in our state, God’s Own State.

“God has set you up to be a star in our country, and you will remain a shining star,” Pastor Kumuyi, who will be 83 on June 6, prayed.

Governor Otti welcomed his august visitor, who was accompanied by other elders and senior church officers, and thanked Pastor Kumuyi for choosing Abia State as the venue for the crusade, which began last Thursday and is being held at the Aba Mega Mall.

Governor Otti expressed the government’s willingness to collaborate with the Deeper Christian Life Ministry to help the less fortunate in Abia and improve the well-being of its citizens.


He highlighted his administration’s accomplishments over the last 11 months, including the recent liquidation of a decade-long arrears owed to state pensioners by previous administrations.

The Governor recognised Pastor Kumuyi’s global good works through the ministry and pledged support for the Deeper Life Ministry and other churches’ charitable efforts.



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