President Olusegun Obasanjo commenting for the first time on the gay bishop issue that has threatened the soul of the Anglican Communion , yesterday, saluted the wisdom, courage and resilience of the African Bishops for standing so firmly against attempts to undermine the Christian faith and falsify the gospel and the Word of God.
Speaking in an address titled: “That Africa may excel” at the official opening of the first African Anglican Bishops Conference at the Archbishop Vining Memorial Church Cathedral, the president said: “I have followed with keen interest, your principled stand against the totally unacceptable tendency towards same-sex marriages and homosexual practice.
“Such a tendency is clearly unbiblical, unnatural and definitely unAfrican,” he said, adding “surely the Lord who created us male and female knew exactly what He was doing.”To my understanding of the Scripture, any other form of sexual relationship is a perversion of the divine order, and a sin.”
Congratulating the Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Most Rev. Peter Akinola for outstanding leadership in opposing the new ‘teaching’, the president urged the bishops to be steadfast and maintain this path of righteousness.
“Do not succumb to intimidation, blackmail, isolation or even barefaced persecution,” he said, adding “stand firm for the gospel and the Word of God once delivered to the saints. At times like this, humanity needs men like you. Let your voice be heard within Africa and beyond.”
On corruption, Obasanjo appealed to the bishops to also stand firm against the evils of corruption, discrimination and poverty in the continent.
According to him, “the terrible effects of corruption are so manifestly devastating that all leaders with the fear of God must resolve to wage war against it. Together we should seek to shatter the chains of injustice; cleanse the cobwebs of ignorance; illuminate the citadels of darkness, and expose all evil designs to loot the public treasury.”
The president said corruption negates options and opportunities for development, stressing that it “erodes the legitimacy of the state, mortgages the capacity of leaders to take firm decisions in the interest of all, and contaminates the moral and spiritual foundations of society.”
He stressed that corruption is anti-development and must be fought with vigour, adding “after all, only righteousness exalts a nation; corruption (sin) is a disgrace to any people. The Church must be in the vanguard of this fight and by the grace of God, we shall win.”
As the chairman of the African Union, President Obasanjo also appealed to the African bishops to sustain the struggle for debt relief, if not outright cancellation.
He said the debt problem has become a powerful instrument of oppression.