Church probes anonymous letters targeting bishops

Thursday September 12 2019

The outgoing  West Lango Diocese

The outgoing West Lango Diocese Bishop Alfred Acur Okodi (left) who has been warned not to step foot in the church. FILE PHOTO 

By SANTO OJOK & PATRICK EBONG

The Anglican Church is investigating anonymous letters threatening the outgoing and incoming bishops of West Lango Diocese.
The leaflets were discovered dropped in Apac Municipality, Aduku Town Council, Oyam Town and Kole Town on September 2.

The letters questioned the integrity of outgoing bishop Alfred Acur Okodi and bishop-elect Julius Caeser Nina. The letters also rejected the incoming bishop.

The leaflets that were reportedly dropped in the compound of St Peter Church of Uganda and the diocesan headquarters of West Lango, warned Bishop Acur Okodi not to step foot in the church.

“Bishop Acur should not step foot in Aduku. Consecration of bishop, don’t try. No consecration of Rev Nina in West Lango,” the circulated leaflets read in part.

The chairperson of the laity in West Lango Diocese, Mr Richard Ogwang Odyero, however condemned the act.
“We shall investigate so that people who did it are subjected to church discipline. If they have any issue, they should have come out openly. We always listen to everybody,” Mr Ogwang said on Monday.

The Rev Tonny Ayena Otim, the diocesan secretary, said the leaflets were circulated by a group of people that wanted to sabotage the programme of consecrating the new bishop.

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“If those people have courage and they know what they are doing [], they should have courage to stand by what they are doing and identify with it,” he said.

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“The church does not have a prison to put people in. If I have a point, why must I choose to do it at night and then go away? Anything which is anonymous remains anonymous,” he added.

The Venerable Nina, who is from Bunyoro Kitara Diocese, was elected last month by the House of Bishops of the Province of Church of Uganda as the second bishop of West Lango Diocese. Bishop Acur Okodi is set to retire in December as he has already clocked 65 years.

He is expected to hand over the mantle of leadership to Rev Nina on December 15 when the consecration of the new bishop takes place.
In an interview with this newspaper on Wednesday, Bishop Acur said he was not moved by the anonymous letters.
“I heard about it but I never saw it. I cannot take it serious since the anonymous letters were authored by unknown people for unknown reason,” he said on phone.

editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

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