On Sunday March 4, 2007, twenty new bishops of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) were consecrated in a glorious celebration attended by more than 7000 people. Among those present were the Primate of West Africa, the Most Revd Justice Akrofi, Archbishop of Ghana, and our ecumenical partner, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, the Most Revd John Onayekan.
At the end of the Consecration Service the House of Bishops met to elect six new Bishops, one for the vacant See of Katsina, and five for the dioceses created at the General Synod in Sokoto held in February. The elections were as follows:
1. Diocese of Katsina, the Ven. Jonathan Bamaiyi
2. Diocese of Nike, the Ven. Evans Ibeagha
3. Diocese of Ikwerre, the Ven. Blessing Eyinda
4. Diocese of Egba-West, the Ven. Samuel Ajani
5. Diocese of Isiala-Ngwa, the Venn. Owen Azubuike
6. Diocese of Aba-Ngwa North, the Ven. John Ezirim
We also heard a report from the Bishop of CANA, the Rt. Revd Martyn Minns, on the growth of the ministry in the USA and pledged our enthusiastic support for this vital mission initiative of our Church. We welcomed the news that the Rt. Revd David Bena, recently retired Suffragen Bishop of Albany, has now transferred to the Church of Nigeria to assist with the work of CANA.
In light of the report from the recent meeting of Primates in Dar es Salaam we agreed to defer the request for additional Episcopal elections for CANA until our meeting in September 2007.
The House of Bishops expressed profound gratitude to Archbishop Peter J. Akinola and his colleagues in the Global South for the strong stand taken at the meeting, together with the gracious leadership of Archbishop Rowan Williams, and continue to pray that the Anglican Communion can move forward in truth and unity.
‘Now to him who is able to keep us from stumbling and to present us blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Saviour, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.’ (Jude 24,25)
The Most Revd Peter J. Akinola, CON,
Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria