Hands Off Disputed Crowther School Now, – Anglican Bishops Tell Anambra Govt

As the feud between Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State and the Anglican Church in the State over the ownership of Bishop Crowther Memorial Primary School deepens, the Bishops of the Church in the State have dismissed the Protest on Tuesday against Bishop Owen Nwokolo, the Bishop, Diocese on the Niger, as sponsored.

In a statement read to newsmen after the meeting, the Bishops said the protest by some people who called themselves as Concerned Christians  and Non-Christian citizens of Anambra State was coordinated by one Mr.Ernest Anafonye and Onyedika Nwosu as chairman and secretary respectively.

The Bishops who held the emergency and crucial  meetings at All Saints Cathedral Church, Onitsha, under the auspices of Niger Province of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, insisted that the disputed Bishop Crowther Memorial Primary School belongs to Diocese on the Niger.

The statement signed by the Archbishop of the Province, Most Rev (Prof.) G. I .N. Okpala and Bishop of Nnewi Diocese and read by the Bishop of Ihiala Diocese,, Rt. Rev. (Prof.), Israel Okoye, said the protesters were bent in ” tarnishing the image of Anglican Church,Bishop Owen Nwokolo and the Diocese on the Niger, who are rightful owner of the Land at Nkisi Road,G. R.A, Onitsha, where there is Bishop Crowther Memorial Primary School since 1926 with a duly registered document in 1927″.

They dismissed the publications in  a national   daily and social media as “unfounded, false and baseless” and the author of one of the publications who claimed to be an Anglican priest was  not a priest of Anglican communion.

The Bishops said since 1956 the disputed school  founded by Church Missionary Society was given out for aid and grant to Local Authority School, the ownership of the school  has  remained the bona fide property of Diocese on the Niger.

In 2012, they said, the report by the State Committee on the resolution of the disputes over the ownership of certain primary schools before the take over of schools in 1970 by the defunct East Central State  in 1970, set by the then Governor Peter Obi, under Chairmanship  of G.U. Ononiba stated clearly “that the school is an Anglican School and should be handed over to the Anglican Church, which is the Diocese on the Niger”.

Up till now, the Bishops said , that report of the Committee has not been implemented despite all efforts to do so and called on the Anambra State Government to hand over the school to the Diocese on the Niger to manage, control and administer, stressing that the ownership of the land which started in 1926 should be honoured as there are documentary proofs.

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