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I Will Return To Pulpit Later, Says Catholic Priest Suspended Over Governorship Ambition In Benue State

Rev. Fr Hyacinth Alia, the Catholic priest who was recently suspended after declaring interest to contest for the Governorship of Benue State under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has said that his suspension didn’t come to him as a shock but that he was prepared to make sacrifices when he joined the race.

Recall that the Catholic Bishop of Gboko Diocese, Benue state, Most Rev. William Avenya, on Saturday evening announced the suspension of Rev. Fr Alia from priesthood over his involvement in politics. Bishop Avenya in a letter dated 21/5/2022, disclosed that the suspension takes immediate effect.

Reacting to the suspension Rev. Fr Alia stressed that he is on a mission to save the people of Benue State from years of bad administration. On that, he posted on his facebook account as follows:

“From the day I took the decision to answer the overwhelming calls of my people to contest the governorship of Benue with the aim to rescue our people from the shackles of maladministration, I was fully aware of the sacrifice I was going to make.

“And I am convinced that it is worth the cause I am fighting to serve the souls of Benue people and the state. I remain resolute and please don’t be anxious either because I am well prepared and focused.

“More importantly, I am more charged because I have seen the genuineness in the agitations for me to step in and help salvage the already sorry situation the state has found itself for some time.

“As stated in the last paragraph of the suspension letter, I shall return to the public pulpit after I must have served out my mandate as the Governor of Benue state.”

Furthermore, Rev. Fr Alia through his spokesman, Donald Kumun, pointed out that those who formulated the canon law of the Catholic church which forbids clerics from being involved in partisan politics never imagined a time that the political leaders would be oppressing the people and the clergy will be needed to save the people.

He said:

“They never imagined that there would be a governor who would refuse to listen to a Catholic bishop begging for the payment of workers’ salaries in the way and manner that Bishop Avenya(Catholic Bishop of Gboko) has done in Benue state. 

“They never knew it would be possible for a governor to stay in power for almost eight years with literally nothing to show for it by way of infrastructural development.

“They never thought of a situation where a state would produce numerous raw materials with practically no industry to process them; while the government plans to sell the existing state-owned industries.

“They never imagined that poor farmers, who are not benefiting anything from the government, would be made to pay cut-throat taxes on their farm produce.

“None of the drafters of the code of canon law imagined that a state will deliberately increase school fees in government-owned tertiary institutions in a way that makes it impossible for the children of the poor to go to school.

“Certainly, they never knew there would be a state in Nigeria where a government would deliberately and consciously impoverish its citizens just to make them politically pliable.

“The canon law never envisaged a state that would turn her highly intelligent youths into political thugs instead of engaging them productively just to mention but a few.”

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