By Akinwande Soji-Ojo
The Catholic Diocese of Gboko, Benue State, has suspended a priest, Rev Fr Hyacinth Alia, for joining the governorship race in the state.
Alia had picked the N50 million All Progressives Congress(APC) governorship expression of interest and nomination forms and had been cleared by the ruling party to participate alongside 11 successful aspirants in the primary.
But the Bishop, Catholic Diocese of Gboko, William Avenya, in a letter dated May 20, 2022, announced the suspension of Alia from public ministry “after series of admonitions” to him.
Avenya noted in the letter that “the Mother Church does not allow her clerics to get involved in partisan politics on their own.”
“I write to communicate to you the suspension of my priest, Revd. Fr. Hyacinth Iormem Alia from public ministry after series of admonitions to him.
“The Mother Church does not allow her clerics to get involved in partisan politics on their own.
“You are aware that my son, your brother and your priest has purchased the party forms to contest for the Office of the Governor of Benue State under the All Progressives’ Congress which is totally against our vocation.
“Therefore, to respond to the spiritual and pastoral needs of the Church in the Catholic Diocese of Gboko, I have suspended him from the exercise of sacred ministry.
“This canonical suspension takes effect from the moment it is communicated to him and lasts until he ceases from contumacy,” the letter read in part.