Dearly Beloved Sinners; I’ve just realised we’re more than halfway through August, and the clock is ticking on the greatest African Clergyman in history. And no, I’m not talking about little Matt Kennedy, but a real African: big Pete Akinola.
Contrary to what most people believe, the Church of Nigeria is not ruled by primatial fiat, but does indeed have a constitution. Which specifically states that the longest any one man is allowed to wear the biggest hat in Abuja is ten years, and that his successor must be elected no less than three months before the previous incumbent shuffles off to enjoy the fruits of his previous decade’s reign.
This means that the Glorious Global Schism has at most four months left to enjoy the balanced, selfless leadership we’ve grown to know and love – providing, of course, big Pete doesn’t find a convenient loophole allowing him to continue in some ‘advisory’ capacity. After all, if Kim Il-sung can remain ‘Eternal President’ of North Korea despite the minor inconvenience of having died fifteen years ago, there’s got to be some way of keeping big Pete on the throne.
What’s more, thanks to ++Akinola’s impressive vision for growth the numbers now are certainly stacked in his favor. When first appointed to enjoy a little rumpy-pumpy in the Bishop’s Court bedroom, in 2000, the Church of Nigeria comprised just 79 dioceses: the figure today is 159. Sure, some of them have more in common with The Sopranos than with Anglican Tradition (anyone fancy a parish in Okigwe-North?), but that’s neither here nor there when it comes to calling in favors from all the ambitious young gentlemen you gave a leg-up on their ascent to the prelacy. Consequently my prediction is that as an expression of their gratitude big Pete will be invited to continue as overseer of CANA.
After all, a nice mansion in Virginia would be the ideal base from which to continue basking in the limelight to which he has grown accustomed, while at the same time allowing his successor enough distance to begin indulging his own predilection for expensive automobiles: it would make for a classic win-win situation. Providing, of course, you’re not Martyn Minns or Bobby Duncan – but it’s a bit late in the day to start worrying on their behalf. They made their bed; they’ve nobody but themselves to blame if they find themselves having to share it.
I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.