The authorities of the catholic church in Rome has, through a letter signed by Most Rev. William Avenya, the Bishop of Gboko Diocese in Benue, given its approval to Rev. Hyacinth Alia, a Catholic priest, to contest the governorship position in Benue State.
This approval was not without a caveat though: Rev. Alla, who is contesting on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), will excuse himself from all church activities while in active politics.
Alia said that the directive of the Church was in line with the rules, and regulations guiding the conduct of clergymen and laity.
He pledged not to disappoint the Church, saying that his aim of going into politics was to bring positive change in governance and the lives of Benue people.
Alia described his suspension as a normal procedure to enable him to pursue his ambition.
“I will gladly return to continue ministration after repositioning the leadership quagmire in the state.
“I will be the arrow head of positive political symbolism within the confines of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” he added.
Alia explained that there was nothing wrong in clergymen participating in active politics, as long as the aim was for the common good of the people.
He said that Benue required purposeful leadership to address the myriads of problems bedeviling it.
The governorship aspirant listed some of the problems to include absence of good leadership, underdevelopment, poverty, insecurity, and gradual loss of confidence in government.
According to Alia, it is necessary to also reposition the civil service, to function effectively as the engine room of government through which the challenges will be tackled.
He recalled that Rev. Fr Moses Adasu, who was elected as Benue governor in 1992 when the state needed a new direction for its development, was also suspended, but was recalled after his tenure.