Updated Saturday 5 September
The Guardian in Lagos, Nigeria has published a lengthy article: Akinola’s Primacy: The Journey So Far by Gbenga Onayiga.
The article has already been removed from the Guardian website – this is apparently their normal practice, see comment below – but the full article remains available at Anglican Mainstream.
Another copy of the article is currently available here. (H/T titusonenine)
Consequent upon the retirement of the 2nd Primate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Most Revd J.A. Adetiloye in December 1999, Most Revd Peter J.Akinola was, by Divine providence, duly elected the 3rd Primate of the Church of Nigeria on Tuesday, February 22, 2000. Archbishop Akinola, who was called from the carpentry of wood and materials to the carpentry of the Church of God, eventually proved to be a master craftman, who visualises a design and then perfectly brings it to reality. Before his election, as Primate, Archbishop Akinola was the Dean, Church of Nigeria, the Archbishop of the Province III (Northern Dioceses) and Bishop of Abuja. He had by divine grace and enablement built the Diocese of Abuja literally from nothing to the most viable Diocese of the Church of Nigeria. Thus for those who knew him, it was little wonder that his emergence as the Primate would definitely take the Church of Nigeria to a very high pedestal…
The article concludes:
Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, but anyone who does not think that Akinola’s primacy is a resounding success will have an uphill task for a better comparison, as the Church has never had it so good. In fact, Archbishop Akinola has succeeded in putting the Primacy of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) at a level that will take a very long time to equal nationally, regionally and globally. By the foregone indications, he has immensely endowed the future generation of Anglicans in many unprecedented ways.
Perhaps the best we can do is pray for a worthy successor who will be humble enough to continue the good work already started by building on the foundation already laid. Such a successor will, of course, have to identify those areas of the vision that call for a general review, taking cognisance of today’s peculiarities and faithfully implementing them so as to take the church to the next level.
Gbenga Onayiga is the Diocesan Communicator, Anglican Diocese of Abuja.
Fr Jake has provided a helpful supplement to this article, see Akinola’s Primacy: The Rest of the Story. And a commenter there adds a link to the 2006 New York Times article which concludes with:
“Self-seeking, self-glory, that is not me,” he said. “No. Many people say I embarrass them with my humility.”
Anyone who criticizes him as power-seeking is simply trying to undermine his message, he said. “The more they demonize, the stronger the works of God,” he said.