The Bishop of Awka Catholic Diocese, Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor, has urged Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State to reverse the ban on open prayers in marketplaces across the state.
The Catholic priest made this appeal during a special thanksgiving service which held at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Nanka, in Orumba North Local Government Area of the state in honour of Rep. Okwudili Ezenwankwo, representing Orumba North and South Constituency.
Governor Obiano, through the leadership of Anambra State Amalgamated Traders Association (ASMATA), had banned open prayers in markets in the state, noting that the preachers were extorting traders and politicising their prayers.
The bishop described the ban as "unheard of" especially in a Christian-dominated state like Anambra. In Kaduna, road preachers are banned from some parts of the state, and in other parts, they are made to preach only with a license. Unlike Anambra, however, Kaduna is dominated by Muslims and Hausas while Anambra is a core of Christendom in the south-East region.
This has caused an uproar among the indigenes of Anambra State, who have called on the governor to reconsider and reinstate the freedom of Christians to practise their religion.