|Birth||10 November 1952|
Nicholas Dikeriehi Orogodo Okoh (born 10 November 1952, at Owa-Alero in the Delta State) is the Archbishop of Abuja Province and Primate of the Church of Nigeria in the Anglican Communion. He has been married to Nkasiobi Amaechi since 1986 and they have five children.
The son of poor peasant farmers, his initial education was at St. Michael’s (Anglican) School, in Owa-Alero, from 1958 to 1964, when he got his First School Leaving Certificate. He worked then for four years at his uncle’s business, until starting his own. He joined the Nigerian Army in 1969, having not yet been confirmed. He fought in the Nigerian Civil War in 1970, losing his faith at the end of hostilities. He had a sudden conversion in early 1971, reading then the entire Bible. He was confirmed at St. Stephen’s Cathedral Ondro, in 1975. Okoh continued his religious studies, becoming a freelance Evangelist and a catechist, from 1975 to 1976. He undertook his Pastoral Studies at Immanuel College of Theology, in Ibadan from 1976 to 1979, obtaining a Diploma in Religious Studies and another in Theology.
He was ordained a deacon in July 1979 and a priest in July 1980. He continued his studies at the University of Ibadan, from 1979 to 1982, receiving a B.A., and later from 1984 to 1985, obtaining his M.A. degree. He became a canon in 1987 and an archdeacon in April 1991. He was consecrated as the second bishop of the Diocese of Asaba in May 2001. He was elected the Archbishop of the Ecclesiastical Province of Bendel on 22 July 2005 following the death of Archbishop Albert Agbaje.
Okoh served in the Nigerian Army, being commissioned as a lieutenant in 1982, promoted to captain in 1986, then to major in 1991 and lieutenant-colonel in 1996, his current rank.
In July 2009, in a sermon in Beckenham, Kent, Okoh made statements suggesting that Africa was under attack from Islam and that Muslims are “mass-producing” children to take over communities on the continent. He said that there was a determined Islamic attack in African countries such as Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda, a statement for which he was criticized by Muslims.
Archbishop of Nigeria
He was elected Primate on September 15, 2009, having worked with the previous Primate, the Most Reverend Peter Akinola for a couple of transition months. He was installed as Primate on March 25, 2010.
He has been one of the leading names of the Anglican realignment, both as a member of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans and the Global South (Anglican). Okoh led the large delegation of 470 members of the Church of Nigeria that attended GAFCON II, from 21 to 26 October 2013, in Nairobi, Kenya.
He was one of the speakers at the Colloquium on Marriage, held in the Vatican, in November 2014, at invitation of Pope Francis, who he had the chance to meet and greet at the occasion.