An Anglican bishop in Nigeria has launched a furious attack at Justin Welby for being “sympathetic to homosexuals” and says the Archbishop of Canterbury’s position on gay rights is “pathetic”.

The Most Rev Justin Welby risks allowing the Church of Nigeria to break away from the worldwide Anglican Communion, Bishop Emmanuel Chukwuma warned during a conversation with journalists at Nigera’s Akanu Ibiam International Airport.

Bishop Chukwuma had returned from Nairobi, where he’d been attending the Global Anglican Future Conference, along with 500 other Nigerian bishops.

He said: “We are not going to compromise. And we have made it quite known even to the Archbishop of Canterbury and to the whole Europe and America, that there is no compromise as far as the scripture is concerned. So, if they do not repent, we are ready to stand on our own and go ahead with that authority of the scriptures and confess that faith as Anglicans for the future of church of Anglicanism.

“We secede. We are ready to secede because if you look at Ephesians chapter 5, verse 7, it says that you should not have anything to do with those people [homosexuals] who are becoming disobedient. So, why should we yoke with unbelievers. So, if they do not repent, we are ready to say, go away, we go our way. We love them but we hate their sins.”

Bishop Chukwuma then turned his attention to last week’s Royal Christening of Prince George by the Most Rev Justin Welby.

“He (Archbishop of Canterbury) left a day before we came because he was going to baptise the grand child of the Queen of England. But we got his statement which is very pathetic that he is not straight forward about his stand on this homosexuality and we are not going to comprise with this at all.

“We feel that he is still sympathetic to these homosexuals and we need to really watch him. And if he does not come to our side, the next Lambert conference, we will not attend”.

The Archbishop of Canterbury admitted that the Church of England’s opposition to equal marriage was “utterly overwhelmed” by vocal supporters in July.

In April, Archbishop Welby held a meeting with Peter Tatchell, who urged him towards greater understanding of the LGBT community.

After the meeting, Mr Tatchell told PinkNews.co.uk: “Archbishop Welby is clearly struggling to reconcile his support for loving, stable same-sex relationships with his opposition to same-sex marriage. I got the impression that he wants to support gay equality but feels bound by church tradition.”

In October, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, accused the Church of England of an “appallingly violent” attitude towards gay people.