By C Don Adinuba
Awka, Jan. 11, 2021 (MOI) Following his formal introduction on Sunday, January 10, to the All Saints Cathedral, Onitsha by Bishop Owen Nwokolo of the Diocese on the Niger as the new Bishop of the Mbamili Diocese, the Anambra State government has lauded the elevation of Ven. Obiora Uzochukwu to the bishopric in the Anglican Communion.
Ven. Uzochukwu, sub dean of the All Saints Cathedral, was promoted to the bishopric at last week’s annual retreat of the House of Bishops at the Ibru International Ecumenical Centre Agbarha-Otor, Delta State, and was subsequently appointed the Bishop of Mbamali Diocese.
The Diocese comprises Anglican parishes in Anambra West Local Government Area of Anambra State.
In a message to the new bishop, Gov. Willie Obiano described Ven. Uzochukwu as “eminently qualified for his new status and duties.
“Even though bishops are chosen with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, it was predictable that Uzochukwu’s promotion was a matter of time.
“Apart from holding the post of Sub Dean of the historic Diocese on the Niger, from where the Anglican faith spread to other parts of Igboland and beyond, Uzochukwu discharged his duties with aplomb and infectious enthusiasm.’’
Gov. Obiano praised Uzochukwu’s love of God, which caused him to work relentlessly in the Lord’s vineyard and, as a result, won innumerable souls for Christ.
“This fact accounts for his rapid rise in the Ministry,’’ said the governor about the newly elected bishop, who began his priestly career at St. John’s Anglican Church at Umueze, Anam in Anambra West LGA.
He was then, transferred to St. Faith Church, Onitsha, where he was made the Vicar and appointed a Canon. He was in 2014 promoted to an Archdeacon and Sub Dean of All Saints Cathedral, Onitsha.
Chief Obiano advised Uzochukwu to devote his “stupendous energy to not just spiritual matters, but also such social issues as teenage pregnancy, girl education and discrimination against the female gender in Anambra West LGA’’, noting that these issues are “in line with the universal social teachings of the church’’.
Commending Bishop Nwokolo and Dr Alexander Ibezim, who is the Bishop of the Awka Diocese and Archbishop of the Province of the Niger, for their roles in Uzochukwu’s emergence as a bishop, Obiano added, “it is a thing of joy that the Anglican authorities in Anambra State can assign any priest or bishop to a place they deem fit regardless of the person’s hometown or LGA origin’’.
Uzochukwu hails from Isulo, Orumba South LGA but has been working outside his area since his priestly ordination.
“Anambra State remains the most united, homogenous and harmonious state in Nigeria,’’ declared the governor, adding, “this is one of the critical success factors for Anambra’s rapid economic, social and political development in the last few years.
“I, therefore, call on our new bishop to dedicate himself to the cause of peaceful co-existence and ecumenism, as Christ prayed in John 17: 21 `for all shall be one’.’’ (MOI)
Mr C Don Adinuba is currently, State Commissioner for Information & Public Enlightenment