Awka Diocese, held from 17th – 19th September, 2021 at Archbishop Obiefuna Retreat, Pastoral and Conference Centre, Okpuno Awka South LGA, Anambra State, Nigeria.
The Catholic Laity Council of Nigeria, Awka Diocese (CLCNAD), held her 2021 Annual Seminar/Workshop at Archbishop Obiefuna Retreat, Pastoral and Conference Centre, Okpuno from September 17-19, 2021.
The seminar with the theme: “The Church and Value, Reorientation: An effort towards the eradication of corruption”, attracted top politicians, captains of industry, government officials, laity executives at diocesan, deanery and parish levels, and the Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev Paulinus Ezeokafor, represented by the Auxiliary Bishop, Most Rev. Jonas Benson Okoye, who also was the chief celebrant at the opening Mass.
The following insightful and captivating papers were presented:
- ‘The Role of the Church in Combatting Corruption in the Present Day Nigeria’ by Rev. Fr. Dr. Basil Okonkwo, SMMM, of the Department of Philosophy, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
- ‘The Church and Value Reorientation: An Effort Towards the Eradication of Corruption’ by Dr. Kingsley Ubaoji, of the Department of Applied Bio-Chemistry, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
- ‘Living with Hypertension in a Pandemic: Impact of COVID-19 on Management of Hypertension’, by Dr. Emmanuel C. Umeyor, of the Department of Pharmaceutical Science, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
At the end of the seminar/workshop, the Council issued the following communiqué:
- DENOMINATIONAL POLITICS: As the November 6, 2021 gubernatorial election draws near, politicians and other gladiators should resist the temptation of indulging in denominational politics. It is most dangerous and harmful to the state.
- VOTE RIGHT: Ahead of the November 6, 2021 governorship election and other general elections in the country, the laity are called upon to make the election of the right and the best candidate their priority, irrespective of their political affiliation. The electorates should shun all forms of partisan politics. The electorates are also encouraged to get registered, pick up their Permanent Voters’ Cards and participate actively in the election.
- CORRUPTION: Corruption has eaten deep into all spheres of the nation and the Church, and there is an urgent need to eradicate this cankerworm lest it destroys humanity and society. Fight against corruption should start from the family which is the nucleus of society. Parents should train their children to be contented with what they have. They should also enlighten them on the importance to succeed in life through just hard work, and not through unjust and corrupt means. Individuals at all levels should strive to do that which is right and be contented with what they have.
- HEALTHY LIVING: There is need for people to pay proper attention to their health so as enjoy healthy living, irrespective of the challenges posed by the economy. The dreaded COVID-19 seemed to have diminished the existence of other deadly diseases such as Hypertension. People should realize that Hypertension, i.e., HBP and sister diseases such as kidney failure and heart attack, are deadlier than coronavirus. From age 35 and above, it is advisable that people go on regular checkups for Blood Pressure, Sugar and sister ailments. Normal BP level should be 120/80. People are also encouraged to have enough sleep/rest. At least six hours of sleep every day is recommended for an average adult so as to maintain a healthy living.
- COVID-19: Coronavirus otherwise known as COVID-19 is still very much around. People should engage in preventive measures such as regular hand wash, wearing of facemask, taking of COVID-19 vaccines and other precautionary measures.
- RESPECT TO AUTHORITY: The leadership of the laity at all levels are reminded of the expectation that they respect constituted authorities in the Church, and be mindful of the fact that they are field commanders.
- THANK YOU SENATOR VICTOR UMEH: The Council commends Senator Sir Victor Umeh, OFR, KSS, for the on- the-spot Scholarship which he gave to a Holy Childhood member of CLCNAD, Master Gregory Odinaka Nwambu, to enable the beneficiary realize his dream of becoming a Ca tholic priest. The Council urged other wealthy and influential Nigerians to emulate such gesture.
- COMMENDATION: The delegates commended the Diocesan Chaplain, Rev. Fr. Dr. Jude Ezeanokwasa, and the Diocesan executive led by the President, Hon Joseph Igwebuike, for the skill acquisition on cake baking and meat pie production at the seminar/workshop. They recommended that such skill acquisition should be continued to enable the members of CLCNAD to acquire relevant skills and get meaningfully engaged.
Laity…salt of the earth and light of the world
Dr Emmanuel Duezeh, Jnr Hon Joseph Igwebuike
Secretary, CLCNAD President, CLCNAD
Rev Fr Barr Jude Ezeanokwasa
Chief Chaplain, CLCNAD