…Constitutes Constitution Committee
By Ifeoma Ezenyilimba
The Association of Diocesan Priests, Catholic Diocese of Ekwulobia (ADP-CADEK), last Monday, July 6, elected a 9- man pioneer executive to pilot its affairs.
The election which formed part of the association’s maiden meeting, was held at the Cathedral Hall, St Joseph’s Catholic Cathedral, Ekwulobia, Aguata LGA, Anambra State.
The credible, free and fair election which was carried out with Option A4 and nomination methods, had Rev Fr Dr Chika Okpalike and Rev Fr Dr Jude Ifeanyichukwu Onebunne, both of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, as the returning officer and the secretary respectively.
Rev Fr Ignatius Ezeakacha was elected the chairman with 41 votes, while Rev Fr Christian Umeojilinnaka, who followed closely with 22 votes, emerged the vice chairman.
Rev Fr Francis Arinze Ude was elected the secretary with 56 votes, while Rev Fr James Nnoruga, who was nominated and voted in absentia, emerged as the assistant secretary with 37 votes.
Other positions were Rev Fr Melkizedek Obi as the financial secretary with 35 votes; Rev Fr Augustine Nnadi, treasurer with 39 votes; Rev Fr Aloysius Amanchukwu, PRO with 39 votes; Rev Fr Damian Ogwata, Provost I with 39 votes; and Rev Fr Alexander Ezema, Provost II with 28 votes.
In his acceptance speech, the newly elected Chairman of ADP-CADEK, Rev Fr Ignatius Ezeakacha, on behalf of his team of executive, thanked God and the association for the mandate given to them.
The new chairman said he and his executive accepted the mandate as a call to serve, both as Christians and as priests. He promised that the pioneer executive would join hands, key into the co-responsibility mission of the diocesan bishop and move the new Ekwulobia Diocese forward.
He called for support and suggestions from the entire priests so as to succeed and make the Association for Diocesan Priests, Catholic Diocese of Ekwulobia, an ideal reference point.
Speaking at the event, the Catholic Bishop of Ekwulobia Diocese, Most Rev Ebere Okpaleke, congratulated the association on the election which was adjudged successful.
The bishop called for what he described as the expected cordial semiotic relationship between the Diocesan Bishop and the executive of the ADP-CADEK.
Earlier in his remarks, the Vicar for Clergy, Catholic Diocese of Ekwulobia (CADEK), Rev Fr Charles Umeoji, thanked God for the gift of the new Ekwulobia Diocese and her first bishop, Most Rev Okpaleke.
Rev Fr Umeoji, who is a former Chairman of the Awka Catholic Diocesan Priests’ Fraternity, took the priests through the history of the association at the national, provincial and old Awka Diocesan levels. The vicar for clergy, thanked Vicar General of CADEK, Rev Fr Prof. Anthony Boniface C. Chiegboka, who he said, energized and moved the priests’ association forward through a maiden summit and other activities he championed for the association under the Old Catholic Diocese of Awka.
He announced that the last meeting of the association under Old Awka Diocese was in June 15, 2020, during which Ekwulobia Diocese was disengaged, hence the need for the election that produced the pioneer executive.
Fr Umeoji, who kick started the first meeting of the association, congratulated the new executive, urging the 9-man executive to pilot the affairs of the association and represent the diocese well at the provincial and the national levels.
Meanwhile, the association which at the meeting adopted Association of Diocesan Priests, Catholic Diocese of Ekwulobia (ADP-CADEK) as its official name, constituted a Constitution Committee to draft a working document that would be guiding the body.
The 3-man Constitution Committee which was given one month of August 6, 2020, to submit its report, had Rev Fr Barr Chinedu Obieri as the Chairman, Rev Fr Herbert Ezeji as the Secretary and Rev Fr Barr Obiora Augustine Okeke, as member.