CMO Awka Diocese Celebrates 25 Years Anniversary

…Installs 1st Matron; Gets New Ide, Grand Patrons, Patrons, Mayors, Dukes, Ambassadors

By Ifeoma Ezenyilimba

Established in 1995 and inaugurated in 1997, with Rev Fr Fidelis Chike Nwosu, Barrister Joseph Ifeanyi Ukoh and Brother Fidelis Udeh, as the pioneer chaplain, pioneer president and pioneer secretary, respectively, the Awka Diocesan Catholic Men’s Organisation (ADCMO), last Saturday, May 29, celebrated the 25 Years Anniversary of its existence.

Fides gathered that the Silver Jubilee which was earlier fixed for 2020, was celebrated this 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic that was at its peak last year. At 25 years plus, the ADCMO which was said to have continued to progress under various administrations, has Rev Fr Jerome Okafor, Comrade Joseph Chukwujekwu Onuegbu and Hon Innocent Nwafor, as the current Chief Chaplain, President and Secretary, respectively.

Executive members of ADCMO with some members of the Silver Jubilee Committee with Bishop Jonas Benson Okoye (8th from left), Chairman of the occasion, High Chief Azubuike Ekweozor (7th from left). 6th from left is former Executive Chairman, Awka South LGA, Hon Prince Azubike Iloh.

Leading in the concelebrated Holy Mass to mark the May 29, 2021 Silver Jubilee at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Awka, the Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev Paulinus Chukwuemeka Ezeokafor, in his homily, urged Catholic men to live up to their responsibilities as leaders in all facets of society.

The bishop, who recalled the laxity and laissez faire attitude of the CMO members in the past, expressed his delight that the current ADCMO had an identity. He prayed God to endow the members with the needed grace that would enable them to be authentic Catholic fathers in their families, the Church and society.

In his address of welcome, the President, Awka Diocesan Catholic Men’s Organisation, Comrade Joseph Chukwujekwu Onuegbu, thanked God for his mercy, love and sustenance on the organisation and the members.

The president, who appreciated the Executive Governor of Anambra State, Dr Willie Obiano, KCSG, for the bus he donated to the ADCMO in 2015, solicited for more of his support in aid of the organisation’s projects.

Comrade Onuegbu in the address, solicited for donations in support of the ADCMO’s projects of completion of the CMO’s complex at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Awka; flooring and landscaping of the front of the CMO Plaza, Awka; payment of the outstanding N60m for the CMO- Peter University hostel project and a photocopying machine.

Cutting of the Silver Jubilee Anniversary Cake.

In his remarks, the Chairman of the occasion, High Chief Azubuike Ekweozor, Ide Umuawulu, urged the fathers to encourage their children to support church development. Ekweozor berated those, who, he said, tended to prevent their wealthy children from donating to Church and human development.

The ADCMO, at the event, conferred various honours on 23 individuals, in recognition of their contributions to human and Church development.

Those honoured were His Worship, Ijeoma Igbokwe, of Anambra State Magistrate Court, as the first Matron of ADCMO; High Chief Azubuike Ekweozor, Nwanayoeze, as Ide ADCMO; Hon Dr Pete Ibida of St Mary’s Parish, Nimo as Grand Duke of ADCMO; Igwe Christopher Nnaegbuna, Iga II of Ebenebe as Royal Grand Patron of ADCMO; Igwe Max IK Oliobi, Owelle of Nimo as Royal Grand Patron of ADCMO; Chief Peter Hezekiah Dike of St Francis’ Parish, Amikwo, Awka as Grand Patron of ADCMO; High Chief Emeka Okonkwo of Nibo Catholic Community, as Grand Patron of ADCMO and Ozo Comrade Ezeani Uchenna Elochukwu of Madonna Assumpta Parish, Agulu and St Edward’s Parish, Amawbia, as Mayors of ADCMO.

Others installed as patrons of ADCMO included the Transition Chairman of Awka South LGA, Hon Leo Nwuba, who is of St Jude’s Parish, Awka; Mr Solomon Chukwuemeka Arachie of St Joseph the Worker’s Parish, Adazi-Nnukwu; Chief Boniface Nnaegbuna of St Peter’s Parish, Ugbene; Chief Sir Emmanuel Nwike of St Anthony of Padua Parish, Ifite, Awka; Engr Chief Sir Linus Anayochukwu Ikegbunam, Chinyelugo, of St Anthony’s Parish, Nawfia; Prince Johnson Ene of St Simon’s Parish, Ukpo; Mr Chinonso Emmanuel of St John De Evangelist Parish, Agulu and Chief Pius Ozo Aniekwe of Ifitedunu Catholic Community.

Those honoured as ambassadors of ADCMO were the Transition Chairman, Njikoka LGA, Hon Chief George Ozoh, of St Mark’s Parish, Abagana; Professor Sylvanus Okwudili Anigbogu of St Kevin’s Parish, Nimo; Sir Sylvester Dozie Chukwuka of St Paul’s Parish, Obeledu and Mr Emmanuel Emeka Nduka of St John De Evangelist Parish, Agulu.

One of the new ambassadors of ADCMO, Professor Okwudili Anigbogu (centre) with his wife (4th from right); parish priest of St Kevin’s Nimo, Rev Fr Mac Ben Okeke (4th from left), and others.

This was even as Engr Alex Anthony Orekie of St Paul’s Parish, Achalla; Mr John Mayor Obialimma of Mgbakwu Catholic Community and Chief Dr Chris Anyakora, Okofia III of Abagana, were honoured as dukes.

Those honoured promised to live up to their expectations.

Among others that graced the event were the President, CMO, Onitsha Ecclesiastical Province; Bro Donatus Chukwuma, who was represented by President, CMO, Onitsha Archdiocese, Sir Ifeanyichukwu Nnajiaku; Wife of the Executive Governor of Anambra State, Dr Mrs Ebelechukwu Obiano, who was represented by the Transition Committee Chairman, Awka South LGA, Hon Leo Nwuba; the member representing Nnewi North/Nnewi South/Ekwusigo Federal Constituency, Hon Engr Chris Azubogu, who was represented by Tai Emeka Obasi; Founder, Pro-Value Humanity Foundation, High Chief Obiora Okonkwo, who was represented by former Executive Chairman, Awka South LGA, Hon Prince Azubike Iloh.