. . . Bishop Okpaleke’s Selection, Absolutely Deserving – PG
By Precious Ukeje and Alexander Johnson Adejoh
The Ekwulobia Development Union has expressed delight at the erection of the new Catholic Diocese of Ekwulobia, while also hailing the selection of the pioneer helmsman of the Diocese, Bishop Peter Okpaleke, as well deserved.
This was made known by the President General, Ekwulobia Development Union, Reverend Chukwuemeka Ezeike, who spoke to Fides in an interview.
Ezeike who thanked God for making the erection of the Ekwulobia Diocese a reality, described the situation as one that appeared impossible.
He regretted that in such cases, there were always attempts to stall events from happening in Ekwulobia and on behalf of his executive members, the community, as well as the Igwe of Ekwulobia, thanked God and Pope Francis, whom he described as the human vessel that God used to perfect his plans for Ekwulobia.
Citing the case of the Anglican Church where Aguata Diocese was created, Ezeike noted that in the past, upon pronouncement of facilities to be erected in Ekwulobia, neighbouring communities insisted that they were members and that such facilities should be extended to the entire Aguata.
He also decried the fact that sometimes, issues of development become politicized, whereby delays and several other issues were encountered.
Describing the new Ekwulobia Diocese as more homely, he said it was something to thank God for.
Asked if it had been anticipated or the pronouncement came as a surprise to them, Ezeike said they had long anticipated the creation of the diocese and it did not come as a surprise to them.
Noting that the erection of the diocese came with the installation of a home bishop, Bishop Okpaleke, Ezeike added that the Bishop’s Court had been constructed a long time ago, which he said was part of what they were happy about.
Describing Bishop Okpaleke’s selection as well deserved, the President General said it had been a long time he was supposed to be installed as bishop but it was denied him. He explained that it was God who brought about this to compensate him.
Speaking on their expectations, he said they were expecting expansion of the gospel, adding that the bishop would come and concentrate on his mission and not wholly focus on politics.
‘We expect that he will be more concerned with making sure that there is peace because he will be overseeing the entire Aguata, Orumba North and South which is a big task,’ Ezeike said.
He added that there were projects in progress, such as the Peter University in Achina, and hoped that the bishop would make it a point of duty to see that the work was delivered among other projects.
Speaking to other faithful, Fides gathered that the erection of the diocese was welcomed by all and sundry.
Mr. Felix Obiekwe said he considered it as growth in the Catholic Church in Anambra.
He added that the Anglican Church in the state had up to six dioceses and said that it was a plus to the Catholic Church to have increased to four dioceses which, according to him, showed that they were increasing in number and the work of the body of Christ was growing in Anambra State.
Speaking on expectations, he said the new bishop was going to move the Diocese forward and bring a lot of growth to the diocese. He described the diocese as a young one and hoped that the bishop was going to take it a long way.