An 11-Man team of new executive has been elected for the Catholic Laity Council of Nigeria, Awka Diocese, to sustain the formidable Laity Council which the Comrade Emma Ezeokafor led- exceptional executive built for the Church and the society. The new executive is expected to pilot the affairs of the Laity Council for a single term of four years.
The general election that was held at the new St Patrick's Catholic Cathedral, Hall on Thursday, February 15, 2018, which had the Chief Chaplain of Catholic Laity Council of Nigeria, Awka Diocese (CLCNAD), Very Rev Fr Dr. Michael Muonwe as the Chief Electoral Officer, had 203 members of the Electoral College as participants.
The 203 members of the Electoral College comprised of two persons from the eligible parish Laity Councils of the diocese, 2 persons from the 23 deaneries of the diocese and 5 persons each from the Diocesan statutory bodies of Catholic Men's Organisation (C.M.O), Catholic Women's Organisation (C.W.O) and Catholic Youth Organisation of Nigeria (C.Y.O.N).
Mr. Joseph Igwebuike of the Diocesan C.M.O, from St Matthew's Parish, Amawbia, Amawbia Deanery, Awka Region was elected the CLCNAD president with 193 votes out of the total of 196 votes casts for the post of the president. Mr. Matthias Umeh of Isuofia Deanery, Ekwulobia Region and Mr. Hyacinth Onwuka of Umunze Deanery, Akpu Region earlier, stepped down for Igwebuike.
In the election for the post of the Treasurer, Mrs. Christiana Obianuju Nwamkwue of the Diocesan C.W.O from St. Simon's Parish, Ukpo, Ifitedunu Deanery, Nimo Region won the position with 106 votes out of the 203 votes of the entire Electoral College.
She defeated Mrs. Ngozi Meg Okoye of the same Diocesan C.W.O, who is from St Peter's Parish, Nkwelle, Awka, Awka I Deanery, Awka Region, who secured 95 votes. Mrs. Bibian Ezeokoli of St Michael's Parish, Nkpologwu, Akpo Deanery, Achina Region, had earlier stepped down from the contest. This was even as 2 invalid votes were recorded in the election for the treasurer.
In the election for the post of the secretary, which was contested by delegates of the Diocesan C.Y.O.N, Emmanuel Duezeh of St John's Parish, Agulu, Agulu Deanery, Adazi Region was elected the secretary with a massive vote of 163, out of the total votes of 202. He defeated Charity Okwu of St. Charles' Parish, Isulo, Umunze Deanery, Akpu Region.
Mrs. Chinenye Okonkwo of St Joseph Pro-Cathedral Parish, Ekwulobia, Ekwulobia Deanery, Ekwulobia Region, in a single contest, won the post of the CLCNAD vice president with 190 votes, out of the total votes of 201.
In the very keenly contested election for the post of the financial secretary, Mr. Emeka Donatus Uganeme of St Anthony's Parish, Nanka, Nanka Deanery, Ekwulobnia Region, won the position with a whopping vote of 127, out of the total votes of 202.
He defeated Mrs. Lucy Mmadu of St Joseph's Parish, Neni, Neni Deanery, Adazi Region, who polled 48 votes and Mr. Christopher Asogwa of St Mary's Parish, Awka, Awka II Deanery, Awka Region, who clinched 28 votes. Charity Okwu of St. Charles' Parish, Isulo, Umunze Deanery, Akpu Region, earlier, stepped down for Mr. Uganeme.
Sunday Nwafor of St Mary's Parish, Ezira, Umunze Deanery, Akpu Region, won the post of the Public Relations Officer (PRO) with 136 votes. He defeated Mr. Lambert Okeke of Holy Trinity Parish, Obeledu, Adazi Deanery, Adazi Region, who secured 66 votes. Mr. Benneth Ezenwafor of Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Umuchu, Umuchu Deanery, Achina Region, stepped down in the course of the contest.
In the contested post of the assistant secretary, Kelechi Ezemmaduekwe of St Paul's Parish, Uga, Uga Deanery, Ekwulobia Region, defeated other two contestants to emerge the winner with 127 votes.
Mr. Benneth Ezenwafor of Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Umuchu, Umuchu Deanery, Achina Region, polled 60 votes while Joseph Amata of St Stephen's Parish, Nise, Amawbia Deanery, Awka Region clinched 15 votes only. Mrs. Bibian Ezeokoli of St Michael's Parish, Nkpologwu, Akpo Deanery, Achina Region, stepped down from the contest.
Three contestants vied for the positions of Director of Socials I & II respectively. Comrade Tochukwu Obiadi of Annunciation Parish, Awka, Awka II Deanery, Awka Region secured the highest votes, and was elected as the Director of Socials I with 123 votes while Mrs. Lucy Mmadu of St Joseph's Parish, Neni, Neni Deanery, Adazi Region, emerged the Director of Socials II with 59 votes.
They left behind Emmanuel Ezeobi of St. Andrew's Parish, Adazi-Nnukwu, Adazi Region, who clinched 21` votes.
Chidozie Emegwalu of St Patrick's Parish, Adazi-Enu, Neni Deanery, Adazi Region won the Provost I with 149 votes, while Chilezona Nwaka of Ss Peter & Paul Parish, Umuchu, Achina Region, emerged the Provost II with 45 number of votes.
In his acceptance speech, the new president of Catholic Laity Council of Nigeria, Awka Diocese (CLCNAD), Hon. Joseph Igwebuike, thanked the entire Laity Council for the confidence reposed in him and his team of executive as demonstrated in their election.
He promised to carry everybody along and put in his best in sustaining the legacy of a formidable Laity Council which his predecessor, Ezeokafor and his team left behind.
Igwebuike, who assumed duty with the dissolution of the Sir Moses Anakebe-led Electoral Committee that prepared the election of the new executive, solicited for the support of his predecessor and the entire laity of the diocese to ensure that the enormous task of lifting the CLCNAD to greater height would be actualised.
In his remarks, the chief chaplain of CLCNAD, Very Rev Fr. Dr Michael Muonwe, reminded the new executive members that they had the mandate to improve on the legacy of their predecessor, and take the Awka Diocesan Laity Council which currently stood as the best in Nigeria, to another positive level.
He charged them to ensure their loyalty remained in the Laity Council which they were elected to represent.
On his part, the chairman of Council of Patrons of CLCNAD, Professor Josephat Okechukwu Ogbuagu, mni, charged the new executive to do their best and sustain the life which the immediate past executive rekindled in the Laity Council.
Ogbuagu, who said the former president and his team performed wonderfully well, advised the new president, Igwebuike, who is the out-going secretary of the Awka Diocesan C.M.O, and have been part of the successful Laity Council administration against poor performance.
In his valedictory speech, the Oraeri, Aguata L.G.A-born immediate past CLCNAD President, Comrade Emma Ezeokafor, congratulated the new executive members on their successful election.
Ezeokafor urged them to justify the confidence which the Council reposed in them, and stated that with the support of the entire Council members, the chief chaplain, the Council of Patrons and the ambassadors of CLCNAD as well as his support from behind, the team would do well.
This was even as he tasked the new executive members to be active, form a bond and unite as a family so as to at all-time, protect the interest of the Council.
He thanked the former chief chaplain of the Laity Council, Very Rev Fr. Dr Eugene Anowai, the current chaplain, Very Rev Fr. Dr. Michael Muonwe, his exceptional team of executive, the patrons and ambassadors of CLCNAD as well as the entire laity of the diocese for their wonderful support, co-operation and solidarity which made the success which the Laity Council currently celebrates, achievable.