Following his formal introduction Sunday, January 10 to the All Saints Cathedral in Onitsha by Bishop Owen Nwokolo of the Diocese on the Niger as the new Bishop of the Mbamili Diocese, the Anambra State government has lauded the elevation of Venerable Obiora Uzochukwu to the bishopric in the Anglican Communion.
Venerable Uzochukwu, sub dean of the All Saints Cathedral, was promoted to the bishopric at last week’s annual retreat of the House of Bishops at the Ibru International Ecumenical Centre at Agbarha Attor in Delta State, and was subsequently appointed the Bishop of Mbamali Diocese which comprises Anglican parishes in Anambra West Local Government Area of Anambra State.
According to a statement by C. Don Adinuba, Commissioner for Information & Public Enlightenment, in a message to the new bishop, Governor Willie Obiano, described Venerable Uzochukwu as “eminently qualified for his new status and duties.
“Even though bishops are chosen with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, it was predictable that
“Apart from holding the post of Sub Dean of the historic Diocese on the Niger, from where the Anglican faith spread to other parts of Igboland and beyond, Venerable Uzochukwu discharged his duties with aplomb and infectious enthusiasm”.
Governor Obiano praised Uzochukwu’s love of God which caused him to work relentlessly in the Lord’s vineyard and, as a result, won innumerable souls for Christ.
“This fact accounts for his rapid rise in the Ministry”, said the governor about the newly elected bishop who began his priestly career at St John’s Anglican Church at Umueze, Anam in Anambra West LGA, and was then transferred to St Faith Church in Onitsha where he was made the Vicar and appointed a Canon. He was in 2014 promoted to an Archdeacon and Sub Dean of All Saints Cathedral, Onitsha.
Chief Obiano advised Uzochukwu to devote his “stupendous energy to not just spiritual matters, but also such social issues as teenage pregnancy, girl education and discrimination against the female gender in Anambra West LGA”, noting that these issues are “in line with the universal social teachings of the church”.
Commending Bishop Nwokolo and Dr Alexander Ibezim, who is the Bishop of the Awka Diocese and Archbishop of the Province of the Niger, for their roles in Venerable Uzochukwu’s emergence as a bishop, Obiano stated that “it is a thing of joy that the Anglican authorities in Anambra State can assign any priest or bishop to a place they deem fit regardless of the person’s hometown or LGA origin”.
Venerable Uzochukwu hails from Isulo in Orumba South LGA but has been working outside his area since his priestly ordination.
“Anambra State remains the most united, homogenous and harmonious state in Nigeria”, declared the governor, adding “This is one of the critical success factors for Anambra’s rapid economic, social and political development in the last few years.
“I, therefore, call on our new bishop to dedicate himself to the cause of peaceful co-existence and ecumenism, as Christ prayed in John 17: 21 ‘for all shall be one’ “.