Onitsha, Anambra State, the seat of the largest market in Sub-Saharan West Africa, was agog with unlimited ecstatic jubilations today, Sunday, September 19, 2021, as all roads in the South East and beyond virtually led to the town for the historic commemoration of the Tenth Anniversary of the Episcopacy of the Bishop on the Niger, the Rt Rev. Dr. Owen Chiedozie Nwokolo.
The event which was held at the All Saints Cathedral, Onitsha, was no less than a parade of the cream of the society from politics, education, commerce, and religion among who was the Primate, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, the Most Rev. Henry Ndukuba who invariably said the homily.
The Primate who was represented by the Most Rev Ali Buba Lamido, the Bishop of Wusasa, Archbishop of Kaduna Province and the Dean, Church of Nigeria had in the homily called on Christians against being backbenchers in the church without doing anything positive to either God, the church or humanity.
He urged that whatever Christians do they should always bear in mind the expansion of the gospel regretting that some Christians remain in the church for years without meaningful contributions in any manner.
“No matter the number of years you remain in the world but without meaningful contributions, you lived a wasted life. It is a good life that matters not the number of years you live. We, Christians, should remember that God does not bless sin, but righteousness”.
The Primate commended the host chief celebrant, Bishop Nwokolo, according to him, for doing the Anglican Church in Nigeria proud in the areas of evangelism, human development, infrastructure and other areas in the first ten years of his Episcopacy, describing what he said Bishop Nwokolo has achieved as “they are many”.
Addressing Bishop Nwokolo, the Primate said, “God has used you and wife for a great job in this diocese. God who brought you here will not abandon you. He will continue to empower you. How you have been uplifting your members spiritually and physically is highly commended.”
The primate also commended the parishioners for what he called their cordial relationship and exemplary cooperation with the bishop, adding that without them the bishop could not have achieved much. Primate Ndukuba lauded Bishop Nwokolo for having a thankful heart in appreciating God.
He equally commended the celebrant for possessing a humility-disposition with which he said is needed to serve God, saying, ” God is worthy to be served. You can’t serve God without humility. It is because of humility we have gathered here to worship God.
He called on Christians to always serve God with faithfulness and to be positive doers, explaining that, “you can’t serve God without faith”.
In a welcome address by the organizing committee for the event read by the Chairman of the body, Sir Ik Ejeluo, the committee had rolled out a catalogue of the achievements of the Nwokolo Episcopacy.
Among the achievements, including strides in spirituality, human development and infrastructure in the diocese.
Highpoints of the ceremony were various renditions by the All Saints’ Cathedral Choir, cutting of the anniversary cake, launching of a “Compendium” containing some of the achievements of the Bishop Nwokolo Episcopacy and presentation of awards to 16 recipients.
The awardees included: the former Secretary General of the Commonwealth, His Excellency, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, the former Governor of Anambra State, Mr Peter Obi, His Excellency, Sensor Andy Uba, Chief Dr Sir Dan Chukwdozie and Chief Dr Sir Chika Okafor.
Others were; Senator Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah, Chief Sir Mike Nwakalor, Engr Sir Emeka Okwuosa, Evang. Prince C. N. Ukachukwu, Chief Dr G.U. Okeke and Chief Sir Samuel Anyanwutaku.
The rest of the recipients included: Sir Vin Okoye, Chief Dr. Maduka Nwakwesiri, Chief Ebuka Okafor and Sir Nathan Ofoma among many others.
In a brief vote of thanks, the chief celebrant, Bishop Nwokolo, thanked by the recognition the invitees who he commended for gracing the occasion. He also thanked the parishioners and his team ministers for variously contributing towards the success of the event.
The ceremony was attended by over 16 Anglican Bishops and Archbishops in the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion.