By AUSTIN OWOICHO, Abuja
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, former governor of old Enugu State, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, former governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, Senator Chukwuka Utazi representing Enugu North Senatorial District, Senator Ayogu Eze, the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, the Papal Nuncio to Nigeria, Archbishop Antonio Guido Filipazzi, 38 Catholic Bishops across the country and some Anglican Bishops, were among the dignitaries that witnessed the dedication of St Theresa’s Cathedral Nsukka, on Thursday.
Speaking during the epoch-making event, Gov. Ugwuanyi who conveyed the felicitations of the government and people of Enugu State, to Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Nsukka, Prof. Godfrey Igwebuike Onah and the Diocesan faithful, expressed gratitude to God for making the dedication of the Cathedral possible.
The governor stated that it was a great privilege for him to be part of this history and disclosed that the towering architectural masterwork was “the product of divine inspiration and three decades of toil of our Catholic Diocesan faithful”.
He expressed delight that “today, it (Cathedral) stands elegantly completed under the leadership of our revered Bishop, His Lordship, Most Rev. Professor Godrey Igwebuike Onah”.
While commending Bishop Onah’s diligence and tenacity, Gov. Ugwuanyi also appreciated the great role of the retired Bishop of the Diocese, Most Rev. Francis Emmanuel Okobo, “in the visioning and implementation of the project”.
The governor prayed God “to abundantly bless all those who sacrificed their resources, time and labour for the realization of this dream”.
Acknowledging, thankfully, that the peace and unity in Enugu State were largely because of the prayers and wise counsel of the religious faithful, Gov. Ugwuanyi implored them to continue to avail the state “these twin supports of inestimable value”.
He appreciated the presence of the Papal Nuncio, the Bishops of the Catholic Church and sister Christian denominations and beseeched God to grant more strength and spiritual vision to Bishop Onah as well as “all our Clergy in the Diocese as they shepherd the flock of God”.
Earlier in his sermon, Bishop Onah expressed delight that the Cathedral project has finally become a reality.
He thanked the Almighty God for his mercy and love and also thanked the initiator of Cathedral and Bishop Emeritus of Nsukka Catholic Diocese, Most Rev. Dr. Okobo for his vision and steadfastness, saying: “Today, Bishop Okobo will be joining in dedication this Cathedral” despite his health challenges.
Bishop Onah went further to appreciate all those who contributed in the building of the Church including the state government, professionals, prayer warriors, Diocesan faithful, the Muslim community, among others and asked God to reward them abundantly.
In their goodwill messages, the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Nigeria and the Papal Nuncio to Nigeria, among others, congratulated Bishop Onah, his predecessor, the priests, religious and the entire Nsukka Diocesan faithful on the remarkable dedication of the Cathedral, stressing that their strong faith and sacrifices saw to the realization of the magnificent edifice.
Also present at the event were the Speaker of the Enugu State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Edward Ubosi; the State Chief Judge, Hon. Justice Priscilla Ngozi Emehelu; the member representing Nsukka/Igbo-Eze South Federal Constituency, Rt. Hon. Dr. Pat Asadu, and his counterpart in Igbo-Etiti/Uzo-Uwani Federal Constituency, Rt. Hon. Martin Oke.
Others include the former Deputy Governor of Enugu State, Chief Okechukwu Itanyi; former Minister of Information, Chief Frank Nweke Jnr.; Chairman, Enugu State Council of Traditional Rulers, HRH Igwe Amb. Lawrence Agubuzu; former State Chairmen of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Engr. Vita Abba and Chief Ikeje Asogwa; members of the State House of Assembly; members of the State Executive Council; Council Chairmen, etc.