…Appoints new Pastoral Council Chairman
The Most Rev. Anthony Obinna, Catholic Archbishop of Owerri has inaugurated the Committee for this year’s Owerri Archdiocesan Day Celebration/Odenigbo Lecture.
Speaking at the ceremony held at Obiri-Odenigbo (Odenigbo Pavilion), February 9, Archbishop Obinna expressed satisfaction with the progress Odenigbo lecture has made so far, especially with regards to speaking Igbo Language proudly in public gatherings.
He reiterated that he conceived the idea of Odenigbo, when he was studying overseas, before he became bishop, adding that the main trust of Odenigbo was to use Igbo Language to preach the word of God to enable it permeate into the lives of Ndigbo, deleting aspects of Igbo culture that are not in consonance with the word of God.
He said that while some progress has been made in the use of Igbo Language to express thoughts, deliver lectures and addresses, not much has been seen in eradicating some Igbo tradition and custom that have been holding Ndigbo hostage, especially Diala/Osu dichotomy. “Nobody talks about who is Diala or Osu during friendship, but as soon as marriage, chieftaincy and Ezeship are involved, we begin to talk about Osu or Diala.”
“Culture and tradition are holding Ndigbo down,” the Archbishop said, regretting that some priests and knights of the church still believe in Osu/Diala segregation.
“To make Ndigbo fully committed Christians is my dream,” he said, adding that he would not stop talking about Osu/Diala obnoxious practice.
“Come to me all ye who were denied wedding because of Osu/Diala nonsense, and I will wed you,” the Archbishop assured intending couples.
He thanked the Odenigbo Commission and the organizing committees for their support which he acknowledged has led to the progress achieved so far.
Earlier in his address, the chairman, Odenigbo Organizing Committee, Mr. Paschal Ihemedu said the topic for this year was very appropriate as many Igbo academics and technocrats still find it difficult to speak Igbo fluently in public gatherings.
In the address, written and read in Igbo, Ihemedu observed that after 22 years of Odenigbo Lecture, it is yet to have an office, administrative staff, official vehicle etc.
He thanked the Archbishop and the Odenigbo Commission for giving him the opportunity and called on the commission to give similar support to his successor.
The 2018 Odenigbo Lecturer is Dr. Patricia Uloaku Okoye. She will speak on the theme: Isuzi, Idezi na Iguzi Igbo: Mmasi na Akamgba di na ha”
Meanwhile, Archbishop Obinna has announced the appointment of a new chairman of Owerri Archdiocesan Pastoral Council and chairman Odenigbo Organizing Committee. He is Barr. Anthony U. Emeana (KSJI). Until his appointment, Barr. Emeana was the chairman Pastoral Council, St. Michael’s Parish Amakohia, Uratta. He takes over from Mr. P.O.J. Ihemedu. Barr. Emeana will be formally unveiled during the Owerri Archdiocesan Pastoral Council meeting in March.