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How Holy Spirit brought Igbo Leaders to Assumpta Cathedral Owerri




Like the day of Pentecost, when the Jews from various nations gathered at Jerusalem to celebrate the feast, so it was on Pentecost Sunday, May 24, 2015 when Igbo leaders from all the Igbo speaking states assembled at the Maria Assumpta Cathedral, Owerri to celebrate Mass.

Among hundreds of traditional rulers present at the Mass were: Eze Emmanuel Njemanze of Owere, Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe, Eze Isaac Ikonne of Aba etc. Also present were top ranking politicians from various states of the East.

The gathering was at the instance of Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, first executive governor of Abia State and a chieftain of All Progressives Congress, APC, who had a thanksgiving Mass at the Cathedral.

In his sermon during the Mass, the Most Rev. Anthony Obinna, Catholic Archbishop of Owerri, reflected on the Readings and thanked God for the coincidence of the Igbo gathering with Pentecost, stressing that Ndigbo are also a Diaspora people like the Jews.

He said that God has brought us together on this Pentecost Day to worship Him in truth and spirit, stressing that we have every cause to jubilate today because the miracle of the descent of the Holy Spirit has caused a revolution, a transformation that is on-going. “It is not just a temporary revolution; “it is a permanent one”, the Archbishop said, regretting that not all have accepted this revolution.

He noted that sin, worship of money, fashion and other ephemeral things have remained obstacles to the revolution and cautioned ndigbo not to put their trust on these external things.

The Archbishop said that the Holy Spirit has come to “spiritize us, to make us a living spirit, to make us the temple of his presence, so that wherever you go, you shine the truth and the light of God without fear or favour.

He observed that ndigbo have crumbled in many ways, leading their generation towards the path of degeneration, regretting that Igbo home videos are replete with worship of idols, rituals and how to make quick money, thus keeping ndigbo much further than their ancestors from the worship of the true God.

On the transition programme, Archbishop Obinna said, “as we look forward to a new dispensation, we have to transcend the divide of North and South, East and West. We need to go beyond this divide if Nigeria is going to survive in future. The Holy Spirit is the unifying force, and if we cling to the Holy Spirit and His gifts, then we can begin to unify Nigeria. But as long as the spirit of division and the spirit of hatred abide with us, Nigeria cannot be one.

He identified two dynamics operating in the world today, both locally and internationally. They are the spirit of extermination and immoral ideology.

On the spirit of extermination, he noted that some people want to kill everybody and live by themselves. “But this is actually suicide- when you kill your fellow human being, you are actually killing yourself in the process and at the end of the day, when genocide turns into mutual killings of one another, we end up destroying ourselves totally.”

On immoral ideology, Archbishop Obinna noted that it is ravaging the world today. Making reference to the referendum in favour of same-sex marriage in Ireland last week, the prelate regretted that Ireland, a very Catholic Christian country resolved against the normal marriage and approved same-sex union.

He praised God that Africa in general has stood up against homo-sexuality and same-sex union, regretting that the virus is coming through the social media, like twitter, Facebook, etc.

“The world is now degenerating because of entertainment industry-entertainment with the body; a reduction of human beings to material objects.

“We are here to re-awaken the need for us to become living spirit, to allow the Holy Spirit to take possession of us because when you live in that spirit, you are already living forever.

He called on the congregation to pray for Ireland, from where we received the faith, so that we begin to prevent those things that led to the degeneration that has happened in the country and other places.”

Ogbonnanya Onu told journalists that the Mass was to thank God for the award of Doctorate Degree by the Abia State University during its third special convocation in his honour.

“I feel very happy that Abia State University on Saturday was able to organize a special convocation, the third of its kind in the history of the university. The first was when they received Gen. Babangida and the second was when they received President Obasanjo and now this is the third.”



USAID begins Covid-19 testing in Imo rural areas



USAID averts 25,000 unwanted pregnancies in Ebonyi, Kogi

…Umuagwo Varsity of Agric kicks-off October

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has begun Covid-19 testing in the 27 Local Government Areas of Imo State, “in a bid to reduce the impact of community spread of the virus in the rural areas of the state.

The Imo State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Chief Declan Mbadiwe Emelumba disclosed this in Owerri while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the Weekly Executive Council meeting presided over by Governor Hope Uzodimma on Wednesday.

Chief Emelumba said so far, the USAID officials have carried out reasonable number of testing in Njaba LGA and reported that all those tested came out negative and that the council prayed that the result from other Local Government Areas will be the same.

He announced that the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) has approved the take off of the Imo State University for Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Umuagwo in October this year.

According to him, the approval underscores the efforts which the Imo State Government ably led by Governor Hope Uzodinma has made towards the establishment of a second university for the state.

Recently, the NUC panel was in Imo State to carry out the necessary verification exercises on the state facilities, human and physical infrastructures.

Mr. Declan Emelumba, who was flanked by the Commissioner for Education, Prof. Bernard Ikegwuoha, Commissioner for Health Dr. Damaris Osunkwo and the Chief Press Secretary/Media Adviser to the Governor Mr. Oguwike Nwachuku, informed that the Executive Council is happy that something new is happening in the Education Sector of the State.

Emelumba said that the Imo State University of Science and Environmental Sciences, Umuagwo will take off by October when other universities would be resuming for a new academic session.

In the same vein, the Council has approved the immediate relocation of Faculty of Engineering Imo State University Owerri to its permanent site at Okigwe, stressing that Government has put all processes and facilities on ground to ensure the immediate take–off of the faculty.

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Imo Governor’s aide visits Oziza FM Staff, Ogechi Iwu in hospital



Imo Governor’s aide visits Oziza FM  Staff, Ogechi Iwu in hospital

The Chief Press Secretary and Media Adviser to Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State, Mr. Oguwike Nwachuku has visited Mr. Ogechi Iwu, a journalist with Osiza FM.

The media man is hospitalized at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owerri over complications from diabetes that led to his right leg being amputated.

Mr. Nwachuku said the visit was to show solidarity on behalf of Governor Uzodimma to his professional colleague, assuring him of their prayers, particularly that of his principal, and the prayers of Mr. Iwu’s numerous friends and well wishers who are touched by his plight.

“I am here on behalf of my principal to associate with him in this time of health challenge and to encourage him not to see the sickness as a death sentence.”

Oge Iwu at fmc

L-R: Chief Akaraonye, Mr. Oguwike Nwachuku with Ogechi Iwu during the visit

Mr. Nwachuku urged Mr. Iwu to continue in the high spirit he saw him and trust God for his total recovery “because healing is a thing of mind and when a sick person is in high spirit the patient gets recovered quickly.”

The spokesman of the Governor promised to bring the plight of the journalist to the attention of his principal, and assured that the Governor will, in his usual manner of one with milk of human sympathy, show concern over Iwu’s plight.

Earlier, Mr. Iwu thanked the CPS/Media Adviser, the State Chairman of NUJ, Imo State, Chief Christopher Akaraonye and other journalists who were on the entourage, for coming to identify with him on his sick bed, and assured that God in his infinite mercy will quicken his recovery.

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Bishop Ugorji heads IMSU Governing Council



Bishop Ugorji heads IMSU Governing Council

Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma has inaugurated a new Governing Council, for the Imo State University, IMSU, Owerri.

At the inauguration ceremony on Monday, August 31, the governor named Most Rev. Lucius Ugorji as the Chairman of the Governing Council and Pro-Chancellor of the University.

Other members of the Council include: Chief Leo Stan Ekeh, Chief Tony Ezenna, Prof. (Ven.) Chinedu Nebo, Sir. Louis Ezeigwe, Chief Engr. Ernest Nwapa, Dr. (Mrs.) Uwandu Uzoma, Ugoeze Victoria Adaku Ekezie, Prof. Adaobi Obasi (Vice Chancellor) and others.

Speaking at the inauguration, Governor Uzodimma said the choice of the members is to infuse fresh air into the university because “It is in dire need to bounce back to reckoning.”
He added that the choice of the members was because they have carved a niche for themselves in their chosen fields of endeavour and that they have earned solid reputation as men and women of substance in their individual trade, indices that qualified them for the appointment.

He challenged the members to bring their reputation to bear on the University, bearing in mind the task for good quality scholarship in Imo State University as well as service to humanity.

The Governor urged the members to deploy their individual accomplishments, excellence, expertise, passion for service as effectively as necessary to actualize the dream of his administration of having a highly reputable University comparable to the best Universities in the World.

He also requested the Council to “restore in words and deeds the motto of Imo State University, which is Excellence in Service”.

“Imo State University currently is a classical example of a failed University,” Governor Uzodimma said but strongly believed that “with a star studded Governing Council such as the one inaugurated there is no doubt that Imo is on the track to realize the dreams of her founding fathers.”

He further enjoined the Council members to quickly hit the ground running and come up with policies and programmes that will reassure Imo people that the University that made them proud 20 years back is on track as he assured them of Government partnership in this regard.

In an acceptance speech, on behalf of the Council, the Chairman, Most Rev. Ugorji who is the Catholic Bishop of Umuahia thanked the Governor for the absolute confidence reposed in them by giving them the assignment and acknowledged that though the task is daunting he has a strong belief that with the calibre of members of the Council and support of the management, staff and students the University will be returned to a centre of excellence which was the dream of the founding fathers.

He said that Imo State University deserves the best and that he and his members as inaugurated will work acidulously to ensure that the target of the governor in making Imo State University one of the best universities in Africa is realised.

He congratulated fellow members and promised that God’s willing, they will not fail the government and people of Imo State.

Present at the inauguration were the Deputy Governor, Prof. Placid Njoku, the Speaker Imo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Chiji Collins, the Secretary to the State Government, Chief Cosmas Iwu, and other members of the expanded State Executive Council.

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