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Bishop Okoye’s Appointment, Question of Change of Office – Bishop Ezeokafor

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Bishop Okoye's Appointment, Question of Change of Office - Bishop Ezeokafor
Bishop Jonas Benson Okoye
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Bishop Okoye’s Appointment, Question of Change of Office – Bishop Ezeokafor 

 By Mmaduabuchi Onwumelu 

The Catholic bishop of Awka Diocese,  His Lordship Most Rev Paulinus Ezeokafor, says he is more than confident that the newly appointed Catholic bishop of Nnewi Diocese His Lordship Most Rev Jonas Benson Okoye will succeed in his new assignment, noting that he (Bishop Okoye ) had all it takes to lead the Priests, Religious and laity of the Catholic Diocese of Nnewi.

  Bishop Ezeokafor who stated this at St. Catholic Cathedral Awka while congratulating the new bishop described his appointment as a question of change of Office, stating that Okoye had the experience and the technical know-how to make his mark. 

  ‘Well, in the  first place, I thank God for him in his new assignment. It is a question of change of office now. He has been having that experience at that level in the Church but with the new assignment as a bishop of Nnewi something more is needed. Thanks to God he has many years of experience which will bear on him and help him to really manage the people of God and pastor them,’ he said. 

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   Bishop Ezeokafor said that with Bishop Okoye’s exposure and academic qualifications and background he would adapt easily without much difficulty, noting that those of them around him would give their best to make sure he succeeded, adding that they were neighbours (Awka and Nnewi Dioceses) and  that the fact that he was over there would not in anyway affect their relationship. 

  He called on all, the religious and the laity to support the new bishop on his year of service,  assuring that they would continue to pray for him to succeed. 

Bishop Jonas Benson Okoye before his appointment, was the Auxiliary Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Awka.

He was born in Kaduna, 25th January 1963, to the family of Mr Patrick and Mrs Theresa Anazoba Okoye of Amata, Adazi-Nnukwu, Anaocha LGA of Anambra State.

In 1971, after the war, he began his primary school at Ojiako Primary School, Adazi-Nnukwu, went back to Kaduna in 1972 to continue his primary school at St Gregory Primary School, and came back later to Ojiako Primary School to complete his primary education.

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He gained admission into St Paul’s Seminary Ukpo in 1976, and then went to All Hallows Seminary, Onitsha in 1978.

In 1983, his Bishop, the then Bishop of Awka, Most Rev. A.K. Obiefuna, sent him to Bigard Memorial Seminary, Ikot Ekpene (now St Joseph Major Seminary) for his philosophical studies. He had his one year apostolic teaching experience at St John Bosco Seminary, Isuaniocha after his graduation from Ikot Ekpene. Then he was sent to do his theology at Bigard Memorial Seminary, Enugu in 1988.

He was ordained a priest for the Catholic Diocese of Awka in 1992 by Most Rev. A.K. Obiefuna at St Andrew’s, Adazi-Nnukwu.
After his ordination he worked in St John the Baptist Catholic Church, Ezinifite (as Vicar), parish priest of St Peter’s, Oko, became a Defender of the Bond in Awka Diocesan Ecclesiastical Tribunal in 1993. He went to further his studies in Canon Law at the Catholic Institute of West Africa (CIWA) 1995-1997. When he came back from CIWA be became the parish priest of St John’s Catholic Church, Neni; Chaplain of the Knights of St Mulumba, Anaocha sub-Council; Dean, Neni Deanery; and Vice Officialis Awka Diocesan Ecclesiastical Tribunal.

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In 2002 he was sent by his Bishop to continue his studies in Canon Law at St Paul University, Ottawa, Canada. He then went from there to Lateran University, Rome where he obtained his doctorate in Canon Law with Summa cum Laude (Highest Honours).

Back to Nigeria, he was appointed the parish priest of: Immaculate Heart parish, Ekwulobia; St Matthew’s Catholic Church, Amawbia, where he was also the Dean of Amawbia Deanery; St Mary’s Catholic Church, Awka and Dean of Awka Deanery II. He became the Judicial Vicar of the Catholic Diocese of Awka and a Judge in the Onitsha Interdiocesan Ecclesiastical Tribunal.

He held various ecclesiastical appointments and offices in his Diocesan, regional and national levels.

In 2014, he was appointed the Auxiliary Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Awka, the office he held until his appointment as the Catholic Bishop of Nnewi Diocese.

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See What Pastor Adeboye Said When Asked To Predict Next President 2023

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See What Pastor Adeboye Said When Asked To Predict Next President 2023
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See What Pastor Adeboye Said When Asked To Predict Next President 2023

The General Overseer of Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, E.A. Adeboye on Sunday, revealed his conversation with an undisclosed person on who would succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in the forthcoming 2023 general elections.

The renowned clergy who spoke during a sermon at the church’s National Headquarters, Ebute Meta, Lagos State, said some desperate Nigerians are already planning how to kill themselves to win political elections in 2023.

Adeboye said while some of the politicians are lost in the pursuit of election coming 2023, they failed to consider whether the country’s corporate existence would remain till the election time.

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He said, “Someone asked me, who do you think is going to be President in 2023 and I said President of where? He said Nigeria. I said how are you sure there will be Nigeria in 2023. I pray there will be, so don’t misquote me but are you sure?

“Jeremiah 45:5, 2 Chronicles 26:3-22. Some people want fame, they want power – political power. This is 2021 some people are already getting ready to kill themselves over 2023.

“They don’t even know whether there will be 2023. If there is 2023, whether they will still be around. There is nobody who can say for sure that they will still be around tomorrow. It is God who decides who will be around in 2023”.

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Pastor kidnaps Catholic priest, begs God for forgiveness

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Pastor kidnaps Catholic priest, begs God for forgiveness
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Pastor kidnaps Catholic priest, begs God for forgiveness

The operatives of the Imo State Police Command have arrested one Pastor Izuchukwu Anoloba, 35, and others for kidnapping a Catholic priest, Fr Fidelis Ekemgba.

Parading the suspects and others, the state Commissioner of Police, Rabiu Hussaini, said that the suspects held the priest for over seven days and made him to pay a ransom of N5 million to them.

The CP, who disclosed that the syndicate was a deadly one, disclosed that the pastor was arrested in Lagos following intelligence gathering by men of the anti-kidnapping unit of the command.

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He disclosed that the priest, 45, in charge of St. Peters Catholic Parish in Umunohu Amakaohia in the Ihitte/Uboma Local Government Area of the state, was double-crossed and whisked away by his abductors.

Commending his men for an excellent job, the CP said that he would continue to make the state uncomfortable for criminals.

Speaking to journalists, Anoloba said that he got N1.5m from the ransom the priest paid them.

He said, “I am a pastor with Apostolic Church of Christ in Lagos. I got N1.5 million from the kidnap of the priest. I never knew I would be arrested. I regret my actions because I am now a disgrace to the body of Christ and my family.”

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Threat: No Christian should be killed in Zamfara, CAN warns

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Threat: No Christian should be killed in Zamfara, CAN warns
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Threat: No Christian should be killed in Zamfara, CAN warns

The Christian Association of Nigeria has warned that no Christian should be killed in Zamfara State, just as it asked security agencies to protect all churches in the state and prevent terrorists from carrying out their threats against Christians.

The Association stated that the threat against Christians and churches by the terrorists is a divisive strategy against the effort of Christian and Muslim leaders towards ending criminalities in the North-West.

CAN also called on the Department of State Security and the Inspector General of Police to investigate those who are speaking for the terrorists with a view to unmasking their sponsors and beneficiaries of their criminalities.

This was contained in a statement titled, ‘No Christian Should Be Killed in Zamfara – CAN Warns,’ signed by the General Secretary, CAN, Barr Joseph Bade Daramola.

According to CAN, “The State Police Command has reportedly confirmed that a threat letter was sent to the Christians in the state asking them to stop worship and to close down churches or risk their violent attacks. We also learnt that it was the Police that even informed the state chapter of the Association about the threat.

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“We know that all kidnappings and other criminalities being perpetrated in the North-Western part of the country are the handiwork of terrorists who either migrated from the North-East or those who were released under the purported rehabilitation programme of the Federal government.

“Now that a Federal High Court has labelled those criminals terrorists, we call on the Police, the military authorities and other security agencies to rise up to the challenge of the terrorists who have turned kidnappings into the biggest business venture in the geopolitical zone.

Threat: No Christian should be killed in Zamfara, CAN warns

“The way and manner by which our security agencies have been handling those criminals are totally unacceptable, reprehensible and unprecedented. Criminals are criminals irrespective of their religious, political and ethnic affiliations and they should be treated as just. We also called on the Department of State Security and the Inspector General of Police to Investigate those who are speaking for the terrorists with a view to unmasking their sponsors and beneficiaries of their criminalities.

Zamfara police arrest woman who supplies arms, ammunition to bandits in Northwest
“The leadership of the national Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in our recent visit to Sokoto and Kebbi states was alarmed, surprised and shocked by the record of those criminals who are killing and kidnapping with impunity in the area as if there was a pact between them and the security agencies. Now that both the leaderships of Christianity and Islam in the country are working together on how to stop their criminalities in the Northwest, they are now trying to introduce divisive ways by declaring war against Christians and churches in the zone especially in Zamfara State where they are gradually turning into their strongholds.

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“We have no problem with Islam or with our Muslim brothers and sisters but with the handful fanatics and their financiers who have declared war against Christianity. We appeal to all peace-loving Muslims to speak against those who are painting Islam what is not. We know that there is no right-thinking Muslim leader who will be happy with the killings of Christians.

“We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to sanction any Commissioner of Police or Zonal Police Commanders and the Director of State Security Services wherever kidnappers operate in the country henceforth. This will go a long way in reducing the menace as we are approaching the Yuletide season. We have never had it this bad. We also called on the Federal government to refund all the ransom paid for the release of those who were abducted in the last five years. We reiterate our quest for the State Police in order to reduce the security burden on the Federal government-controlled Police. The Police have been overwhelmed with the menace of insecurity in the country.

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“President Buhari should also direct the Police to arraign all suspected kidnappers, bandits and terrorists in their custody with a view to stopping those who are perpetrating the atrocities. Failure to do this will force the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to ask our members to embrace the principle of self-defence wherever the security agencies appeared compromised. Up till today, the perpetrators of the genocide in the Southern Kaduna are still walking freely despite the killings of hundreds of our members. We cannot be reduced to refugees in the country that belongs to us again.

“Finally, we call on all Christians and peace-loving Muslims to pray against their threats and for our security agencies to be able to stop all criminalities in the country. Enough is enough.”

Punchng.com

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