Ike Nnachi, Abakaliki
Bishop of Abakaliki Diocese, Most Reverend Dr Peter Chukwu, had called on the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, CBCN, to speed up process for the creation of a new Diocese in the State.
This is as the Diocese is is set to build a 6,000 capacity cathedral.
Chukwu said the Catholic Diocese of Abakaliki has produced many parishes since its creation in 1973 and was due for a new Diocese.
He stated this at St Theresa’s Cathedral, Abakaliki, the state capital during the golden jubilee celebration of the Catholic Diocese of Abakaliki.
Chukwu lamented that it was only Ebonyi State in the whole of South-East that is having only one Diocese and urged the Catholic Bishop Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) to create a new Diocese in the state to bring the church closer to the people.
He said: “We have had so many parishes created, when are we going to have a new Diocese created out of Abakaliki Diocese?
“Abakaliki Diocese is the only one State Diocese in the whole of South-East. Anambra has five Dioceses – Onitsha, Awka, Nnewi, Ekwulobia and Aguleri.
“Enugu has three Dioceses – Enugu, Nsukka and Awgu. Imo State has four Dioceses – Owerri, Orlu, Okigwe and Ahiara. Abia State has two Dioceses – Umuahia and Aba. Only Ebonyi has one Diocese.
“So, I challenge you the Catholics in Ebonyi to pray about this today and I want to say it before the President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) at this Mass, that we need help, we need a new Diocese here.
“If I want to go to Pastoral visit at Ishiagu. I will drive for 1 and half hours, that’s a long a long distance. But if we have an additional Diocese, it will bring the church closer to the people.
“I want to thank the CBCN for all the efforts they have already made towards the materialisation of this intention but we like them to put more firewood to the fire. So, that’s an intention and I want you to pray about it it toady.
“Something happened yesterday at the Ochudo Centenary City. The Governor and his Cabinet and a cross section of our priests gathered for the groundbreaking ceremony of a big church building.
The ground we prepared by my predecessor and the regimes of Chief Martin Elechi and David Umahi but it is under the current government in the State that the dream is going to become a reality.”
Governor Francis Nwifuru in his remarks expressed happiness on the growth the Diocese and declared that the new cathedral would be ready for use in the next 12 months.
He urged Priests of the Diocese to represent the image of the Diocese at all times the way the Bishop of the Diocese and his Predecessor are doing.