In a statement made available to IGBERE TV by the Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Francis Nwaze, the Governor made the announcement during the Episcopal Ordination and Installation of Rt. Rev. Msgr. Peter Nworie Chukwu as the 3rd Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Abakaliki on Thursday, August 19, 2021.
He equally announced the naming of two flyovers after the retiring Bishop as a way of immortalizing his reign as a Bishop in the State.
He commended the Catholic Community for the support given to the retiring Bishop Michael Nnachi Okoro during the period of his episcopal reign.
“The contributions of the church to the Educational Development of Nigeria is unparalleled and for this, I, on-behalf of the State wish to give the King David University of Medical Sciences Uburu to the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria to own and run.
“There is a decline in our academic excellence and morality. I am not a Catholic but I believe in the discipline and doctrine of the Catholic church.
“The King David University of Medical Sciences Uburu was approved by the National Universities Commission as the 199th University in Nigeria.
“We have had a good relationship with the Catholic Community in Ebonyi State including Bishop Michael Nnachi Okoro and our dear Reverend Father Abraham Nwali.
“I am so excited with the joy of Ebonyi people to welcome you. It shows that you are highly acceptable to the people. As a Christian State, we will extend to you the support we gave to our retired Bishop Nnachi Okoro.”
He announced the donation of a Land Cruiser Jeep to the new Bishop to enhance his operation expressing hope of continued partnership with the Catholic Community for spiritual prosperity of the State
Earlier, the new Bishop of the Abakaliki Catholic Diocese, Most Reverend Peter Nworie Chukwu was ordained in the order of Melchizedek.
The ordination took place at the Saint Theresa Catholic Cathedral, Abakaliki on Thursday.
In a homily, the Principal Consecrator and Apostolic Nuncio to Nigeria, Most Reverend Antonio Guido Filipazzi charged the new Bishop to endeavor to discharge his duties devoid of manifestation of ethnicity but do so with Christian generosity.
He advised all Christians including the clergy to shun all forms of discord but embrace each other as brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus.
Most Reverend Antonio Guido Filipazzi charged the new Bishop to endeavor to take adequate care of the flocks entrusted in his care and try to live a life of holiness to enable him to impart the same on the Laity.
He appealed to the retired Bishop Nnachi Okoro to assume the role of Bishop emeritus and father of the Diocese, advising the new Bishop and the Church on the Doctrine of the Church from time to time.
“To be Bishop emeritus requires humility and this Bishop Emeritus Okoro had adequately shown during his episcopal reign.”
In a goodwill message, the President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, Arch Bishop Augustine Akubueze congratulated the Catholic Community and people of Ebonyi State on the successful ordination of the new Bishop.
“I congratulate the entire Abakaliki Diocese for the successful ordination and installation exercise. I implore all of you to give him the needed cooperation to succeed”
Arch Bishop Akubueze prayed to God to guide the new Bishop in his Service in the Lord’s vineyard.
He expressed gratitude to Bishop Emeritus Michael Nnachi for begetting a successor after 43 years of episcopal reign.
In a reaction, the Vice-President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, Most Reverend Nautilus Ugorji expressed gratitude to Governor Umahi for the massive transformation of Ebonyi State and wonderful partnership with the Church.
He also thanked the Governor for the handover of the King David University of Medical Sciences Uburu to the Conference and prayed to God to bless him.
In a remark, the new Bishop, Bishop Peter Nworie Chukwu thanked the Pope, the Bishops, and the Laity for finding him worthy to serve in an episcopal capacity.
“In deed, I am overwhelmed with joy to see all of you, a mammoth crowd of worshippers who have come to witness my episcopal ordination today. I thank His Holiness the Pope for appointing me as a Bishop under the influence of the Holy Spirit. I thank the Bishops Conference of Nigeria for coming in their numbers and to make a statement that I am now one of them.”
Bishop Nworie Chukwu also thanked Governor David Nweze Umahi for the donation of the King David University of Medical Sciences Uburu to the Catholic Church as well as the gift of a brand new Jeep to the Diocese.
He commended the retired Bishop Michael Nnachi Okoro for his mentorship role in his development in the vineyard of God and expressed hope that God Almighty would equip him with all the facilities to excel.
The Bishop pledged to dedicate all his strength to the Service of God and humanity.