Those agitating for the creation of Mbaitoli Diocese in the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, have been advised to go about it peacefully, patiently, and in accordance with the set rules for the creation of new Dioceses in the Communion.
The Anglican Bishop of Owerri, Rt. Rev. C.C. Okorocha, Ph.D gave this advice when he paid a courtesy call on the Eze of Obazu Mbieri Autonomous Community, HRH Eze Francis E. Agunwa on his arrival for the commencement of the just concluded 1st Session of the 19th Synod of the Anglican Diocese of Owerri, which was hosted by the Obazu-Mbieri Archdeaconry at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Obazu-Mbieri.
Bishop Okorocha noted that the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) had placed a moratorium of five years on the creation of new dioceses in the communion, and promised not to be a hindrance in the pursuit of the creation of the proposed Mbaitoli Diocese, provided due process was followed.
He described as improper and unfair the way and manner a parcel of land belonging to the Owerri Diocese, which situates adjacent to the Archdeacon Dennis Seminary, (ADS) Orie Mbieri, was entered into by ‘ some people demanding a new Diocese, without the knowledge and clearance of the constituted authority in the Diocese.
The Prelate warned against any action taken by any person or group to beat the kick-off or the gun in a race, in order not to end up being like some of the Dioceses in the Communion which today are unable to fund the statutory operations of their Dioceses, including paying staff salaries as and when due.
Speaking on the non-functioning of the Obazu Community Grammar School, (OCCOGRAM) Obazu-Mbieri for sometime now, the Lord Bishop expressed worry about the present state of the School.
The Chief Shepherd of the Diocese disclosed the intention of the church to come to the school, to turn it around for good, and also return “OBZ London” (Obazu), and Mbaitoli in general to a centre of education, adding that it is the responsibility of the church to be involved in the teaching and imparting Godly knowledge to people, as was the case in those good old days.
While he urged the people of the community to do things in such a way as to inherit the Kingdom of God, Bishop Okorocha posited that anything that is got out of force never works well in the end, adding that they should not allow people to use them for politics.
Earlier in his welcome speech, the Traditional Prime Minister of Obazu. High Chief Fidelis C.E. Arisukwu who represented Eze Agunwa who was said to be abroad on medical treatment, sought the Bishop’s prayer for peace and security to continue to reign in the community.
He also prayed the Bishop to help facilitate the creation of the proposed Mbaitoli Diocese, to avoid petition writing and sharing of fliers here and there on the matter.
The Traditional Prime Minister, on behalf of the Eze-in-council and the entire Obazu Community, reiterated their continued loyalty and support to the Episcopal leadership in the Diocese as well as prayed for a successful synod at Obazu.
He used the occasion to introduce some of the community leaders who were present at the courtesy call, including – Chief C.N. Oparaeke, President General of Obazu Welfare Union, his vice – Chief Sir. K.A. Asinobi, Sir Dr. Onyewuchi Asinobi, Mayor of Obazu, Chief (Sir) Francis Ozuzu who acted as the Chief Protocol Officer of the Community, and Sir Engr. Baldwin Onozie, the Synod L.O.C. Chairman and also an illustrious son of Obazu.
Highlight of the courtesy call was a presentation, of a special rendition by the Community to the Bishop who was accompanied by his wife, Dr. (Mrs) Eunice I. Okorocha, his foreign guests, Rev and Mrs Richard Kew who attended the Synod at the instance of the Bishop and wife.