By Gid Ahanonu
The 2015 Odenigbo lecture was delivered yesterday at the Obiri Odenigbo, Maria Assumpta Cathedral, Owerri.
The Odenigbo 2015 kicked off on Friday with a traditional wrestling contest and dances, after which the lecturer, Rev. Fr. Prof. John Iheanyi Obilo of the Imo State University (IMSU) Owerri, mounted the rostrum yesterday to deliver the lecture entitled “Obe Jesu Kristi: Ofo ndu, ogu ndu”
At a pre-event press briefing on Wednesday, the Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Owerri, His Grace Most Rev. Anthony J.C. Obinna, said that the Odenigbo Lecture began in 1994, the same year Owerri transformed into an Archdiocese.
He said that the anniversary of the archdiocese as well as the Odenigbo lecture were usually celebrated same time annually.
Archbishop Obinna said that, in addition, Pope Francis had declared the first day of September this year as the World Day of prayer and praises to God for the creation of mankind and preservation of the environment.
According to the prelate, the event will also be marked with a clean-up of the church premises as cleanliness is next to godliness.
He said Odenigbo is meant to expose talents of Ndigbo in arts, wrestling, drama and dance as well as promote the Igbo language.
He called on communities still carrying out obnoxious practices such as Osu caste system, ume, igba afa and the like should desist from such, as Jesus Christ has set everyone free.
Archbishop Obinna, who did his briefing in Igbo language, said that the topic was to upgrade the spiritual life of the people. He urged Ndigbo to take their language seriously, having been a gift from God.