By Gid Ahanonu
Mbieri community in Mbaitoli Local Government Area of Imo State was in festive mood last Sunday as they honoured their son and Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Owerri, Rt. Rev. Chukwuma Oparah, Ph.D, JP, and his wife, Mrs. Chidiebere Oparah (Mama Owerri).
The epic event, which was the first of its kind in the community was attended by people from within and outside the town, including the Clergy, traditional rulers, government officials, church groups as well as religious and social organizations.
The organization and the programme of events as well as the well documented and colourful brochure, were testimonies that the star-studded reception planning committee, headed by the indefatigable Mayor of Obazu, Chief Sir Dr. Onyewuchi Asinobi, left no stone unturned to ensure a hitch free and successful event.
Indeed, Mbieri stood still for Bishop Chukwuma Oparah and his wife and the mood was almost like a carnival.
According to Chief Asinobi, the attendance greatly surpassed the expectation of the planning committee as the high number of canopies and chairs made available were insufficient to contain the surging crowd.
The Anglican Bishop of Okigwe South Diocese, Rt. Rev. David Onuoha, who preached during the opening service, commended the people of Mbieri for honouring their son who was chosen by God to lead the 60 year old Diocese of Owerri.
He described Mbieri people as hardworking and industrious, stressing that the town has also produced eminent personalities.
The Prelate called for righteousness, peace and cleanliness among the people, adding that all will render account of their stewardship before God.
He equally charged Bishop Oparah to be a good shepherd and advised him to manifest the Excellency of God as an ambassador of Christ.
The service was conducted by the Archdeacon of Amaike Mbieri Archdeaconry, Ven. Chidi Oparah while the first and second lessons were read by the Bishop’s wife, Mrs. Chidiebere Oparah and the Bishop himself respectively.
The guests were thrilled by the enterprising choirs from Obazu, Achi, Amaike and Umunjam Mbieri.The highpoint of the event was the presentation of souvenir to Bishop Oparah and his wife by Chief Sir Onyewuchi Asinobi on behalf of Mbieri Nwaotuoke.