By Odogwu Emeka Odogwu
The Bishop-elect for Nnewi Diocese, Ven. Ndubuisi Obi is to replace Archbishop Godwin Okpala. He is a Venerable at St. Augustine’s Anglican Church, Federal Housing Estate 3-3, Onitsha in the Diocese on the Niger.
He is a pragmatic Anglican breed of diocese on the Niger under Bishop Owen Nwokolo, PhD. An evangelist to the core and a true Christian from Nnewichi Nnewi.
Before now, some indigenes of Nnewi Anglican Diocese under the aegis of the Laity of Anglican Diocese of Nnewi demanded for an indigenous Bishop for the Diocese to replace the outgoing Bishop, and Archbishop on the Niger, His Grace, The Most Rev. Prof. Godwin. I. N Okpala. Okpala retires this September at the age of 70.
They made their demands known by appealing that the Bishop to be elected should be an indigene of Nnewi Diocese, both serving within or outside the Diocese of Nnewi, from Nnewi town, Oraifite, Ozubulu, Okija, Ichi, Ukpor, Azia, Ihembosi and Orsumoghu.
They wrote the Primate and other Archbishops in the Church of Nigeria on their stand informing them too that they have rejected translation of any Bishop, insisting that the Bishop to be elected should have at least a minimum of first degree.
They accused Okpala of anti-Nnewi stance as out of twenty (20) Archdeacons in Nnewi Diocese, only five (5) Archdeacons are Indigenous among others.
Those Obi beat to emerge were Vicar of Diocesan Church Center (DCC), St. Andrews Anglican Church, Nkwo Nnewi, Ven. Okechukwu Emeribe, the Archdeacon of Umudim Archdeaconry and Vicar of St. Stephen Anglican Church Umudim Nnewi, Ven. Dr. Arinze Anene, and the Archdeacon of Nnewichi Archdeaconry and Vicar of St. Mark’s Anglican Church Nnewichi, Ven. Ekene Iroanusi.
Others were the Archdeacon of Ebonise Central Archdeaconry, Ven. Dr. Ikechukwu Okafor and Vicar of St. Matthew Anglican Church Orafite, Rev. Canon Prince Chukwuma.
While Ven. Okechukwu Emeribe, Ven. Ekene Iroanusi and Ven. Arinze Anene were considered favourites, Rev. Canon Prince Chukwuma was feared to spring up surprises.
Other Nnewi Diocese indigenous clergies not in Nnewi diocese in front line were, Ven. Ndubuisi Obi who is from Nnewichi but serving in the diocese on the Niger, Ven. Brown Ofoeme from Uruagu Nnewi but in United State of America, Ven. Basil Ndupu and Ven. Okwuosa from Orafite though in government appointment.
Ven. Ndubuisi Obi was in God’s mind as the Bishops at the conference voted for him convincingly.
Nnewi already had Bishop Prosper Amah of Anglican Diocese of Ogbaru and now Bishop Elect, Ven Ndubuisi Obi, making it two bishops from Nnewi town.