Tuesday, March 28

Thank you Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah For Building Nnewi Catholic Cathedral Singlehandedly

By Tobenna Obiano

Something spectacular happened at Nnewi, Anambra State of Nigeria just two days ago. It was the installation of the newly appointed Bishop of Nnewi Diocese, Most. Rev. Dr. Jonas Benson Okoye at Nnewi. 

It was a gathering of the powerful and mighty. The outgoing and incoming Governor of Anambra State, Willie Obiano and Charles Soludo were both present. The former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi was there. The past and current National Chairmen of APGA, Victor Umeh and Victor Oye were there also. 

It also had the presence of two serving Senators, Ifeanyi Ubah and Uche Ekwunife. There were many traditional Rulers, led by Igwe Nnewi, Igwe Orizu. Some other members of the National and State Assemblies, and members of the Anambra State Executive Council. Some powerful entrepreneurs, Cletus Ibeto, Innocent Chukwuma and a whole lot of others. 

The Cathedral was filled to the brim, and had nearly fifty Catholic Bishops in attendance. The holy mass was led by the ArchBishop of Benin Diocese and President, Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, Most. Rev. Augustine Akubueze and had in attendance, the Papal Nuncio to Nigeria, Most. Rev. Guadiono Fillipazi and a pool of over three hundred Catholic Priests and other religious. 

The venue of the mass was inside the Catholic Cathedral being built singlehandedly by Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah, a serving Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, representing Anambra South Senatorial district. 

There has been a long, yet sad narrative so wrongly pushed forward alleging that Ifeanyi Ubah who took over the building of the Cathedral and was taking so long to complete it. Over eight years in building it. They’ve written so many wrong things about this young man. 

It took Awka Diocese and donations of all parishes under the same Diocese almost twenty years to complete the St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The largest Cathedral in Nigeria now is St. Theresa’s Catholic Cathedral, Nsukka, and it took them thirty years, plus donations from all churches under it and the help of the incumbent Governor of Enugu State (Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi) who coincidentally is from Nsukka for the Cathedral to be completed.

Cathedral projects are not small ones. The only man under the earth that has began a Cathedral project and completed it singlehandedly is the former President of Ivory Coast, Houphouet Boigny now late. The next man about to accomplish the same feat is this Nnewi man, the super wealthy oil magnet, Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah. 

Unfortunately, for crass arrogance, bile hate and silly politics, politicians and their footsoldiers had persistently maintained that Ubah either isn’t serious with the Cathedral project, or was simply not willing to complete it. These are individuals who have not even built a toilet facility for their local communities. 

The goodnews was, under the same Cathedral roof, men and women, all gathered and celebrated mass, the first was the 75th birthday and retirement mass of the outgoing Bishop, the deeply religious, humble and kind Nna Ora, Most. Rev. Hilary Odili Okeke. And the second now has become the installation of the Diocesan new Bishop, Most. Rev. Jonas Benson Okoye. 

The retiring Bishop, Nna Ora, Bishop Okeke during his speech praised Sen. Ubah, whom he referred to as his, “man man and a great man”, for what he termed his unequalled generosity and efforts in building a befitting place of worship for God singlehandedly. He thanked him immensely and prayed God to bless him resoundingly. 

At the reserved seat for Sen. Ubah and family, was an inscription which read, “Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah, benefactor of the Cathedral”. It tells a lot about the genuineness and honesty of the people of the Diocese. And for that singular gesture alone, it does reassure of a grateful heart. 

All those who said evil things, talked wrong about him and his determination to complete the Cathedral project, are now proudly celebrating and worshipping God under the same Cathedral he is building. 

Thank you Ifeanyi Ubah. 

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