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Cleric canvasses restructuring of Nigeria before 2023 polls

By Guardian Nigeria
18 March 2022   |   2:40 am
Outgoing Archbishop of Owerri Ecclesiastic Province, Dr. Anthony J. V. Obinna, yesterday, declared that Nigeria should be restructured in tune with the dictates of modern nations

[files] A voter drops ballot papers into a ballot box during an election in Nigeria.

Outgoing Archbishop of Owerri Ecclesiastic Province, Dr. Anthony J. V. Obinna, yesterday, declared that Nigeria should be restructured in tune with the dictates of modern nations before the 2023 general elections.

Obinna made the assertion at the Assumpta Catholic Cathedral, Owerri, Imo State while briefing journalists on the activities to mark his exit and replacement on June 23, 2022.

The cleric was ordained Reverend Father in 1972 and consecrated Bishop 29 years ago, making his service to the Church 50 years as a priest later in the year.

He explained that until that date, he remains the Apostolic Administrator of Owerri Archdiocese, adding: “I will still be serving with the authority of a Bishop in Owerri Archdiocese until Archbishop Lucious Ugorji is formally installed on Thursday, June 23, 2022.”

On the Russia-Ukraine war, the cleric said Christians should pray for all parties to end the hostilities.

On the enthronement of the president of Igbo extraction in the country, Obinna said the call should fall in line with the aspirations of most Nigerians of other ethnic groups.

He insisted that there should be well organised national and sub-national governments, adding: “Let Nigeria be restructured before elections so that we have equitable and more fraternal votes. Others have done worse than what the Igbo have done, even though the country had held the Igbo by the jugular.”

He lamented the distortions, hatred and brutal condition of the Igbo ethnic group in the last 29 years of his bishopric position, saying he had encountered situations from various persons, but that he had always overcome them.

Obinna appealed for forgiveness, stressing: “I have been asking for forgiveness where I have gone wrong and I also forgive those I have offended.”

On the new Archbishop, he said he has the latitude to decide how to run the Archdiocese, outside any interference, noting that the Odenigbo lecture series, which started 25 years ago, now depended on Ugorji to sustain Igbo language and culture as the cardinal point of its starting point.