Enugu Goes Gay As Msgr Obiora Ike, Cidjap Mark Anniversary

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All roads now seem to be leading to the Ofuobi Africa Centre, Independence Layout, Enugu, venue of the 30th anniversary of the Catholic Institute for Development, Justice and Peace, and the 60th birthday celebration of an outstanding Roman Catholic Priest in Enugu Diocese, Monsignor Professor Obiora Francis Ike, who incidentally founded the Institute (CIDJAP) 30 years ago.

CIDJAP, Enugu, which was established in line with the proclamation of Pope John Paul the sixth in 1968-that Catholic Dioceses across the world should establish commissions of Peace and Justice in continuation of the message of Christ, has, since 1986 when it was established, touched and positively transformed the lives of the needy in the society, in numerous marvelous ways, under the very able leadership of its founder and Director, Msgr Prof Obiora Ike-providing wonderful services in human right protection, prisoners welfare, entrepreneurial leadership, research, orphanages, children’s education sponsorship, vocational skill acquisition, healthcare, agriculture, housing and environment, funding of small projects, information technology and management, micro finance banking, caritas generally, among many others.

In his address at a mini conference held November last year to herald these major events of this week, the Director, Monsignor Ike, had informed the audience that “the key mission of CIDJAP was to transform people to be self-reliant”, adding that over 990 transformational or humanitarian projects have been undertaken by CIDJAP since her inception in 1986, top among which is the micro-financing efforts through the then Umuchinemere Community Bank – now Umuchinemere Pro credit Micro Finance Bank, which started with only N5,000, but is now worth over N3bn in cash and asset base.

Also spectacular during the week, at the same venue (Ofuobi African Centre; one of the good projects of Msgr Ike) will be the celebration of his (Msgr Ike’s) life at 60. Msgr Professor Ike is a multi-talented creature of God, who, as contained in his biography is “a chip of the old block-with many leading traits and characteristics of his father, late Pa Richard Ike, who was known for achieving so many ‘firsts’ at his young age.”

He will be celebrating his 60 years of birth, 35 years a priest, 30 years as founder/director of CIDJAP, 40 years as a teacher, 20 years founding member of Umuchinemere Bank, 10 years as President of Club of Rome Nigeria, amongst others.

A peep into the life history of this legendary Catholic Priest and renowned academic scholar, Msgr Prof. Obiora Ike, reveals how he had, in his childhood days, resolved to strive to give dignity to the poor, hope to the marginalized, freedom to the oppressed, and make the society a better place.

There will also hold, an International Conference marking these two major events with programmes spread between tomorrow, 5th and 11th April, with a major theme: “Witnessing Christian Action Towards Integral Development, Inter-Religious Dialogue And Human Promotion” and several other sub-themes/lecture notes to be delivered by eminent scholars, notable among which are Msgr Theophilus Okere, Dr Jake Otonko of Nassarawa State University, Dr. Felix Ugwuozor, Prof. Bath. Okolo (former VC, UNN), Prof. Onyema Ocheoha and Msgr Prof Obiora Ike himself.


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