By Ononye VC
It was a joyous home coming for the Archbishop of Benin City and Immediate past Chairman of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, (CBCN) Most Rev Augustine Obiora Akubeze who arrived Benin City from the Plenary of the CBCN held in Abuja where he handed over the office of the CBCN Chairmanship to the newly elected Archbishop of Owerri Archdiocese Most Rev Ugorji recently.

The Archbishop who was received at the Benin City Airport within the Edo State Capital at exactly 6:15pm expressed excitement and gratitude over the warm reception they accorded him thanked the Archdiocesan Laity Council for facilitating the surprise welcome back party as he also appreciated God for the safe journey mercies accorded him all through the times he was always on the road for the CBCN duties, in spite of the current insecurity situation…He further declared, “continue to pray for me, as I will continue to remember you in my prayers” all I have to say, is thank you, thank you” he said.

Earlier in his address, the Archdiocesan Laity President, Mr Anirah commended the Archbishop for always having time to attend to the needs of the Lay Faithful of the Archdiocese, adding that in spite of his (Akubeze’s) many responsibilities as the then CBCN President, “he still find time to honour invitations, including, Marriages and Funerals” while appreciating his act of sense of belonging and humility.

Amongst dignitaries that earlier storm the Airport to receive the EX CBCN President include, top ranking members of the Clergy and Laity, to include, the Vicar General of the Archdiocese, Very Rev Fr Dr Augustine Ehigie, the Archdiocesan Chancellor, Very Rev Fr Dr Michael Oyanoafoh, the Dean of Benin. City, Very Rev Fr Dr Edwin Omorogbe, the Benin City Rt Rev Monsignori Festus Omede, Paul Enow respectively, Archdiocesan Laity Council President, Mr Tony Anirah and members of his steering committee, amongst other Christ Faithful.

The Welcome party that further took place at the Archbishop’s Court within the Catholic Mission Estate this evening was heralded by a welcome cultural dance by the CWO members from the Augustinian community in Benin City, as well as special guard of honor mounted by students from St Paul Minor Seminary in Benin City.

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