ANAMBRA State Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Charles Soludo, has congratulated Cardinal Peter Ebere Okpalaeke, Bishop of Ekwulobia Diocese in Anambra State, on his elevation to the cardinalate by Pope Francis with 20 others across the globe
Cardinal Okpalaeke, Saturday, at a Consistory in the Vatican City in Rome, receive his Red Hat making him one of the Princes of the universal church.
According to a statement by the press secretary to the governor, Christian Aburime, Governor Soludo, who was at St Peters’ Square, Vatican, Rome, in company of his wife, Mrs Nonye Soludo, as a special guest and leader of Ndi Anambra delegation, described the elevation as a befitting reward for the bishop who over the years, has shown exemplary conduct in the service of God through great personal sacrifices and outstanding contributions to ecumenical services in the church.
With this elevation, Cardinal Okpalaeke becomes the only active Cardinal in Nigeria and also the highest in rank among Nigerian clergy men
Recall that Nigeria has had four cardinals before the appointment of His Eminence, Peter Ebere Cardinal Okpalaeke, namely: Dominic Cardinal Ekandem of blessed memory, Francis Cardinal Arinze, Anthony Cardinal Okojie and John Cardinal Onaiyekan respectively
On behalf of the government and good people of Anambra State, Governor Soludo prayed that God would grant Cardinal Okpalaeke more strength, sound health and wisdom to excel in his new assignment in the vineyard of God, the statement read.
Also, former governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano has felicitated His Eminence, Peter Cardinal Okpaleke over his elevation as cardinal by Pope Francis in Rome on Saturday, 27 August 2022.
According to a statement by a publicist to Chief Obiano, Tony Nezianya, Chief Obiano described the newly created cardinal as most deserving of the elevation and as working diligently in the vineyard of God at various points where he served.
Chief Obiano remarked that even when at some point the cardinal faced challenges in a certain outpost as a bishop, he remained unruffled and became more resolute in accepting his situation as an act of fate.
Drawing from his influences as a Papal Knight of the church, Chief Willie Obiano declared: “I, as Commander of St. Gregory the Great, I wish you well in your new position, which I believe you will most certainly utilise to serve humanity and God who instituted you a cardinal amongst his people”.