AFRICA/NIGERIA - The Pope establishes new diocese of Uromi and appoints first Bishop

Thursday, 15 December 2005

Vatican City (Fides Service) - The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI on 14 December 2005 established the diocese of Uromi (Nigeria) with territory taken from the archdiocese of Benin City making it suffragan of the same metropolitan see. The Holy Father appointed first Bishop of Uromi, Rev. Augustine Obiora Akubeze until now vicar general of the diocese of Issele-Uku.
The new diocese of Uromi (nom. lat. Uromien/sis/) comprises 5 local government areas: Esan West, Esan Central, Inyi, Esan North-East, Esan South-East and Igueben. It is situated in the state of Edo and borders to the north on the diocese of Auchi, to the west with the archdiocese of Benin City, to the south with the diocese of Issele-Uku. The diocese has an area of 2,800sq. km, a population of 787,884, including 102,045 Catholics, gathered in 15 parishes assisted by 48 diocesan priests and 13 religious priests, 29 women religious, and there are 71 major seminarians.La chiesa The church of St Anthony of Padua in Uromi will be the cathedral.
The first Bishop of Uromi Rev. Augustine Obiora Akubeze was born on 25 August 1956 in Kaduna (archdiocese of Kaduna). He studied in Nigeria and in Rome, obtaining a degree in Canon Law at the Pontifical Gregorian University. He was ordained a priest for the diocese of Issele-Uku on 3 October 1987. He has since been: assistant priest, diocesan secretary and chancellor, judicial vicar, parish priest and a member of various commissions. At present Vicar General of the diocese of Issele-Uku. (S.L.) (Agenzia Fides 15/12/2005; Righe 56; Parole 282)