GOVERNOR of Anambra State, Chukwuma Soludo, has described the state as pace setter in religious development of Igbo land.
Prof. Soludo made the assertion in his congratulatory message to Catholic Bishop of Ekwulobia Diocese, Most Rev. Dr Peter Okpalaeke, on his appointment as a Cardinal by Pope Francis.
A statement issued on behalf of government and good people of Anambra State by Gov. Soludo’s Press Secretary, Christian Aburim described the elevation as a befitting reward for Bishop Okpalaeke.
Describing Okpaleke as an exemplary servant in God’s vineyard, who through great personal sacrifices and outstanding ecumenism over the years, has proved his mettle as great son of Anambra State.
Explaining that Bishop Okpalaeke was the second Cardinal from Anambra State after Francis Cardinal Arinze, Gov. Soludo also noted that only two Africans, including Bishop Okpalaeke, are among 21 bishops currently elevated to the rank of Cardinals.
Gov. Soludo, therefore, prayed God to grant Bishop Okpalaeke more strength, sound health as well as wisdom to excel in his new assignment.
It will be recalled that at noon on Sunday after the recitation of the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis announced that at a Consistory scheduled for August 27, he will create 21 new cardinals that will include Okpalaeke.