Catholic University Of Ogoja To Take Off
The new St. Benedict’s Cathedral of the Catholic Church and the Catholic University of Ogoja Diocese would be built simultaneously at Ndok and Ishi Ibohr locations, respectively in Cross River State Northern Senatorial District.
This was the crucial agreement reached between the church and the host community – Ish Ibohr (Ishibori) on Saturday November 30, 2019 at the Palace of the Ntol – Mgbeje Ama 111 of Ogoja.
This agreement which was before the head of the police in Ogoja Mr. Haruna Adamu was to facilitate the smooth take off of the new St. Benedict’s Cathedral church at Ndok which the host community, Ishi Ibohr, was not in support. This culminated in an open peaceful march by the women to His Lordship – Rt. Rev, Donatus Edet Akpan, to deliver the community’s message.
The host community held the strong view that the seat of the church which was established on the arrival of the catholic mission on May 15, 1921, two years to its centenary, cannot be relocated to another point when there was available land for the new cathedral within the vicinity of the old one.
However, of the three sites suggested, the Bishop said Ndok won the hearts of the church priests because of its strategic nature. This, however, did not go down well with the Ishi Ibohr community who hosted Reverend Fathers James Mallet and Douvry, the two Holy Ghost priests, who landed Ishi Ibohr (Ishibori) on May 15, 1921, on the eve of Pentecost to establish the church. From here, the catholic faith started spreading, like wild fire, to other arrears in the northern part of the state and beyond, precisely Tiv land in Benue State.
However, the reason which His Lordship on November 19, 2019, had adduced to the delegation from the community, on the burning issue, were reinstated by the Vica General of the church – Rev. Fr. Peter Obele Abue at this crucial occasion.
To make the situation a Win-Win situation, the take off of the Catholic University, at the former site of St. Thomas College grounds, was agreed upon and to commence on Monday December 3, 2019. This would begin with the clearing of the site infested with bushes and then renovation of the buildings.
It was this pledge, made by the Vicar General who, incidentally is the chairman of the board of the University and the duo of Rev. Fr. Joe Marcus Ugan – a member of this board, and Rev. Fr. Paschal Igbaji – the most senior priest from the Ogaja zone, to appeased the community with paglage on behalf of the bishop. This let off the node for the ground breaking of the new cathedral, a few hours ahead, which was a very huge success.
This understanding between the two – the church and community, which is to be followed, with minimum delay, with a written agreement, was witnessed by the security team headed by the DPO of Ogoja – Mr. Haruna Adamu who, equally, accompanied the leaders of the community to address the uneasy assembly, in wait, on the outcome of the discussion.
Members of the community headed by the Ntol – Mgbeje Ama, who took part in the deliberation, were Dr. Ikani Wogar, Mr. Ignatius Ama Ntaji, Ita Akuku the IDC Counselor, chairman and Head of publicity/Information respectively, the women leaders Madam Monica Ntaji (the oldest active woman of the community) Madam Ajoro Igogo, elders Ushang Imoh, Agbor Ibu etc.