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Archbishop Anikwenwa Begins Last Home Journey

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By Izunna Okafor, Awka

The Province on the Niger Anglican communion presided over by the Archbishop Ecclesiastical Province on the Niger, and the Anglican Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Reverend Alexander Chibuzo Ibezim, PhD, has announced the burial programmes of the late Dean, Church of Nigeria, Anglican communion, Late Most Reverend Maxwell Samuel Chukwunweike Anikwenwa.

This reporter, Izunna Okafor, gathered that the remains of former Dean of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Archbishop Maxwell Samuel Chukwunweike Anikwenwa has begun its final home journey June 13th, 2023.

A statement released by the Anikwenwa Family, and jointly signed by the Archbishop Province of the Niger & Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev. Alexander C. Ibezim, Ph.D.; the Chairman, Burial Planning Committee, Dr. Emma Ezenwaji; and Ven. Uche Anikwenwa (for the Family), said the obsequies for Anikwenwa began with an evening of tributes which at the National Christian Centre Central Business District, Abuja Tuesday June 13 by 5pm, and at Paul University, Awka on Tuesday, June 27 at 11 am.

The statement said the evening of tributes would be followed by Service of Songs, first, at St. James Church, Awkuzu on Sunday, June 25; at the Church of the Pentecost, Awka on Monday, June 26 at 4 pm, respectively; and then at the Basilica of St. Andrew’s Onitsha at 5pm.

It said Wednesday, June 28 would be the lying in State at Archbishop Anikwenwa’s country home,
Awkuzu at 1pm, while Commendation Service will be held at St. Peter’s Church, Awkuzu same day at 4:00 in the evening.

The statement said Anikwenwa’s body would leave Iyienu Mission Hospital Mortuary, Ogidi, to Awka on Thursday, June 29 at 6am for lying in state at his Awka Residence
Oikos Episcopos, No 1 Nnediogo Crescent by Demonstration Sch. Road, Ifite-Awka, Commissioner’s Quarters between 7 to 9 am.

It also said the funeral service for the late Archbishop of Province 11 and retired Bishop of Awka , late Anikwenwa would take place at the Cathedral Church of St. Faith, Awka, at 11am., before his remains are moved to his native parish which is St. Peter’s Church, Awkuzu, later in the evening for interment.

It said other activities would include condolences at the late Archbishop’s Awkuzu residence (Amara Grace House), Awkuzu funeral Rites as well as condolences by the late Bishop’s in-laws at the same venue on Friday, March 30, 2023.

It said the condolences will continue on Saturday, July 1, while burial activities will be concluded on Sunday, July 2nd, with an 8 AM outing Service at St. Peters Church, Awkuzu.

Recall that Anikwenwa’s demise occurred on March 13, as was announced by the Secretary General of the Church of Nigeria, Bishop Anthony Poggo. He died at the age of 83.

Archbishop Anikwenwa was the former Archbishop of Province II and the Retired Bishop of Awka Diocese, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion).

He was born in Anambra State in 1940, educated at the Trinity Theological College, Umuahia, and ordained priest in December 1966.

He was appointed the first Bishop of Awka in 1987, made Archbishop of Province 11, in 2000, and later Dean of the  Church of Nigeria. He retired on 22 November 2010.

According to the Director, Media and Communications, Province of the Niger and Diocese of Awka, Comrade Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, PhD, who read the press statement to Journalists in Awka, former President Goodluck Ebere Jonathan; Governor Chukwuma Soludo; Speaker, Anambra State House of Assembly, Hon Somtochukwu Udeze;
other governors and former governors, among other politicians and diplomats areexpected at the burial ceremony.

Comrade Dr Odogwu, is the Chairman of NUJ Anambra Sate Council, and also the Chairman of the Publicity Sub-Committee of the burial.

Flanked by former Managing Director of the Anambra Broadcasting Service and Public Relations Officer of the Paul University, Awka, Sir Ikechukwu Abana, and other committee members, Odogwu further announced that over hundred Archbishops and Bishops as well as hundreds of clergymen and captains of industries from different parts of the world are expected at the burial. The Publicity Sub-committee informed that Anambra state would be shut down for the late Archbishop known for his spirit of ecumenism and his outstanding contributions and legacies in the advancement of Christ’s kingdom.

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