By Alex Enebeli
Enugu, March 14, 2023 The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, has mourned the former Anglican Archbishop of the Niger and Bishop of Awka Diocese, Church of Nigeria, Most Rev. Maxwell Anikwenwa.
This is contained in a statement issued in Enugu by the National Publicity Secretary of the group, Dr Alex Ogbonnia, and made available to newsmen on Tuesday.
Ogbonnia described Anikwenwa’s demise as shocking and a loss to the South-East and Nigeria in general.
Anikwenwa reportedly died on Monday, March 13 at the age of 83.
Ogbonnia stated, “Ohaneze received with shock, the sad news of the passing on of the former Dean of the Church of Nigeria, Bishop Anikwenwa.”
He added that Anikwenwa rendered invaluable support to Ohaneze Ndigbo, while alive.
According to him, the cleric was a notable member of Imeobi Ohaneze Ndigbo and will attend meetings, offering profound advice and organic solidarity.
“He stood for the unity of Ndigbo with a proviso that with the unity of purpose, the Igbo ingenuity, resourcefulness, cosmopolitanism and adventurism would be rewarding.
“Anikwenwa distinguished himself as a moral edifice, who loathed the lame argument that religion and Church do not mix.
“Rather, the Church has enormous roles to play in sanitising and edifying the democratic process for the good of the nation,” Ogbonnia added.
He described Anikwenwa as an iconic cleric, whose roles in the service of God and humanity received the blessings of the Lord.
He added that the Secretary General of Ohaneze Ndigbo Worldwide, Amb. Okey Emuchay, lamented that the Igbo had lost eminent persons such as Prof. George Obiozor, Mbazulike Amechi and now Anikwenwa, among others, at a critical time that their services were most needed.
He stated: “As St. Paul would say, Marxwell Anikwenwa has fought a good fight and has finished the race.
“What awaits him now is the crown of the glory, which only the Lord, the upright judge will offer to him on the appointed day.
“While we send our condolences to the Anglican Communion and the members of the immediate family, it is the prayers of all the organs of Ohaneze Ndigbo that the Almighty God will grant his soul an eternal rest.’’