Okowa Mourns Death of Two Catholic Priests, Decries Violence

Ifeanyi Okowa

Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba

Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, has commiserated with the Bishops and the entire members of the community in the state, particularly the Catholic Diocese of Warri over the sudden demise of Very Rev. Fr. (Dr) Louis Odudu.

Okowa also condoled with Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Issele-Uku, Dr. Michael Elue, the priests and parishioners over the death of Rev. Fr. Anthony Dibia.

Okowa in a statement said the death of Odudu, who was reportedly abducted by gunmen, was particularly regrettable and unfortunate especially as he was reported to have escaped from his abductors prior to his death.

The governor condemned in strong terms the renewed onslaught against priests and clergymen assuring that government would continue to work closely with security agencies to check the ugly trend.

“On behalf of the government and people of Delta State, I condole with His Lordship, Dr John Afareha, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Warri, the priests and parishioners over the death of Dr Louis Odudu.

“As a government, we will continue to ensure the security of lives and property. We will continue to partner with security agencies to ensure that Delta State remains unsafe for kidnappers and other criminals to carry out their evil enterprise.

“Right now, we must all come together as a people of faith and, most importantly, Nigerians to condemn this renewed attacks on clergymen. This tragedy affects us all and we join the Catholic community to mourn the deceased,” he said.

Until his death, Odudu was the Chaplain of the Seat of Wisdom Catholic Chaplaincy of the Petroleum Training Institute, Effurun, Delta State.

The governor, who also expressed sadness over the death of Rev Father Dibia, described the late clergyman as one of the most vibrant and charismatic priests in the Catholic Diocese of Issele-Uku who was committed to the growth and development of the church wherever he served.

According to the statement, “The death of Dibia comes at a time when his services were most needed especially as he was a committed Church builder and had footprints of his development efforts in all the parishes he served.

“Although, Fr Dibia was reported to have died of health challenges, he will be missed by Catholic Priests, Catholic faithfuls, members of the Charismatic Renewal of Nigeria, friends and family members,” the Governor said.

Until his death, he was the parish priest of St. Monica’s Catholic Church, Ibusa, Delta State and the Assistant Chaplain of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal of Nigeria (CCRN).