By Nsan Ndoma-Neji, Calabar
Arrangements have been concluded by the Methodist Church Nigeria to enthrone his lordship, Rt. Rev. Barr. Otuekong Ukut, Ph.D, as the pioneer Bishop of Atamunu Diocese, Calabar, the Cross River State capital by the Archbishop, Archdiocese of Calabar, His Grace, Most Rev. Amb. Chimezuo Nwankpa on Sunday this week.
Rt. Rev. Ukut disclosed this to journalists on Monday in Calabar, while unveiling the programme of activities lined up for the inauguration of the Diocese of Atamunu Calabar same day, as part of the activity for the ceremony.
Ukut, who is often called by friends and associates as ‘billionaire bishop,’ stated that the ceremony would have three events intertwined in one on same day with men and women of faith drawn from different denominations around the world to grace the mega event.
He said, “The three events are intertwined. It’s the reason we called it ‘Trinity Service,’ which would showcase almost all the stride that we archived to reverence God Almighty.”
Giving an insight to activities lined up for the ceremony, the former Permanent Secretary with Akwa Ibom State government and banker-turned-cleric said, “The ceremony would kick-start with inauguration of the diocese, enthronement of myself as pioneer bishop of Atamunu Diocese, and presentation of the lay president, Elder Dr. Gabriel Inyang, to the congregation same day being May 7, 2023.”
According to the cleric, other activities for the mega event, include: commissioning of multi-million naira projects, which include: the bishop’s office, Favour Shopping Centre Complex, and branded materials.
Other projects which the church shall also commission are: school block at 97 Atamunu Street, at the permanent site of the Susan Away Secondary School and laying of the foundation stone for the bishop’s court, still undergoing construction.
Among other events to mark the activity for the event are: courtesy visit on the treaty king of Efik kingdom, the Obong of Calabar, by the prelate and his entourage to rub minds on issues affecting mankind and the Nigerian nation with members in council in attendance.
Rev Ukut added, “And on Sunday morning, the inauguration of the Diocese of Atamunu will take place, and my humble self will be enthroned as the pioneer bishop of the diocese of Atamunu on that same which is Sunday.
“And I will in turn present the lay president, Elder Dr. Inyang, and in the evening, there will be a prelate party, which will be hosted by the new bishop, myself, the Rt. Rev. Barr. Otuekong Ukut, Ph.D, at the cathedral ground.
“That outlook is to formalize what the Methodist conference did on the August 14 and 15, 2022, where I was selected the pioneer bishop of the Diocese of Atamunu and the diocese was created out of the Calabar Diocese. By the Grace of God, Cross River State now has three dioceses, the diocese of Calabar, diocese of Atamunu, and the diocese of Ikom.”
He informed that expected at the ceremony is the Prelate of the Methodist Church Nigeria, His Eminence Dr. Oliver Ali Aba, JP, and his entourage and secretary of Conference, Rt. Rev. Babatunde Taiwo, and Rev. Inyang Effiong and his entourage.
Others include: the immediate past Prelate of Methodist Church Nigeria, His Eminence Samuel Chukwu Emeka Kanu and wife.