3 January 2018

Nigeria: New Year - Cardinal Arinze, Other Clerics Decry Poverty in Rural Areas

Owerri — HIS Eminence, Francis Cardinal Arinze, the Apostolic Nuncio to Togo and Benin Republic, Archbishop Brain Udaigwe and Bishop of the Catholic Diocese, of Orlu, in Imo State, Most Reverend Augustine Ukwuoma have expressed worry over the level of neglect in the rural areas, just as he said that leaders should learn to give without expecting rewards.

The clerics spoke, during the unveiling of plans of the proposed Azione Verde University, Aqua Viva Hospital and a Catholic Church in Amaju, Amaigbo, Nwangele Local Government Area of Imo State.

Cardinal Arinze was of the view that "for Nigeria to be at the level it is expected, the leaders and the led ought to concentrate on those things that will impact positively on the lives of the people in rural areas."

He added that, "One of the ways to address poverty in the country is for Nigerians to be willing to give assistance to their fellow Nigerians without expecting rewards."

In a brief remark, the Apostolic Nuncio to Togo and Benin Republic, Archbishop Brain Udaigwe, commended Reverend Father Boniface Ifeanyi Duru, for bringing such projects to a rural area.

He said: "The university will impact on the lives of the underprivileged.

"We believe it's location in a village like this will give educational opportunities for people in the area. Also, we hope it is going to provide a wider opportunity to touch lives directly."

For the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese, of Orlu, in Imo State, Most Reverend Augustine Ukwuoma, "The siting of a university and a hospital in a rural area, is a commendable gesture. It shows that health care services will be available to the rural dwellers.

"For me, this will reduce the number of deaths as a result of non availability of healthcare services."

Speaking on the reasons he embarked on such projects in the rural areas, Reverend Father Duru, said that through his Opera Don Boniface Azione Verde, charity foundation, the organisation has the basic mission of attending to the weakest members of the human society, that is, the sick, widows, children and youths.

He said: "Children are the wealth of a poor nation and hope of humanity and indeed, no one can talk about stable development without education especially of the young ones. A nation that cannot care for their sick people is a weak nation because health determines wealth."

From the left, Apostolic Nuncio to Togo and Benin Republic, Archbishop Brain Udaigwe, His Eminence, Francis Cardinal Arinze and a Catholic Rev. Sister at the 25 years anniversary of priesthood of Reverend Father Ifeanyi Boniface Duru and commissioning of Azione Verde University campus, among others at Amaju, Amaigbo in Nwangele local government area of Imo state.

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