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Catholic Diocese of Lafia Has attributed the underdevelopment of Obi Deanery to the communal crisis that engulfed the Southern Senatorial Zone of the state in the recent years.
Bishop Matthew Ishaya Audu made the Diocesan position during mass at St. Matthew Obi to commemorate the 5th anniversary of Obi Deanery.
The Liturgy brought Priests and lay faithful from St. John the Baptist Parish Keana, St. Patrick Misssion Imon and St. John’s Mission Awe that make up Obi Deanery to appreciate God and X-ray challenges with the view to proffering solutions.
On the challenges confronting the growth of Obi Deanery, after (5) years of creation, Most Rev. Dr. Matthew Ishaya Audu revealed that communal skirmishes that disrupted the Southern Senatorial Zone of the state equally affected the church humanly and structurally; calling on the Catholic priests of the Deanery to initiate plans to reposition the church.
“Fives years back when we were here to commission this Deanery, the late Osana of Keana, appealed to this community not to fight and some people ignored his call and went to the war front and look at what it has caused us. Our churches have been destroyed; our houses have been burnt; our children, wives and husbands have died as a result of the Crisis.
“However all hope is not lost, let’s keep the past behind us and look forward for a better mutual relationship and harmonious co-existence for the growth of our community.” I therefore call on priests from this Deanery to embark on reconciliation crusade to educate us on the importance of living together as brothers and sisters, it is only when we accept that we are from one God who is in heaven that permanent peace can be restored,” said Bishop Audu.
The head of Catholics in Nasarawa equally blame the slow pace of the groth of the Deanery to the lukewarm attitude of preists and lay faithful, calling that since the creation of the Deanery in the last five years, the mother church of the Deanery which is St. Matthew Obi has not been given a facelift.
“Since the commissioning of this Deanery, no single block has been added to this structure. It doesn’t speak well of us as a Deanery. Therefore, all of us must contribute to raise this structure. Now every member of this Deanery will pay N140 monthly and if you agree I will contribute N20,000 monthly so that within a year we will roof this church.
“So, all the priests within the Deanery should meet and work the plans out so that we will know the mode of payment. It is only when we build a befitting structure that we can worship God Happily,” he observed.
In view of this, he insisted that no additional mission will be created in Obi Deanery except the mother church that hoses the Deanery which is under construction is completed.
Catholic Voice observed that St. Matthew Catholic Church Obi, whose building is completed and await roofing in the last five years, has been abandoned since the creation of Obi Deanery.
Meanwhile, Bishop Audu also attributed armed robbery as one of the banes undermining the growth of the deanery, calling on Nasarawa State government to work our security blueprint to checkmate incessant armed robbery attacks at the zone to safeguard farmers who are recovering from the devastation of the communal crises.
He noted that the communal dispute that engulfed the area in the recent years has left dangerous weapons in the hands of unauthorized persons, a time bomb that he said posed serious threats not only to farmers who are being robbed while returning from the market but all the people of Southern Senatorial zone and visitors to the area.

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