‘Women cannot become priests’: Cardinal Müller

Ordination is just not simply a ministry that anyone can aspire to.
Tue Apr 14, 2020 – 7:29 pm EST
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Cardinal Gerhard Muller in Phoenix, Arizona, Jan. 1, 2020.FOCUS Catholic / Youtube

April 14, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has in a recent interview argued against allowing Protestants to receive Holy Communion along with Catholics (intercommunion) and against female ordination.

The latter topic has once more been in the news after Pope Francis established yet another commission for the study of the female diaconate. On April 8, Pope Francis announced that after consultation with the new head of the CDF, Cardinal Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, he had established a new commission to study the question of a female diaconate. No further details about the commission’s mission were stated. Listed, however, were the names of the twelve new members of this commission.

With this decision, the Pope is following up on the October 2019 Amazon Synod in Rome which had asked, in its Final Document (no. 115), that the question of the female diaconate be further studied by the Church.

The female diaconate also has come up in the discussions of the German bishops’ Synodal Path which aims at seeking ways of increasing the influence of women in the Church.

Independent of this new female deacon commission set up by Pope Francis, Cardinal Müller makes it clear in this new interview, conducted by Lothar D. Rilinger — a German Catholic lawyer and book author — that women may not have any access to the Sacrament of Holy Orders (read full interview below).

“Women cannot become priests,” he states, “because this is excluded by the nature of the Sacrament of Holy Orders. It is just not simply a ministry that one can aspire to.” It was Christ Himself who chose twelve men to be His Apostles, and even today, men have not a “right” to become priests, but have to receive a “call to the priesthood” from Jesus Christ.

Concerning the matter of giving Holy Communion to non-Catholic Christians, the German prelate also makes it clear that such a reform is not acceptable.

“There are objective conditions for receiving Holy Communion,” Cardinal Müller says. “One must belong to the Catholic Church through Baptism and the profession of faith and must not have offended against the Commandments of God by the way one lives. It is essential for the communio with Christ and the Church that I affirm the doctrine of the Catholic Church. This is not normally the case with Protestant Christians.”

The interviewer, Lothar Rilinger, has just published a book about Rome and his reflections and impressions as a German Catholic when visiting the Eternal City. VRBS AETERNA III: Encounter with the German-speaking religious Culture in Rome is its title, and it is the third and last volume of this project, with a preface by Cardinal Müller.

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Lothar C. Rilinger’s interview with Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller

It is obvious that the Church in the western world has been in crisis for some time. That is also why the call for reforms is getting louder and louder. While some people want to approach the reforms with the means of politics and thereby celebrate themselves as progressive, others want to lead the Church into a better future on the basis of Scripture and Tradition. Cardinal Müller bases his arguments on principles, and that gives his arguments a stringency that is not to be seen either in the Synodal Way or in the Amazon Synod.

Could it be that the arguments from the mainstream are helpful in order to tackle reforms, we ask the Cardinal.

“The mainstream is a construct that simply corresponds to conformity,” he replies.

“As with dictators, thought is controlled. Those who thought differently ended up in Siberia or Dachau. In this respect, mainstreaming is the expression of an intended dictatorship over opinions. This contradicts all the principles of our liberal democracy. Surely democracy means that every person is allowed to express his or her well-founded opinion and put it up for discussion, that he or she can also learn something from opposing views.”

It is also part of the mainstream to demand the admission of so-called Intercommunion. But the German cardinal opposes this idea.
“There are objective conditions for receiving Holy Communion,” Cardinal Müller makes it unmistakably clear.

“One must belong to the Catholic Church through Baptism and the profession of faith and must not have offended against the Commandments of God by the way one lives. It is essential for the communio with Christ and the Church that I affirm the doctrine of the Catholic Church. This is not normally the case with Protestant Christians. They are evangelical and reformatory and therefore differ from the Catholic Faith in their creed. Calvin and Luther taught that the Catholic celebration of Mass is an idol sacrifice, but this is no longer so brutally said today. Or the Reformers declared that the Pope is the Antichrist – they did not say that the Pope of that time was personally a bad Pope, they rather stated that the Pope as such, that is to say the papacy as such, was the Antichrist.”

“The reason given for this view was the argument that the Pope with his infallible teaching authority is said to have claimed – and continues to claim – by his definitive interpretation, to be in his dogmas above the Word of God. This is to apply equally to the Catholic Magisterium, the bishops and the councils. Furthermore, the Reformers denied that Confirmation, the Anointing of the Sick, Penance and Holy Matrimony were sacraments, i.e. means of grace instituted by Christ and effective in the Holy Ghost. If the sacraments are means of grace instituted by Christ, I cannot argue that they can be understood also a little differently. In this respect, I can only go to Holy Communion if I myself am in the state of grace and if am also in accordance with this community, the Catholic Church – with the full profession of faith and with my own way of life.”

The church is accused by the critics who believe in progress of getting entangled in clerical structures instead of opening itself to modernism and adopting democratic structures. Cardinal Müller states on this:

The Church is not a political event, and therefore the state models do not fit, they cannot be transferred to the Church,” clarifies Müller, “If the Church were a kind of state enterprise, where it is about a worldly rule, one could demand democracy, starting from popular sovereignty. But the Church is the People of God, and the sovereign in the Church is God Himself. The hierarchy, i.e. the bishops and the Pope, exists so that the teaching and pastoral ministry of the Church can be exercised in the name of God. In the episcopal and priestly ordination it is God Who enables us to proclaim His Word with authority and to exercise pastoral care as pastors, that is, to lead people to God. Neither the bishops nor the laity can say that they want to give themselves a new ecclesiastical constitution. The Church is not our property.

The call for democratic structures is accompanied by the call to accept women as equal partners in pastoral care and to admit them to the ordained ministries. But the prelate also opposes this reform project.

“The church leadership,” according to the former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, “is formed by the bishops. Women cannot become priests because this is excluded by the nature of the Sacrament of Holy Orders. It is just not simply a ministry that one can aspire to. Nor can a man simply say that he has a right to become a priest. One is called to the priesthood, and Jesus called to Him those He wanted. He appointed the twelve disciples as his Apostles. Throughout the history of the Church, this has always been understood as normative and as a truth contained in Revelation, not a habit subject to change.”

“The problem is that many who want to be priestesses understand the Church and the ministry in a political sense or in the context of social prestige. The priesthood is not, however, as many secular vocations were once, a kind of ‘male domain’ to be cracked under the sign of women’s emancipation. Men and women who think this way are very angry with anyone who says that for theological reasons this request cannot be fulfilled. They accuse him of motivations that are absurd in themselves, and think that the bishop is one who has the power to decide on faith and morals according to his own discretion. And, as a woman, one would also like to have so much power and prestige as to demonstrate that one is equal to men in human dignity and as children of God, which would be an evil heresy to deny.”

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Pope Francis establishes new commission to study women deacons

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The Vatican announced Wednesday that Pope Francis has created a new commission to study the question of a female diaconate in the Catholic Church, after some members of the 2019 Amazon synod requested the pope re-establish a 2016 commission on the subject.

Among the 10 theologians making up the new study commission are two permanent deacons, three priests, and five lay women. They hail from Europe and the United States.

Pope Francis first created a 12-member commission in 2016 to examine the historic question of the role of deaconesses in the early Church.

In May last year, he said that the commission had not reached any consensus which would soon lead to a plan of action, but would continue its study.

Speaking aboard the papal plane returning from North Macedonia and Bulgaria, the pope said “for the female diaconate, there is a way to imagine it with a different view from the male diaconate,” but added that “fundamentally, there is no certainty that it was an ordination with the same form, in the same purpose as male ordination.”

Some say there is doubt, let’s go ahead and study,” he said in May 2019.

The institution of the new commission also follows the discussion of the female diaconate during the 2019 Amazon synod.

At the end of the Oct. 6-27 meeting, synod members recommended to Pope Francis that women be considered for certain ministries in the Church, including the permanent diaconate, which is an order within the sacrament of Holy Orders.

Pope Francis said in his closing remarks for the Amazon synod Oct. 26 that he would re-open the 2016 commission, possibly adding new members, based on the synod’s request.

But in his apostolic exhortation on the Amazon, published Feb. 12, Pope Francis called for women in the South American region to be included in new forms of service in the Church, but not within the ordained ministries of the permanent diaconate or priesthood.

Francis wrote in Querida Amazonia that when considering the role of women in the Church, “we do not limit ourselves to a functional approach.”

The subject of women deacons has previously been studied by the Church, including in a 2002 document from the International Theological Commission (ITC), an advisory body to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF).

In the document, the ITC concluded that female deacons in the early Church had not been equivalent to male deacons, and had neither a “liturgical function,” nor a sacramental one. It also maintained that even in the 4th century “the way of life of deaconesses was very similar to that of nuns.”

According to the April 8 Vatican announcement, Cardinal Giuseppe Petrocchi, the archbishop of L’Aquila, Italy, has been named president of the study commission. Fr. Denis Dupont-Fauville, a CDF official, was named secretary.

One of the two US-based members is James Keating, a permanent deacon and the director of theological formation at the Institute for Priestly Formation (IPF) based at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.

A theologian, he leads the IPF’s retreats for seminary faculty and seminary formators. Keating is also the author of several books and articles on holy orders and the diaconate.

The second American member of the commission is Dominic Cerrato, a permanent deacon and director of diaconal formation in the Diocese of Joliet, Illinois.

In the past Cerrato has taught theology at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, where he established the Distance Learning Masters in Theology program. In 2014, he published a book on the theology of the diaconate based on the personalist thought of Pope St. John Paul II.

Other members of the commission include Fr. Santiago del Cura Elena from Spain and Fr. Angelo Lameri from Italy.

Barbara Hallensleben is a professor of dogmatic theology at the University of Freiburg in Switzerland and a former member of the International Theological Commission. She is also a member of the Pontifical Ecumenical Council.

Fr. Manfred Hauke is a German priest teaching theology in Lugano, Switzerland. He has published articles on the possibility of female ordination and feminist theology, among other subjects.

Catherine Brown Tkacz is a professor at the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv. Her research includes women in the Bible and Christian tradition.

Caroline Farey is a diocesan mission catechist for the Diocese of Shrewsbury in the United Kingdom. In the past she has taught at St. Mary’s College, Oscott. She was also one of three lay women to take part in the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization as an expert in 2012. Farey has also worked in the past in the Pontifical Academy for the New Evangelization and Catechesis.

Anne-Marie Pelletier is a French biblical scholar, who was chosen by Pope Francis to write the meditations for the Stations of the Cross at the Colosseum on Good Friday 2017. Pelletier was also a 2014 recipient of the Ratzinger Prize.

Rosalba Manes is also a bible scholar, teaching in Viterbo, Italy.

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HE PREFERS NO RACE

When the Holy Spirit is at work, He touches people from different races, ages, and both sexes, and he segregates no one in the giving of His Spirit. He acts everywhere, and leaves traces of light in the lives of people. He is no respecter of persons. He does not care if they are black or white, intelligent or not, famous or ignored, strong or weak. He only cares that they are human beings, and in all, He does his work.

Have no mindset that the Spirit is in certain personalities due to their work in the society or in the Church or their activeness in the Church. There are people who sit in the front pews who may lack the Spirit. The Spirit was given for all by Jesus and can only work with you when you open yourself to His entry.

In all, he manages to leave something good, and he does it in thousands of different ways. He acts as He wills when He wills and where He wills and produces acts of kindness, generosity, and surrender in all hearts.
He can choose to do something marvelous through a renowned sinner in our societies and these works of His can only be accepted and discerned by those people who have Him in them. Do not restrict your mindset but try to call upon the Spirit of Divine knowledge and wisdom to enlighten you in certain cases, so as not to have in you the spirit of segregation which is contrary to that which the Spirit gives. Any knowledge or attitude contrary to that is given by the Spirit leads to damnation and blinds us to the truth that lies before us.

An online presentation by Ikegwu Augustine on the 7th of July 2017, under Imo Network Group (ING), Ngor Okpala Chapter, titled “The history of Ngor Okpala; The life and Orientation of the people.”

1.0 PROLOGUE

Local Government never springs out of nothing -“Ex Nihilo” without being carved from the particular geographical area known as “State”. Equally, an individual or group of people can only exist in the society, by belonging to a Local Government Area. Against political capital of at least the present Imo State judging from the antecedentst this backdrop, we are here to talk about our magnificent area of Ngor Okpala laying bare its history, achievements and those “elephants in the room” (problems ignored).This gives room to consider some possible questions: How and why does Ngor Okpala, awash with educated and intelligent people; knowledgeable and vibrant people, lie so low and unable to make any progressive move – abandoned and dejected?
How and why does Ngor Okpala, which just recently, challenged very effectively for supremacy with four (4) other (now defunct) County Councils in the former Owerri Division, now sit isolated and lonely while her erstwhile peers have subdivided into two or three other Local Government areas?
How and why does Ngor Okpala, which, until yesterday, was the food basket of Eastern Nigeria and showed the way in the areas of food security and self-sufficiency, now sit in lack and penury, with her sons/daughters in politics falling over one another in their shameless quest to pick up crumbs from under the tables of their erstwhile compatriots and peers?
Why did all the other professions leave such a complex thing as politics to politicians of the caliber that we are infested with?
My eyes fail with tears; my bowel rumbles with discomfort; my heart is on a continually pounding because my people now languish in their heaths and hamlets disappointed, dejected, confused?
Ngor Okpala is bereft of pride and self-esteem because it is now the hunting ground of all sorts and manners of political adventurers.

2.0 CLARIFICATON OF TERMS

2.1 HISTORY: is derived from a modern French word “histoire”, from Latin “historia”, and from Greek “historia” and all pointing to it as a branch of knowledge dealing with past events. It is also a continuous, systematic narrative of past events as relating to a particular people, country, period, person etc. usually written as a chronological account as of the life or development of a people or institution, often including an explanation of or commentary on those events.

2.2 NGOR: Ngor is one of the autonomous communities in Ngor-Okpala local government area of Imo State and the ancestral headquarters of the Ngor-Okpala people, the acclaimed food basket of Imo State. From the historical perspective and tracing about 500 years of Ngor’s existence, history hold it that their ancestors were brave warriors that were feared by neighbors. This gave rise to the saying, “Onye je Ngor nga chi jiri”, meaning “who will go to Ngor at night.” Ngor was so prominent that it became the foundation stone of naming the clan called Ngor-Okpala.

2.3 OKPALA: This is a village in Ngor Okpala local government area of Imo State. In Okpala there are seven communities known as ama-asaa .Okpala is one of the villages in ama-asaa but due to the popularity of the name, it takes over the name ‘ama-asaa’. Okpala being at the centre of the seven communities has four kindred which include Amankwu, Amaube, Amanwaebo and Umuokereke. The people of Amankwu are divided into two families orie na nwaogu and orie na nwaabali, the two families make up the Amankwu.

3.0 BRIEF HISTORY OF NGOR OKPALA

Ngor Okpala is a Local Government Area of Imo State, Nigeria. Its headquarters are in the town of Umuneke Ngor. It has an area of 561 km² and a population of 159,932 according to the 2006 census. Ngor Okpala is a notable place in Imo state because of its location. It connects Abia and Rivers states of Nigeria. It is the largest Local Government Area in Imo State and one of the largest in Nigeria.Its postal code is 460.
Ngor Okpala comprises a number of communities which helped it achieve Local Government status. They are: Ntu, Alulu, Amala, Orburu, Obokwe, Eziama, Okpala, Ohekelem, Ihite, Obike, Elelem, Umuohiagu, Umuhu, Imerienwe, Upe, Nguru-Umuaro, Orishi-eze, Umuekwune umukabia-ngodo, Ngali, Umuikoro na Opuehi, Orishi-eze and many others. Amidst all these communities in Ngor Okpala, the most popular town is known as Nguru-umuaro and in the local parlance, it is pronounced as “ngwuru”.It has this stature by virtue of its central location.

Proximity to Owerri the State Capital means that people from different communities going to Owerri have to get to Ulakwo Park, because it was once part of Ngor Okpala. Again, Okpala Junction or Enyiogugu for those of them sharing common boundary with Mbaise, before boarding a vehicle to Owerri. Imo airport is situated in Ngor-Okpala and this has made the place known and popular in the State.

Ngor Okpala is blessed with natural and mineral resources. The natives also term themselves as people of Owerri “nde owere”. It was Sir H.C. Douglas that gave the Local Government the name “Ngor Okpala”.

3.1 LIFE AND ORIENTATION

Before we consider an individual’s or group of people’s life, it is a “conditio sine qua non” to check if life is improving in the society or undermining the progress of the area. Therefore, it is pertinent to first see what development is all about. Development is a function of the collective attitude of a people and the opportunities facilitated by Federal Government planning and financial provisions. The values people hold determine their attitude, just as attitude also determines behavior which in turn determines the rate at which development is attained.

The headquarters of Ngor-Okpala is situated at Umuneke Ngor, which is fondly called “Ekeneze” a people known for their aggressive lifestyle.

From the cultural viewpoint, Ngor Okpala has a rich cultural heritage. It threw up intriguing ceremonies like “Akaraka Ngor”an annual event at which a jar of palmwine goes round the entire celebrants of about 350 persons, “Iriji Ngor Okpala” “ira Uda”, “emume ndiche” and host of others. Ngor Okpala people are generally very hard working, humble and contented people. They are not greedy and overly ambitious, and so they are very risk averse and less adventurous. They are hospitable, accommodating, and they value their traditions and are known for their farm work. All of these characteristics combine to explain why they are politically shy or even timid.

In the social sphere, the traditional marriage system in the Local government was in a good status being conscious of the “Osu caste system”, the traditional criminal justice system, resolution of disputes, and security through community policing was taken serious in the olden days. Ngor people had a good social system that ensured peaceful co-existence amongst the communities that made up the local government.

The Biafran war, affected Ngor Okpala indigenes as it caused disorder and several damages and even claimed many lives in the area.
Also, seeing the poor state of development in the area we can see that most Ngor Okpala leaders have been highly unpatriotic, placing personal gain above group and collective Ngor Okpala interests, and this led them to sell their rights to the House of Representatives to the people of Aboh Mbaise in the years 2007 and 2011.

Several years after the people were recognized as a clan, they have remained so while almost every other clan in its category has been upgraded with so many LGAs been carved out from them.

Ngor Okpala Local Government Area has fared poorly in political matters from its period to date and this has been a source of major concern to its well-meaning citizens, as they see that since the new political dispensation from 1999, no Ngor Okpala citizen has been either Governor, Deputy Governor, Senator, Minister or Ambassador. It recently happened that our sons of the LGA won a seat at the Federal House of Representatives, a position which has been dominated by the people of Aboh Mbaise for the past 12 years, when an Ngor Okpala son respected the bill of equity that was signed by the people of Aboh Mbaise and Ngor Okpala to rotate the representation of the Federal constituency between the two LGAs.

This scenario is disturbing for a Local Government Area like Ngor Okpala which has a proud political history. We note that Ngor Okpala had once produced a Speaker as well as Chief Whip of the then Eastern House of Assembly during the first republic in the 1960s in the persons of Chief Okereke and Sir Onyeso Nwachukwu. There are also such notable political personalities as Dr. Nnanna Ukaegbu, Late Chief Lawrence Egu. Indeed it is surprising that till date, Ngor Okpala has remained a single Local Government Area whereas Aboh Mbaise, Uratta and Mbaitolu /Ikeduru which had the status of clan when Ngor Okpala was also a clan, have had two or three other LGAs carved out from them.

3.2 POLITICAL WARD CONFIGURATION IN NGOR OKPALA

It is only in Ngor Okpala that several separate distinct autonomous communities are lumped together and made a political ward. Take these examples.
Ward 1: consists of Ntu, Amala, Alulu, Obokwe, and Oburu
Ward 2: consists of Elelem, Obike and Obioma
Ward 3: is made up of Ozuzu, Okpala, Egbelu
and Umuekune
Ward 4: is made up of Eziama, Okpala and Umuohuhu
Ward 5: consists of Imerienwe and UPE
Ward 6: is made up of Nguru and Umuowa
Ward 7: consists of Ngor, Ihitte and Umukabia
Ward 8: is made up of Ohekelem and Nnorie
Ward 9&10: has one autonomous community each namely Umuhu and Obiangwu respectively.
Ward 11: is made up of Umuohiagu and Logara.
Unlike Aboh Mbaise, 1/3 of a former County Council like Ngor Okpala which now has 12 wards. Ahiazu Mbaise has 12 wards and Ezinihitte Mbaise has 12 wards.
In other words the former Mbaise County Council now has 36 political wards while Ngor Okpala has 11 only.
Furthermore, the former Mbaitoi/Ikeduru County Council has 24 political wards shared evenly among the two (2) Local Government Areas as follows:
Mbaitoli LGA 12;
Ikeduru LGA 12.

The former Uratta/ Mbaukwu County Council now has thirty-three (33) political wards distributed as follows:
Owerri Municipal 10;
Owerri North 12;
Owerri West 11.

The former Ngor Okpala County Council which remains a single Ngor Okpala Local Government Area has 11 only!!!

3.3 ENIGMATIC ISSUES FACING NGOR OKPALA AS A LOCAL GOVERNMENT

There is no questioning the fact that Ngor Okpala one of the oldest Local Government Areas in Imo State has not been given its pride of place in the scheme of things, politically or in terms of development. From 1999 to date one can hardly pinpoint one envious, jealousy-oriented or generating political position given to its daughters or sons at the international, national or state levels. Where this exists they prematurely fizzle out, perhaps a case of use and dump politics that has characterized politicking in this part of the world.

A few, mainly our sons, brothers, uncles, cousins etc whom most people believed managed to rig themselves back to elective positions after making mouth-watering promises during electioneering, turn their backs on their constituency while allegedly lining their bottomless vaults with the common wealth and patrimony.

Again, one finds it difficult to identify and appreciate state or third tier embarked-development projects that has direct impacts on its inhabitants. The bottom line is: Ngor Okpala has been marginalized.
I remembered vividly the comment made by the current governor of Imo state, Owelle Rochas Okorocha about the poor nature of Ngor Okpala LGA roads when he was campaigning prior to the April 2011 gubernatorial election.

Apart from the ever yearning need of appreciable infrastructural development in the council area namely, road construction, water, equipping and renovating public schools and hospitals, rural electrification, locating industries, both public/private tertiary institutions and at least one commercial bank to create job opportunity for the teeming number of unemployed youths, it is also behooves the person representing Ngor Okpala in the State House of Assembly to use his position to tackle the menace of golly erosion that has become a threat to those living close to Umuneke River. There was once Divisional Police Station, situated at the headquarters, Umuneke which I doubt if it is still exiting and the other one situated at Amafor in Imerienwe which is no more into existence.

There is a widespread vicious circle of poverty, hunger, disease and unemployment that needs to be broken. Equally, there is usually a strong tendency for a number of Ngor Okpala citizens who work their ways into executive and top positions in the nation’s economy to isolate and distance themselves from their people because they do not want to be seen to be patronizing their people, a position that is totally wrong. Because, life is not quite worth living if you do not help your society. We need a change here.

Ngor Okpala is abundantly blessed with table land but we lack the knowledge that this is an economic resource. It is common to hear our people beckoning on land grabbers to come and take land and develop them. What an insult? The wisdom is whoever is bringing an industrial project should be assured that our land when properly evaluated should be landowners’ share capital in the project which will make us part owners.

Ngor Okpala People must undertake the task of identifying and engaging such citizens wherever they are and get them involved in the task of development.

3.4 SOME ACHIEVEMENTS OF NGOR OKPALA

When some people outside Ngor Okpala gather, they envy our potentials but lament our gullibility. They deride our inability to convert opportunities to the benefit of all and to the good of our generation. We have no reason whatsoever why we should not lead Imo State, impact upon Nigeria and influence our world.
We recall with joy that Ngor Okpala produced the first speaker of the Eastern Region House of Assembly in the person of late Eze Daniel Okereke. Ngor Okpala produced also the Chief Whip of the Regional House of Assembly in the person of Sir Sampson Onyeso Nwachukwu. These were pre-civil war achievements of this great Local Government Area. Today, Nigeria is littered with private universities of various calibre. But we have forgotten that it was the ingenuity and courage of an Ngor Okpala man in the person of Dr Nnana Ukegbu who just died of recent and yet to be buried, from Amafor Imerienwe, who bravely established the first private university in Nigeria during the Second Republic against all odds.
The battle that this feat sparked off was fierce and gruesome yet he surmounted it to the end. Except for the myopia of the military that over ran Nigeria’s polity that time, the glory of TEDEM’s existence would have placed Ngor Okpala on the world’s educational map. Be that as it may, we will never forget that great step that has become a turn around in Nigeria’s educational sector. It is not incorrect therefore to assert that Ngor Okpala ought to be the political capital of at least the present Imo State judging from the antecedents highlighted above. Ngor Okpala was already playing key and fundamental political roles when the others were still in their farms and rural markets. The late Chief Chukwubuiko Okereke was trail blazer in what today has become money spinner (home video industry).
We can also boast of highly respected Ngor Okpala sons and daughters in the academia in well-known institutions in Nigeria and abroad. We have a former Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Prof Jude Njoku. Prof Chris Iroegbu then of the University of Nigeria, Prof B. G. Nworgu and Prof B. O. Okere are still at that University. There is also another Prof Okere at the Imo State University and there are many more in the various Institutions in Nigeria. There are many others abroad. We have many other professionals in various callings too numerous for mention.

4.0 CONCLUSION/ WAY OUT

Despite all the aforementioned, I still have a consolation that the people of Ngor Okpala are out to say no to rubbish.
They have in fact done so before, during the elections of 1979, Zik’s NPP swept the polls in Ngor Okpala. Ogukandu and Amechi won the House of Assembly seats. Dr. Obihara won the House of Representatives seat and Mbakwe won the Governorship seat against our own brother Rt. Hon Dr. Nnanna Ukegbu. Ngor Okpala was ridiculed by the NPP High ups thereafter.
Then came 1983, Ngor Okpala paid back her tormentors in their own coin. NPP lost all the seats to the NPN.
Hon ABC Egu won the House of Assembly seat
Hon Nkwoala won the House of Assembly seat
Hon Livinus Okereafor won the House of Representatives seat
Hon Evan Enwerem won the Senate seat on NPN ticket
The NPN Presidential candidate won overwhelmingly in Ngor Okpala.

Ngor Okpala, my proud and peaceful but determined people, paid back their tormentors in their own coin. They lost all the seats they held in Ngor Okpala and through Ngor Okpala votes.
Ngor Okpala will do it again.
They will start by uprooting through due process, the present political class in Ngor Okpala, who, like the slave traders of old, employ all sorts of subterfuge and deceit, to hoodwink our deprived and naturally needy people to accept the self- centeredness of those politicians. Our youth are persuaded to stuff ballot boxes and snatch others at gun point for the benefit of our political leaders’ paymasters. It would have been less distressing/painful if our youth placed their lives on the line for the benefit of Ngor Okpala political leaders.
Lastly, through our strident calls for change; for re-orientation, and for radical introspection, as evident within the volumes of the various lamentations, we as leaders will have to develop a vision of the Ngor Okpala of our dreams. i.e., Ngor Okpala that is, ready, willing and able to challenge for supremacy in all spheres of life. We have also, articulated some strategies for producing the changes needed to achieve the vision, re-orientation/regeneration of our people; rebuilding our people’s psyche which has been battered overtime by bad leadership; rehabilitating our youth whose persons have been completely violated and distorted by the politicians. We ought to lead our people to resist the indignities to which they have been subjected over time and join hands with other progressives in the larger society to insist on the restructuring of the polity to make our local government a place worthy of our fine and decent people.

5.0 REFERENCES

1. Jessy Nkwocha . Ngor: a historical, cultural, political and socio-economic analysis, Igbo heritage foundation publishers Inc. Pages 120.

2. National agricultural sample Census, 1993/1994-Imo state, Lagos; federal office of statistics, 1996.

3.https://nigeriazipcodes.com/6186/list-of-towns-and-villages-in-ngor-okpala-I-g-a/

4.http://www.imostateblog.com/2011/09/11/ngor okpala-a-council-area-in-of-development/.

5. Spotlight on imo state local governments areas. Owerri: government printer,1982.

6. Ajaegbu,H.I. Urban and rural development in Nigeria. London:Heinemann, 1976.

7. Ayittey, George. Africa in chaos. New york: st Martins press, 1998.

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