The Chief of Staff to the Governor of Abia State, Chief Okey Ahiwe has congratulated the Catholic Archbishop of Aquaviva and Permanent Observer of the Holy See at the United Nations, Archbishop Fortunatus Nwachukwu (a son of Eziama Ntigha, Isiala Ngwa North LGA, Abia State) on the 10th anniversary of his Episcopal Ordination by His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI.

In his congratulatory letter to the Archbishop, made available to the media, Chief Ahiwe expressed happiness and a sense of pride about the milestones achieved by the Archbishop whom he described as ‘an iconic human treasure and a blessing to humanity’.

Chief Ahiwe remarked that through his days of humble beginning at the then Bigard Memorial Seminary where he established a distinguished pedigree of excellence, to his Priestly Ordination in 1984 and his trailblazing career in the diplomatic service of the Holy See during which he has served as the Chief Protocol of the Vatican Secretariat of State, and also in the Apostolic Nunciatures of many countries, before assuming office as Ambassador of the Holy See to the United Nations, Archbishop Nwachukwu has been a ‘consistent, practical and selfless crusader for human development’.

Highlighting the footprints of the Archbishop, Chief Ahiwe further remarked: ‘Your commitment to the pursuit of universal peace, human rights, racial equality and the reversal of Afro-pessimism transcends the borders of the Catholic Church and has not only animated a revolution of values globally but also energized the trend to modern civilization, ecumenical synergies, respect for human diversity and development-oriented bilateral relations. You are indeed an iconic human treasure and a blessing to humanity’.

‘It is remarkable, to the glory of God, that your legendary milestones are attributable to the credit of your heritage as a son of Eziama-Ntigha, Ngwa land, Abia State and Nigeria. I therefore pray that God would continue to strengthen you to attain greater heights and continue to inspire young people across nations’.

Born in 1963 to the family of late Sir Innocent Ahunanya Nwachukwu and late Chief Noble Lady Bridget Uchamma Nwachukwu of Umuokoro, Eziama-Ntigha in Isiala Ngwa North LGA, Abia State, Archbishop Fortunatus Nwachukwu, a Priest of the Catholic Diocese of Aba, is the first Nigerian to serve as Chief Protocol of the Vatican Secretariat of State. Having served in the Apostolic Nunciatures of many countries including Ghana, Togo, Benin Republic, Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana and Jamica among others, he currently serves as Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations and the World Trade Organization.

He has received the highest honours of many countries, personally decorated by the Presidents of Italy, Chile, Argentina, Dominican Republic and Nicaragua.

Having studied in some of the most prestigious universities in the world, he holds a doctorate drgree in Systemic Theology and another in Cannon Law. Beyond his mother tongue, Igbo, he speaks and writes more than 10 international languages including English, Italian, German, French, Latin, Spanish, modern Hebrew, Arabic, Greek and Aramic.


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