Earlier today, the Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano became the first Catholic faithful in South East Nigeria to be bestowed with the honour of Knight Commander of the Pontifical Order of St Gregory the Great (KCSG).
The Order of St. Gregory the Great is one of the five Orders of Knighthood of the Holy See bestowed upon Roman Catholic men and women in recognition of their personal service to the Holy See and the Catholic Church through outstanding efforts in support of the Holy See and the great personal examples they have set in their communities and countries.
The ceremony which was performed by the Supreme pontiff and leader of the Worldwide Catholic Church, Pope Francis was witnessed by the governor’s close family members from Nigeria and the diaspora and a handful of close aides and friends.
With his investiture as the Knight Commander of the Pontifical Order of St Gregory the Great (KCSG) Governor Obiano occupies a rare position among the Catholic Laity in the South East, having been conferred with the title of Duke of the Catholic Laity of Nigeria five years ago.
Close observers and associates who are familiar with Obiano’s involvement and support for the Catholic Church recall that he had been a pillar of the church right from his years in the private sector.
Before he assumed office as governor of Anambra State, Obiano was patron of Catholic Women Association, Missionary of St. Paul’s Society, Catholic Women’s Organization, Catholic Laity Council of Nigeria and the Grand Pillar of St. Gerald Catholic Church, Gbagada Estate, Lagos among others.
It was in recognition of his relentless support to the church that the Catholic Laity Council of Nigeria awarded him the title of The Duke and his wife, Chief Mrs Ebelechukwu, as The Duchess of the Catholic Church.
Other world leaders who have been honoured with the title of Knight of St. Gregory the Great are Sir Alexander Mathew Busby who managed Manchester United from 1945 – 1969, General Sir Peter John, retired senior Australian Army officer who was also the 26th Governor-General of Australia and Peter Paul McSwiney, Lord Mayor of Dublin among many illustrious others.