1. Governor Obiano is now Knight Commander of the Pontifical Order of St Gregory the Great… KCSG
2. 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
3. Established in 1831 by Pope Gregory XVI, with the Motto: “Pro Deo et Principe (For God and Ruler)
4. The Honour was bestowed in recognition of Gov Obiano’s personal service to the Holy See and the Catholic Church through outstanding efforts in support of the Holy See and the great personal examples he has set in their communities and countries.
5. The investiture was performed by the Supreme pontiff and leader of the Worldwide Catholic Church, Pope Francis as the monarch of the Holy See and as the temporal sovereign of the Vatican City State
6. As customary with the ceremony, the Governor was there with his family, three principal officers and a few friends
7. Gov Obiano is the first person in the South East Nigeria to be so honoured as he is a Knight Commander, KCSG which is grades above Papal Knight, KSG
8. Unlike other Papal Knights, the Governor shall in full regalia wear a sash; a cross around the neck; and a badge or cross on the left breast of the uniform
9. As KCSG, Governor Obiano now occupies a rare position among the Catholic Laity having been conferred with the title of Duke of the Catholic Laity of Nigeria five years ago.
10. Gov Obiano’s involvement and support for the Catholic Church dates back to his years in the private sector
11. Even the notable charity works of his wife, Lady (Dr) Ebelechukwu Obiano, is a continuation of the life of philanthropy and community development the family were living many years before becoming the First Family in Anambra State
12. Before Obiano became Anambra State Governor, he 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.
13. Before now and on recognition of his relentless support to the church, 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.
14. 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
15. Others were 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.
Engr Ifeanyi ANIAGOH
DEO, Anambra State