Though a Catholic and deserves a befitting place of worship in his home, Senate Chief Whip and Abia North Senator, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, would rather build a hospital than a new church building.
Kalu said this during the Mother’s Day celebration on Sunday, at his home church in Igbere, Bende Local Government Area of Abia State, that though the idea of a new church building initially proposed by the Church wasn’t a bad one, a hospital would, however, serve as a maternity centre and attend to the diverse health needs of the members of the church and the community at large, including himself.
The former Abia State governor told parishioners at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church Igbere, that the Health and Education of the church members were more important than a new church building.
Kalu: “I decided to build a hospital for the parish and not a new church building because when it’s completed it will serve as a maternity centre for our women and also attend to other health issues in the community.
“The benefits of having a hospital rather than a new church building are countless, when completed it will still be owned and managed by the Catholic Church. It will serve as a place where everyone, including myself, can go when we are sick. “It’s absurd for you to travel to Umuahia whenever you’re sick when we can actually have a hospital within our locality.
“The Reverend Father asked me to assist them to achieve the plan of the church to erect a new church building, I told him it’s not a bad idea but a hospital is more important, that we can renovate and expand the current church building but a hospital will serve a better purpose, be- cause it will be more useful to all of us.”
Kalu, who has since embarked on the construction of the new hospital, assured that the current church building could be expanded and renovated when the church’s population begins to witness an increase. He said: “Of course I am a practicing Christian and a proud Catholic and it’s not a bad idea to have a new church building; but we can only start considering that when the church’s population starts to increase.
“But for now, what I believe is important is to build hospital that will be owned and managed by the Church, this will enhance the health and also provide some level of IGR for the church.”
Speaking on the newly constructed Okposi Primary School structure which he facilitated within the Church’s premises, Kalu said the newly constructed school would provide more access to the educational needs of the community.
He also stated that he will liaise with the next state Government dispensation for the handover of the school ownership and management to the Catholic Church.
He explained that since the new school building was located within the land of the Catholic Church it would be better managed by the Church which would then expand it with boarding facility.
Earlier in his homily, the parish priest, Rev Father Luke Alicho, appreciated Orji Kalu for his earlier donation of a electricity generating set and cash gifts to the Catholic Women Organisation (CWO) and other groups in the church.
He also expressed appreciation to Kalu for offsetting the payment for repairs in the church. On the Mother’s Day celebration, Luke congratulated the women on their day and implored them to ensure peace in their homes