In a highly anticipated announcement, the prestigious Anambra Man of the Year 2022 award committee has declared Cardinal Peter Okpaleke as the deserving recipient of this esteemed recognition.
Following a rigorous selection process, Cardinal Okpaleke’s extraordinary journey in Ahiara Diocese, particularly during his appointment as the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Ahiara, has captivated hearts and minds, solidifying his position as a symbol of humility and leadership.
Born on March 1, 1963, as a twin in the household of Mr. Reuben and Bridget Ezeuko, from Umuocha village, Amesi, Aguata L.G.A of Anambra State, Peter Okpaleke’s educational path led him to St. John Bosco Seminary in Isuaniocha and Bigard Memorial Seminary in Ikot-Ekpene, where he pursued his studies in theology. His dedication and commitment to his faith continued as he obtained his Doctorate degree in Canon Law from the University of Della Santa Croce in Rome, Italy, while also acquiring a diploma in Ecclesiastical Administration.
The appointment of Fr. Peter Okpaleke as the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Ahiara by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI on December 7, 2012, marked a significant turning point in his journey. However, the path ahead was not without challenges. Opposition from certain members of the clergy within the diocese prevented Bishop Peter from assuming his rightful position and carrying out his episcopal duties.
Despite these tribulations, Cardinal Okpaleke exhibited remarkable humility, patience, and love. His unwavering commitment to his vocation as a true priest was evident as he accepted his fate with grace and continued to pray for his persecutors and the Ahiara diocese. His steadfast faith and unyielding spirit became an inspiring testament to humility and leadership.
Recognizing Cardinal Peter Okpaleke’s exceptional qualities, on March 5, 2020, the Pope announced the establishment of the Catholic Diocese of Ekwulobia and appointed him as its first Bishop. Subsequently, acknowledging his remarkable leadership, the Pope elevated him to the cardinalate, an esteemed position as a Prince of the Church. Throughout the challenging times he faced, Cardinal Okpaleke’s demeanor and conduct garnered widespread praise and admiration from various quarters.
His Eminence epitomizes the essence and values that the Anambra Man of the Year Award represents. It is a tremendous honor for Cardinal Okpaleke to be bestowed with this prestigious accolade, as he serves as an inspiration to society at large. His life, characterized by virtuous qualities and selfless altruism, shines as a guiding light for those who aspire to contribute meaningfully, persevere through adversity, and embody graciousness and honor.
The announcement of Cardinal Peter Okpaleke as the Anambra Man of the Year 2022 brings well-deserved recognition to his extraordinary journey, showcasing his remarkable leadership and unwavering commitment to his faith and the people he serves.