COMMUNIQUE ISSUED BY THE ORDER KNIGHTS OF ST. MULUMBA NIGERIA AT THE END OF HER 38TH ANNUAL CONVENTION IN LAGOS NOVEMBER 29 – DECEMBER 3RD, 2017
The 38th edition of the Annual Convention of the Order of the Knights of St. Mulumba was held at the Social Services Centre, St. Leo’s Catholic Church, Ikeja, Lagos from November 29 – December 3, 2017. The theme of the Convention was: “Family Values, Human Rights and the Challenges of Modernization in Nigeria”. The Supreme Executive Board led by the Ag. Supreme knight, Bro. Diamond Ovueraye paid courtesy calls on His Eminence, Anthony Cardinal Okogie and the Archbishop of the Metropolitan See of Lagos, Most Rev. Dr. Adewale Martins. A press conference was granted on the theme of the Conference on November 30, 2017. The Convention began with an opening Mass concelebrated by His Grace, Most Rev. Dr. Alfred Adewale Martins, the Archbishop of Lagos, the Vicar-General of the Archdiocese of Lagos, Rt. Rev. Dr. Msg. John Aniagwu, the Bishop of Abeokuta, Most Rev. (Dr.) Peter Odetoyimbo and very Rev. Dr. Francis Nwaiwu, the Supreme Chaplain of the Order.
The Convention observed a minute of silent prayer for the peaceful repose of the soul of the Supreme Knight, Engr./Barr. Myke-Mary Nwosu, KSG, KSM, who died on November 13, 2017 in India after a brief illness. This sad development affected the mood of the Convention. The Bishop of Sokoto/Guest Lecturer, Most Rev. Dr. Matthew Hassan Kukah, presented a rousing and incisive lecture on a modified topic to the Convention theme: The Catholic Family and the Crises of Modernity: “Some thoughts on the future of Catholicism in Nigeria”. The 3 discussants to the paper were: Prof. Pat Utomi, Dr. (Mrs.) Bridget Itsueli and Very Rev. Msgr. John Aniagwu.
At the end of the 3-day meeting and after exhaustive discussions on the theme of the Convention and the lecture, the following resolutions were made:
a) That the family is a unit of people living together and sharing certain values such as love, care and being responsible to every member of the unit. The Convention therefore urges parents to build up good families as microcosms of the society.
b) That the society should avail itself of the moral compass provided by the Catholic Church to ensure that there is unity, commitment and indissolubility in marriage in order to keep the family together.
c) That the family values in Nigeria have been eroded and human rights bastardized under the ambience of modernization as single-parenting, false lifestyles and even terrorism are being advocated as signs of modernization. The Convention therefore advocates the effective monitoring and strict parental guidance in the growth, development and success of their children.
d) That in the wake of modern aesthetics, women and children are claiming human rights in defiance of community and societal norms and thus challenging the fabrics of community life. The Convention recognizes that men and women are naturally equipped biologically, physically and sociologically to perform certain duties in the society and thus should see themselves not in competition but as partners in progress and development of the society.
e) That the Knights of St. Mulumba Nigeria are opposed to same-sex marriage as it is considered a sin and an act abhorred by the Holy Books and against natural law.
f) On the lingering issue in Ahiara Diocese, the Convention and indeed the Knights of St. Mulumba re-iterate their support for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria and in the authority of the Pope on ecclesiastical matters. His pronouncement that the priests and laity in Ahiara should accept their Bishop, is unshakable. We abide by it.
g) That parents must find the time to educate their children on Catholic family values and prepare them for life in the larger society. They must therefore make Catholic parenting and family values something to be cherished.
h) The Convention was elated at the news of the de-incorporation of the Ladies of the Knights of St. Mulumba (LSM) from the Corporate Affairs Commission – an action which has brought our Ladies back as part and parcel of KSM, rather than as a separate entity from the Knights of St. Mulumba Nigeria.
i) The Convention observed that the quality of children we bring up today will determine our tomorrow and society’s future and that before our very eyes, forces within and without are ravaging the institution of marriage and our cherished family values.
The Convention appreciates the following dignitaries for their presence, input and goodwill messages: His Grace, Most Rev. Dr. Alfred Adewale Martins, Archbishop of Lagos who also declared the Convention open, the Governor of Lagos State, His Excellency, Gov. Akinwumi Ambode, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Mrs. Toyin Idowu Awoseyi, His Eminence, Anthony Cardinal Okogie, the Bishop of Ijebu-Ode, Most Rev. (Dr.) Albert Fasina, the Bishop of Abeokuta, Most Rev. (Dr.) Peter Odetoyimbo, the Bishop of Sokoto/Guest Lecturer, Most Rev. Dr. Matthew Hassan Kukah, the Noble President of LSM, Lady Pat Ngor Nwachukwu; Prof. Pat Utomi, Dr. (Mrs.) Bridget Itsueli, Very Rev. Msgr. John Aniagwu and the Grand Commander of the Lagos Grand Commandry of the Knights of St. John International, Sir (Engr.) Patrick Igwilo.
The Convention reminds all Christians and Nigerians in general to constantly bear in mind that our faith teaches, unites and challenges us to promote human dignity and human rights. The Convention witnessed the Annual Performance Awards of the Order including Public Relations and Pro-life/ Medical Affairs activities before closing. It finally came to an end with a Holy Mass on Sunday 3, 2017.
Bro. Diamond Ovueraye
Ag. Supreme Knight
December 4th 2017.