The Bishop of Orlu Catholic Diocese, Most Rev. Augustine Ukwuoma, on Friday unveiled Africa’s tallest statue of Jesus Christ towering at 8.5 metres (28 ft) at St. Aloysius Catholic Parish, Abajah, Imo. The statue made of marble is higher than the 20 metres (66 foot) Ramesses ii Abusimbel statue in Egypt.
Ukwuoma, who unveiled the statue after a mass attended by the Bishop Emeritus of Orlu Diocese, Most Rev. Gregory Ochiagha, and more than 100 priests at St. Aloysius Parish Abajah compound on Friday, described the statue as magnificent, and commended the family of Chief Obinna Onuoha for the gift and their benevolence to the church.
“This statue is a great symbol of Christian faith, and I pray that for the Catholics that the statue will continue to constantly remind us of what Jesus Christ stands for us,” the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quoted the Bishop to have said, adding that the unveiling of the statue was used to mark the golden jubilee anniversary of the wedding of Chief Geoffrey and Lolo Justina Onuoha, parents of Obinna.
“For other passersby, looking at the statue will also bring them closer to Jesus,” the Bishop said.
Chief Obinna Onuoha, the Managing Director of Premier Petroleum Ltd., and the donor of the statue, said that he constructed the statue to fulfill a vow he made to God in the year 1997.
“Asking why I constructed this statue is like asking how do I came to this world, I am a Christian and a Catholic and Jesus statue represents my faith.
“I believe we are here on earth for different purposes and each person moves with his/her instincts, and I was motivated to do this to build up the faith of this community,” he said.
“It took about three years to construct and erect the Jesus De Saviour statue at Abajah,” Obinna said, without mentioning the cost.