His Eminence, Anthony Cardinal Olubunmi Okogie
Hallmarks of Labour Role Model Award for Outstanding Contributions to Religious Harmony and Social Justice.
His Eminence, Anthony Cardinal Olubunmi Okogie was born in Lagos on June 16, 1936 into a royal family of Uromi, Esan North East Local Government of Edo State. He was educated at Holy Cross School, Lagos; St. Patrick’s School, Sapele; St. Gregory’s College, Lagos; St. Theresa’s Minor Seminary, Ibadan; Saints Peter & Paul Seminary, Ibadan; and Urban University, Rome. Among other qualifications, he holds a Licentiate in Sacred Theology, the Bachelors degree in Divinity, and an honorary doctorate in Divinity.
Ordained a Catholic Priest in 1966, Anthony Cardinal Olubunmi Okogie has had a distinguished and fulfilling career in the Church. His several postings and assignments speak volumes. Among these are:
- Pastoral Assistant, Holy Cross Cathedral, Lagos.
- A as a Chaplain in the Nigerian Army during the Civil War.
- Director of Vocations, Lagos Arch-Diocese.
- Manager, Holy Cross Group of Schools, Lagos.
- Titular Bishop of Mascula and Auxiliary Bishop of Oyo Diocese, 1971-1972.
- Bishop of Lagos, 1972-1973.
- Archbishop of the Metropolitan See of Lagos, 1973-2012.
On October 21, 2003, some 37 years after his ordination as Priest, Anthony Olubunmi Okogie was proclaimed a cardinal by Pope John Paul II “ the third Nigerian Priest to be so honoured”.
In his capacity as Cardinal Priest of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mt. Carmel of Mostacciano, he was among the Cardinals that voted Pope Benedict XIV in 2005, and Pope Francis in 2013.
Aside from his full-time schedules in the Church, the people’s Priest has served society in many other important capacities. These include:
n Instructor at King’s College, Lagos.
n President, Christian Association of Nigeria, 1994-2000.
n Vice-President & later, President, Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria for about ten years.
As a Priest, Anthony Cardinal Okogie was easily the most visible model of social conscience and practical symbol of the Church as an agent of positive change. He used his good offices optimally to promote the essence of equity, social justice and good governance.
He was unrelenting in his constructive criticism of military juntas and civil dictators alike often at great risk. His various press conferences on the State of the Nation were thoroughly-researched, incisive and pertinent to the meaningful and sustainable development of the society.
Anthony Cardinal Olubunmi Okogie resigned from the pastoral governance of the See of Lagos on attaining the mandatory canonical age of 75 years. Over a period of four decades, he had served diligently in the Lord’s Vineyard, with tremendous positive impact and on many generations of congregants and society at large.
Ladies & gentlemen, we present to you, His Eminence, Anthony Cardinal Olubunmi Okogie, Emeritus Archbishop of Lagos, a visible model of social conscience and true representation of the Church as an agent of positive change to receive the “Hallmarks of Labour Role Model Award for Outstanding Contributions to Religious Harmony and Social Justice”.