By Abbanobi-Eku Onyeka
Sunday the 16th December, 2018 was a day of commemoration, celebration and disquiet in AMAC Estate, otherwise known as Aco Estate, along Airport Road in Abuja the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). All the roads to and fro All Souls’ Anglican Church, under Kubwa Diocese of Abuja located in the area, as well as that of the palace of HRH Ezeudo Uche Egenti of the Airport Road District could not contain people who trooped into the area to see things for themselves.
All the nooks and crannies of the area were filled with people from all works of life who came there to have good time: blessings from God through the holy place of worship, All Souls’ Anglican Communion and generosity from the Igbo royal father, celebration of Christmas in advance, among other goodies.
If the thought of the uninformed was something to go by, the date for Christmas celebration had been changed from 25 December to16 December, being the date the indigenes, residents and visitors experienced and witnessed the greatest celebrations of their lives.
But to the informed, that was the day an Igbo royal father, Ezeudo Uche Egenti MON in collaboration with Ndigbo in the FCT and organized thanksgiving at the popular All Souls’ Anglican Church in the area. The occasion later ended up in his place as a feast through which end of the year 2018 party was celebrated for Ndigbo, among others in the FCT. It would be difficult to differentiate between the rich and the poor as everybody received equal treatment, with regard to entertainment, among others.
After delivering a sermon at the church, the royal father spoke with The AUTHORITY on the reason behind the thanksgiving. He said: “I believe that the best you can give to God is to thank Him always. I, my family and Ndigbo in Abuja have come together to thank God for all He has been doing for us, which money can’t buy. A lot has happened in the past and we are still alive to tell story about them. So we have a reason to thank God. You will agree with me that 98℅ of those who were arrested for defrauding Nigeria are not Ndigbo. We are only concerned about our commerce. So we want to let them know that we love God and we love ourselves.”
In his message to Ndigbo and Nigerians in general, he said: “We should be patriotic. Nigeria is bigger than any one individual. Let us be appreciating God all the time. Let us be involving God in all our dealings, by putting Him first. If we can be doing that, the sky will always be our limit.”
Calling on Nigerians to come out and cast their votes in 2019 general elections, Eze Dr Uche Egenti spoke at length on the need for leaders to remember those who voted them into power, by providing them with the dividends of democracy. He debunked the allegations by some people that Ndigbo don’t cast their votes during elections, even as he charged doubting Thomases to be watchful in 2019 general elections.
Engr Oguejiofor who represented the Hon Minister, Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu also spoke at length on the wisdom and the need to be giving thanks to God all the time.
The president of Igweze Ndigbo in Abuja, Mazi Odozi Nwodozi also spoke in the essence of the thanksgiving. Hear him: “We are here as Ndigbo to thank God for innumerable things He has been doing for us this year. As you can see, we are alive and healthy today. We are here today and A seeing December is another wonderful work of God to us. So He deserves to be giving glory, praises and thanks all the time.” Nwodozi however urged Ndigbo to promote unity among themselves and other Nigerians, even as he sounded warning against any trouble maker.
The vice chairman, Abuja Municipal Area Council, who doubles as the chairman of all the vice chairmen of local governments in Nigeria, Hon Lawrence Onuchukwu who also spoke to this medium thanked God for making the thanksgiving a success and a reality. Onuchukwu said: “I thank God for making this a success. You will believe me that a few days from now, this year will end and as Christians, whether it is good or bad, you should be thanking God regularly.”
Onuchukwu said that elections were approaching and urged all the religious leaders to be preaching for peace, love and unity in order to shun violence. He said the Christians and Muslims worship the same God, adding without peace, there will be no development. The politician also charged traditional rulers to play vital roles in order to achieve successful election. The traditional rulers, according to him are in control of the rural dwellers and should not be partisan, but ensure that rural dwellers abide by the law.
Commending the royal father for organising the thanksgiving and the party for Ndigbo in the area, Hon Lawrence Onuchukwu while wishing people of AMAC wonderful Christmas and prosperous New Year in advance, he told them that better days were ahead.
Earlier, the Vicar, Rev Canon Solomon Esomu, All Souls’ Anglican Church, who doubles as the Supervisory Priest in Lugbe Abuja East Archdeaconry had this to say: “I commend the Ndigbo for appreciating God. When Jesus Christ healed ten lepers, only one of them came back to thank Him and He asked about the remaining nine. In the Genesis, Can and Abel came to thank God and Can dud his own the way he did it and Abel won the heart of God. So in form the very beginning of creation, God desired us to thank Him. Therefore, we are expected to thank God for innumerous things He has been doing for us.”
He said God did neither eat food, nor neither need money from us, adding that what he needs is thanksgiving. Speaking on politics and upcoming elections, the Reverend appealed to politicians to go into politics with the fear of God. According to him, should about 150 million Nigerians give you their mandate, you are expected to live up to expectations. “Go into politics with the fear of God,” he appealed.