From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu
The Archbishop, Ecclesiastical Province of the Niger and Bishop of Awka Diocese, Archbishop Alexander Chibuzo Ibezim,PhD has advocated for vigilance among Christians for increased security across the country especially during the Christmas.
He encouraged Christians to be security conscious in this Yuletide warning that the country has been marred by rapid increase in crime rates and other security challenges.
Archbishop Ibezim made the call during an anniversary marking his ten years of Enthronement as Bishop Awka diocese and one year Archiepiscopacy as the Archbishop, Ecclesiastical Province of the Niger.
He said that there have been incidences of kidnapping and killings across the land even as most security officers have declined to duty owing to the lack of trust from Nigerians. He called on governments to address the situation and beef the country especially southeast region with enough security.
Archbishop Ibezim further said that he has learnt a lot during his ten years in office as Bishop of Awka diocese, adding that his testimonies are limitless as God has never failed him in his service.
Archbishop Ibezim who noted that his life is more precious than gifts from whoever during the anniversary Thanksgiving , advised all those who have gifts for him to channel it to the churches.
Archbishop Ibezim noted that he chose to celebrate the 10 years anniversary on a low key because of the situation of things in the county.
He urged Nigerians to shun luxurious lifestyle and devote their time to service of God reminding the congregation about the reported increase in covid-19 cases and the need to observe the various covid -19 preventive measures.
He said that he derives pleasure in the service of God and and urged clergies and the lay to join him as he continues to work in the lords vineyard. ” If you have worked with me this ten years, work with me for the remaining years. My greatest joy is that I’m working in my father’s compound.
“I don’t want gifts from people because i have so many testimonies. It is a Thanksgiving to God because God has blessed us.”
He informed that his Thanksgiving package would go to dioceses in distress to assist them recover from COVID-19 pandemic and other Economic down turn.
Speaking with newsmen later, the wife of the Archbishop and President , Mothers’ Union, Women’s Guild, and Girl’s Guild, Mrs Martha Chioma Ibezim who said that the day is remarkable to the entire family , urged clergies and Christians who may have encountered challenges in the course of their efforts to propagate the gospel of God to be steadfast and unmovable.
It will be recalled that His Grace Alexander Chibuzo Ibezim was consecrated Bishop on Sunday September 12, 2010 at the Cathedral Church of St. Peter Asaba, while he was also enthroned into the ‘see’ of the Diocese of Awka on Monday, November 22, 2010.
Archbishop Ibezim was later in 2019 elected the Archbishop of the Province of the Niger at the Archbishop Vining Memorial Cathedral Lagos and was presented on Tuesday, September 24th 2019 at the same cathedral Church of St. Peter Asaba.
Delivering his sermon, the Awka Diocesan Synod Secretary, Venerable Clement Mgbemena extolled the laudable achievements of Archbishop Ibezim in his 10 years of service to the Diocese.
He noted that 1987, 2010 and 2020 were remarkable dates in the life and history of the Diocese as it recorded the birth of the Diocese, the year the first episcopacy and archiepiscopacy stopped and the 10 years celebration of the second episcopacy and archiepiscopacy.
Charting the way forward for the growth of the diocese Ven. Mgbemena advised Christians with grievances to sheath their sword. He also highlighted the need to build a befitting palace for the Archbishop who is also the Bishop of Awka diocese even as he urged the Diocese to consider accepting Paul University as a pet project of the diocese of Awka.
Summing up his four key requests to the Diocese, he beckoned on the church authority to consider creation of a new Diocese to widen the scope of evangelism in Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion.
The anniversary was marked with a Holy Communion and thanksgiving service at Our Saviours Church Emmaus House, Awka while the climax of the anniversary was thanksgiving and cutting of the anniversary cake.