. . .Visits Onitsha Prisons
. . . Commissions Skill Acquisition Centre.
By Abuchi Onwumelu
The Metropolitan Archbishop of Onitsha, Most Rev Valerian Okeke last Sunday, celebrated his 65 years of his earthly sojourn. The birthday celebration which was low keyed took place at the Onitsha Federal Prisons with a Thanksgiving Mass by the Archbishop.
Scores of priests, religious,faithful and friends from diverse backgrounds converged at the St Maximilian Kolbe Chaplaincy,Onitsha Federal Prisons to celebrate and thank God with the Archbishop for all His graces.
The Archbishop while delivering a sermon,expressed gratitude to all the priests and faithful who gathered for the thanksgiving Mass. He said among other things that his idea of celebrating his birthday with the inmates was a sacrifice and to give hope to the inmates who he described as our brothers and sisters.
He urged the inmates to make use of the spiritual, social and material opportunities provided in the Prisons to better their lives.
The Archbishop who has for many years celebrated his birthday with inmates of the Prisons likened the Prisons as a school where many of the inmates would learn some lessons of life to prepare them for future challenges of life.
The Archbishop handed over a multi-million Naira skill acquisition centre to prison authorities where the inmates would learn various skills.
The Anambra State governor,Chief Willie Obiano was represented by his Deputy,Dr Nkem Okeke. Other dignitaries present include,former Gov of Anambra State,Sir Peyer Obi, Onitsha prison authorities, traditional rulers of Mbaukwu ,Chief Peter Anugwu,Igwe Adazi Chief Innocent Ezenwa,Director General of CWO Onitsha Archdiocese, Lady NGOZI Nwanosike, Sir Ifeanyi Nnajiaku of CMO and Sir Don Martin’s Ogbuefi of the Laity Council all of Archdiocese of Onitsha.
Friends of the Archbishop presented a birthday trophy to him to express their love and solidarity.