… Makes Case for Ebenebe-Ugbene-Ugbenu-Awba Ofemili Road
No fewer than 1000 Awka North Local Government Area’s internally displaced flood victims, last Tuesday, received assorted food items and relief materials worth millions of Naira from the Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, His Lordship Most Rev Paulinus Ezeokafor, reports Mmaduabuchi Onwumelu
Bishop Ezeokafor who donated the items through the Justice, Development and Peace Caritas, JDPC, Awka Diocese, at the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp located at St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Awba Ofemili, said he was deeply touched by the plight of the affected individuals, saying that he was shocked to the marrow on seeing what he described as the pitiable and devastating pictures and videos of victims struggling for survival.
‘I did not know that the level of havoc caused by the flooding in Awka North was that huge until a priest sent pictures of the devastation to me.
I felt for the victims immediately. This is the time to show them love and support. We are here today to sympathize with them and prove to them that they are not alone,’ the bishop commiserated.
The chief shepherd of Awka Catholic Diocese reiterated his commitments towards affecting the lives of the afflicted and downtrodden in society positively, assuring that the Catholic Diocese of Awka would not allow them to live like people without hope, adding that they brought the items to ameliorate their plights and also to cushion the effects of the menace on them.
The prelate, while sympathizing with the victims, called on Governor Chukwuma Soludo to expedite action on the construction of Amansea-Ebenebe-Ugbenu-Ugbene-Awba Ofemili Road, noting that the deplorable condition of the roads in the area called for urgent intervention.
‘Fixing this road will open up the area, it will enable the farmers evacuate their farm produce to urban areas, as well as quicken the recovery and bouncing back of the flood affected victims.
This road has been in a sorry state for a very long time, it is time the government fixed it once and for all.
‘These persons need something that will make them smile again. They need serious attention. Constructing this road will go a long way in bringing them back to shape and reckoning. We are here with a camera because we want people to know that it is the right thing to do.
Visiting and assisting flood victims should be a collective responsibility. Let’s not leave it for government alone,’ Bishop Ezeokafor appealed.
The charismatic and influential cleric, while advocating for the construction of the road, thanked Gov Soludo for flagging off the road and also for mobilizing the contractors by 50%, stating that the APGA led Administration seemed very serious in fixing all the bad roads in the state.
Earlier in his remarks, the Awka Diocesan Chancellor, Very Rev Fr Charles Ndubuisi, enjoined the victims not to despair but to always believe in God’s ever presence, noting that He would not desert them at their trying moments.
He cited Matthew Chapter 28 vs 19 where Jesus Christ told His disciples that He would continue to be with them until the end of time, even as he added Exodus Chapter 13 to round off his words of encouragement.
Speaking, the Director of Justice, Development and Peace Caritas, Awka Diocese, Rev Fr Levi Ukor, thanked Bishop Ezeokafor for what he described as his fatherly love and care, as well as for the opportunity given to them to deliver on their mandate of catering for the poor and the needy in society. Fr Ukor urged the flood victims to take solace in the fact that the Universal Church remembered them through the bishop.
Responding the Parish Priest of St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Awba Ofemili, Rev Fr Joseph Nwailo, expressed gratitude to God for the gift of Bishop Ezeokafor. He prayed God to continue to bless and keep the bishop whom he described as a true shepherd.
Items presented to the flood victims include, 200 tubers of yam, 100 cartons of noodles, 7 bags of crayfish, 7 bags of salt, 50 bags of 10kg rice, 20 cartons of groundnut oil, 25 rolls of tissue paper, 5 bags of beans, 3 bags of cassava flour, 20 cartons of biscuits, 1 bag of egwusi, 1 bag of ogbono, 1 bag of onions, 1 bag of maize flour and 10 cartons of tomatoes.
Those in Bishop Ezeokafor’s entourage included the Episcopal Vicar of Adazi Region, Very Rev Fr Anthony Anike; the Episcopal Vicar of Nimo Region, Very Rev Fr Shedrack Anunwa; Awka Diocesan Chancellor, Very Rev Fr Charles Ndubuisi; the Awka Diocesan Financial Administrator, Very Rev Fr Paulinus Okonkwo; the Awka Diocesan Bursar, Rev Fr Nicodemus Izuchukwu; the Chairman of Board of Trustees of JDPC and former Grand Commandery Secretary of Knights of Saint John International, KSJI, Sir James Ogo Ezeonu, among others.