Flood Menace: Bishop Ezeokafor Visits Achalla IDPs Camp

…Donates Relief Materials to Victims

By Abuchi Onwumelu

The joy of all the flood victims taking refuge at Achalla Camp settlement last Tuesday knew no bounds, as the Catholic bishop of Awka Diocese, His Lordship Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor through the Awka Diocesan Justice, Development and Peace Commission (JDPC), visited the affected persons with lots of relief materials.

Addressing the victims who were mainly subsistence farmers, Bishop Ezeokafor who was represented by the Awka Diocesan Chancellor, Very Rev. Fr. Francis Chidume, expressed gratitude to God for saving the victims’ lives, noting that the God who allowed them to stay alive up till the moment he visited would continue to provide and watch over them.

The compassionate and generous prelate who decried the level of the devastation in the various farmlands, assured the affected persons of God’s intervention, exhorting them to take solace in the fact that they were alive to count their losses, reminding them of all those who died in the process.

The bishop who were acompanied during the visit by the Director of Awka Diocesan JDPC, Rev. Fr. Simon Anigbogu; Parish Priest of St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Achalla, Rev. Fr. Beneignus Nwankwo and his vicar, Rev. Fr. Michael Anagbogu, among others too numerous to mention, called on public spirited individuals to join him reaching out to the internally displaced persons (IDPs) by offering all manner of humanitarian services to them.

He appealed to government at all levels to visit the various camps to see for itself the level of damage done by the flooding which, he said, submerged the victims’ farmlands and source of livelihood, even as he maintained that the job would not be left for government alone.

The Local Ordinary said he owed it a duty to always assist in his own little way, the victims of human and natural disaster as well as identify with the poor and the needy in society.

The chief shepherd of Awka Diocese said that his calling as a priest of God would make no sense to him if he could not share with the destitute, poorest of the poor and physically challenged persons.

‘I do not own any business anywhere; I do not even intend to. My vocation has made it that I own no such thing. What I generate from the lay faithful and genuine philanthropists is what I feed on. The same way they bring to me, is the same way I am giving out to others. We are here today because people remembered us. As they give; I give out as well,’ Bishop Ezeokafor said.

Earlier in a remark, the parish priest of St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Achalla, in Awka North Local government Area of Anambra State, Rev. Fr. Beneignus Nwankwo, thanked the bishop for the visited and prayed God to continue to bless and keep him for the Diocese.

Rev. Fr. Nwankwo while thanking the bishop, urged the victims to endeavour to plan ahead and to be ready at all times, assuring them of their continued prayers and support.

For his part, the Director of Awka Diocesan JDPC, Rev. Fr. Simon Anigbogu said they were in the settlement because of Bishop Ezeokafor’s kind disposition and sympathy for the affected, noting that without his approval the visit would had been a mirage.

Fr. Anigbogu said the bishop whom, he said, was very much aware of the various incidents of flooding that happened at Awka North, noting that; inasmuch as he comisarated with all the victims of 2018 flooding, the materials donated were for those actually taking refuge at Achalla farm settlement irrespective of where they came from.

Relief materials donated to those taking refuge at Achalla Farm Settlement included, 50 tubers of yam, ten cartons of noodles, big toiletries, 3 cartons of detergent, 20 pieces of blankets, 5 big bags of beans, enough bottled and sachet water, among others.

Bishop Ezeokafor who was represented by the Chancellor of the Diocese, Very Rev. Fr. Francis Chidume accompanied by the Awka Diocesan Director of JDPC, Rev. Fr. Simon Anigbogu and the parish priest of St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Achalla, Rev. Fr. Beneignus Nwankwo ascertaining the level of flood devastation.