By Odogwu Emeka Odogwu
It was a carnival of sorts at the Cathedral Church of Saint Faith, Awka as the Anglican Bishop of Awka Diocese, Province on the Niger, Right Reverend Alexander Chibuzo Ibezim, PhD collated Venerable Christian Nkem Okafor, an Archdeacon in Awka diocese. Ven. Okafor who is the Archdeacon Adazi-Ani Archdeaconry is the only one collated Archdeacon at the ceremony.
Bishop Ibezim as well installed five (5) new Canons for the diocese. They include Rev'D Canon Barr Cosmas Okafor-Digwu; Rev'D Canon Charles Chizoba Chukwurah; Rev'D Canon Reuben Izuchukwu Okafor; Rev'D Canon Emmanuel Ifeanyichukwu Obienyem and Rev'D Canon Christopher Osita Ezenwa.
Bishop Ibezim encouraged the elevated priests to win souls for Jesus Christ through their characters which according to him speaks volume of who they are in reality no matter the circumstances.
The Awka Bishop further stressed that the installation and collation was aimed at empowering the newly promoted priests for the big task ahead, describing a Venerable as Bishop's representative and his eye in the task of winning souls for Christ.
The Retreatant/Preacher, the retired Bishop of Isukwuato/Umunneochi, The Right Reverend Sam Chukwuka earlier in his sermon during the collation and installation, insisted that elevation in the Church is for bigger responsibility hence they should not look back in making disciples of all men, even as he lamented that many in the ministry have left their primary reason of being ordained priest to some other mundane things, and enjoined them to retrace their steps.
Reacting on his elevation, Venerable Christian Nkem Okafor said he was overwhelmed and expressed gratitude to Bishop Ibezim and wife, Mrs Martha Chioma Ibezim who is also the President of Mother's Union of Awka Diocese for the elevation. He pledged to serve God to the end of his life without compromise, pointing out that his elevation was unique and special having been collated alone.
On his part, the Rev'D Canon Charles Chizoba Chukwurah said he has since given God everything about his life for service to humanity and wondered why he should not surrender to God if he can as a former soldier surrender to human beings why not now to a Supreme being. He pointed out that he would serve God to the end of his life, insisting that the model for Christians is Jesus Christ.
Meanwhile, the Anglican Bishop of Awka Diocese, Right Reverend Alexander Chibuzor Ibezim, PhD has raised alarm that if something urgent is not done to stop the reckless killings in Nigeria, that innocent blood of Nigerians spilled shall seek vengeance.
According to Bishop Ibezim blood of Human beings is sacred and was not created by God to be wasted like fowls as done daily in Nigeria.
The Awka Diocesan Anglican Bishop who spoke on Easter at the sidelines of Maundy Thursday, at the Cathedral Church of St Faith , Awka encouraged all to identify with the victory of Christ on the Cross and stop all killings, kidnapping and other atrocities against human beings.
He further called on government at all levels to take full responsibilities of protecting her citizens in its totality to ensure that peace and tranquility prevail in the society.
The prelate condemned in it's totality the incessant killings in the society, saying it is unbiblical, unethical and misuse of human blood.
Bishop Ibezim maintained that blood is sacred and human being is created in the image of God, pointing out that the blood of those killed will ask for vengeance even as he advised all to desist from anything that will bring bloodshed.
He encouraged all to identify with the victory of Christ on the cross of Calvary.
He called on Christians to re-examine their lives to know if they are still in faith, proclaim Christ as a Messiah and demonstrate servant hood and humility in all they do.
Bishop Ibezim maintained that the death and resurrection of Christ is the basis for Christianity even as he said that Easter gives them hope of resurrection, victory and life after death, calling on Christians to hold unto their faith and be steadfast in Christ Jesus at all times.