By Joe-ogba Michael Onyebor

Rev. Fr. Nwali

Senior Special Assistant to Governor David Umahi on Religious and Welfare Matters, Rev. Fr. Abraham Nwali has disclosed that the present administration through his office over 500 clerics in the state.

Nwali revealed this during his 25th priestly anniversary and the dedication of ultra-modern church building at St. John Paul’s parish Nkaleke Echara on August 24, 2019.

He said the government has regularly released grants and monthly stipends to Religious men/women, widows and less privileged to enable them establish Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, maintaining that it is the will of God that he serve his (God’s people) people in public service.

“The present administration in the state has touched the lives of 5,000 religious men and women to the tune of N500 million by empowering Ministers of God.”

“The Clergies in the state have been given grants and monthly stipends to assist in the establishment of Small and Medium Scale Industries to cushion the effects of the economic predicaments in the country,” he reiterated.

According to Nwali who is also the Judicial Vicar of Abakaliki Catholic Diocese,” The people have been given attention, we have identified with the sick, the physically challenged, poor and the needy through grants and payment of medical bills to thousands of indigent patients in hospitals across the state”

He said that the anniversary was a period of gratitude to the Almighty for the grace and wisdom to serve in his vineyard.

“When I remember today that I am 25 years as a priest, I say thanks be to God. It calls for gratitude to God. It motivates me in my spiritual life. I commend everybody who honoured me today by participating in this event, the best thing I have been able to achieve is being able to ask God that our names be written in Heaven,” he added.

He urged Religious Leaders to strive and uphold the virtues of humility and righteousness in the discharge of their ecclesiastical duties, insisting that: “The Clergy is there for the people, do not talk about yourself, be humble, shun selfishness, and always remember that we are mere Servants of God.”

The celebration was a three days event which kicked off with the commissioning of the ‘Ezeonu Foundation For Indigent Africans’ a Vocational Center built by the priest to train indigent Africans in different skills. It was followed by a church service and reception on the day two of the event.

Earlier, Governor David Umahi, represented by the Attorney General/Commissioner for Justice, Barr. Cletus Ofoke, extolled the leadership qualities of Rev Father Nwali as a priest, stating that he appointed him as his Special Adviser having distinguished himself as a true servant of God.

The Governor maintained that the celebrant, had since his ordination embarked on charitable works and care for the less privileged, indigent, widows and the needy.

“Father Nwali is the Conscience of the State Executive Council because of his forthrightness in contributions to issues concerning the state at Council meetings,” he noted.

Secretary to the State Government Dr. Kenneth Ugbala, speaking to journalists at the ceremony, tasked politicians, the clergy and members of the public to emulate the life style of Fr. Nwali whom he described as a man who has given his life in service to God and man.

Dr. Ugbala who is also serving in the state executive counsel with the priest stated, “We should learn from what Fr. Nwali is doing. He has dedicated all his life service to God and we want every other person that is living as a politician, a clergy or whatever you are doing to put God first and emulate what Fr. Nwali has done.

“We pray that with this kind of mansion he has built for God, whatever request individuals or group will bring to this place God must answer them in Jesus name. Amen”.

On his part, the Secretary General, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Ebonyi State chapter, Rev. Dr. Donatus Igwe, described the celebrant as one out of a million who has been endowed with extraordinary intelligence, strength and wisdom.

He disclosed that, “the difference between Fr. Nwali and every other living human being is that what others achieved and they call it achievement, he calls it stupidity and foolishness. And therefore prefers to be close to God even in the mist of these great achievements. ”

H.R.H Igwe Sunday Oketa, the traditional ruler of Nkaleke Echara autonomous community, also joined host of others to pray to God to give the celebrant long life and the wisdom to do more for the church and the society.

Igwe Oketa, who had earlier in the event presented a life-cow to the celebrant, described him as a saviour to the poor, the widow and a known philanthropist, whose good works cannot only be seen in the church but the entire society.

The traditional ruler stated, ” He is a saviour to the poor, widows and he does so many good works that the eyes can see. If you look at what is happening in this parish, he is the one transforming the church and the same way he is transforming our place is the same way he is transforming everywhere.

“If you run to him in difficult situations, he will save you. When you go to different hospitals those who where detained for not paying their bills, it was Fr. Nwali that rescued them. I can’t exhaust all he has done.”

Rev. Fr. Toochukwu Elom, a fellow priest disclosed that though people think it is difficult to be ordained a priest, that it is even more difficult to stay a priest and prayed that God continue to shield him from temptations.

“It is not easy to be faithful all these years, most people think that the difficult thing is to be a priest but being a priest and remaining a priest is not something easy. We pray to God for him.

“That God will keep him in his love and shield him in times of temptations, because this line of work, we are always fighting with the devil everyday. So he creates temptations for us but by the grace of God, we will always scale through.”

In an interview two of the parishioners at St Paul II Parish, Nkaleke Echara Mr. Okechukwu Agbo and Mrs Eucharia Umahi, commended Father Nwali for his exemplary life style and his avowed commitment towards assisting the less privileged members of the society.

The high points the occasion was presentation of gifts, unveiling of books and cultural displays and cutting of cakes to signify his service to the public and the church and the unveiling of his statue.

Those who graced the occasion include the Catholic Bishop of Abakaliki Diocese, Dr Michael Okoro, members of the State Executive Council, the Chief Judge, Amselem Nwaigwe, Clergies. Youth Organizations, members of Catholic Women Organization, and members of the State House of Assembly.

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