By Emma Onumah
Anglican Bishop of Owerri Rt Rev Cyril C. Okorocha PhD has charged Knights and their Ladies to be good news bearers and committed followers of Christ.
Speaking at the Owerri Council’s 2015 Trooping of Colours ceremony of the Knights in CATOL last Sunday Bishop Okorocha warned Christians that “Committing your finances into the church in addition to doing good works will not take any Christian to heaven unless one believes in Jesus and follows him as Lord and Master”.
The Bishop advised the Knights and their ladies to be more concerned with the extent of their commitment to the things of God as no one knows when the end would come.
He said that apart from laying less emphasis to material and financial possessions, they should eschew anger, hatred, unforgiving attitude, self-ego, dishonesty and every behaviour in them, that would serve as a draw-back in their bid to follow Christ.
The Prelate warned the younger Knights and Ladies, to use the opportunity of their youthful age to serve God effectively so as to be able to see visions, as failure to do so now, will not enable make them have godly dreams in their old age.
Bishop Okorocha explained why the release of the list of new Knights of the Diocese was not done at the service and assured that it would be read during the 2015 Easter Period.
In a brief remark the deputy speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, Rt. Hon Emeka Ihedioha who was at the service to identify with the Owerri Council, being also a Knights of St. Christopher, Mbaise Council took something to brief the congregation on the challenges confronting the nation on the non-availability of Permanent Voters Card in some parts of the country.
He stressed the need for elites to get involved in voter-education of the electorate, and used the privilege to congratulate the Owerri Council of Knights of Christopher on the occasion of their 2015 chapter.
The highlights of the occasion included the return of the Knights of St. Christopher flag to the Council President, Sir Gab Oduah and the Episcopal presenting a copy of the Holy Bible to both the JCK President General, Sir Joe Ilonze and the Provost Marshal, Sir Dave Anezu as a guide to them.
In his presidential address in the occasion, the president of the council Sir Gab Oduah called on Owerri Council, as well as other Christians, not to stand aloof and watch Nigeria destroyed by unbelievers in this country.
The President of the Owerri Council of Knights of St. Christopher, Sir Gab Oduah (JP), who made this call while presenting his presidential address at the just-concluded 2015 chapter at the Cathedral Church of the Transfiguration of Our Lord (CATOL) Owerri, challenged the Knights and Ladies, not to only join in educating the masses on the need to elect genuine Christians and other trusted Nigerians into power in the forthcoming general elections.
Sir Gab noted that, as soldiers and Christ bearers they should fight corruption and mediocrity to a standstill, and to declare “total war against the increased persecution and killing of Christians, as exemplified in the present Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria, pointing out that this is no longer a fairy tale.
According to him, we can prayerfully turn around the political fortune of the country, Nigeria, for the better, if not now but in the nearest future, according to God’s will and time.
Speaking on the theme: “Sell Every Tiling You Have, Then Come Follow me (Luke 18:22), the President, who is also the Chairman of the Interim Management Committee of the Council, reminded the noble Knights and Ladies of the Order of the call by God, to serve Him and humanity through the Order, having been chosen by the Lord Bishop of the Diocese, Rt. Rev Cyril C, Okorocha Ph.D from different background to the disciplineship of Our Lord Jesus.
He expressed joy that, a lot of good things have been said about the Owerri Council of Knights, but added that, as Knights and Ladies of St. Christopher, and in fact as the mother-Council of the Knighthood of St. Christopher in the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), they were expected to remain pace-setters and to be exemplary in running the programmes and projects of the Council
The Council President posited that, knowing the word of God is the starting point for being soldiers of Christ and the spreading of the Gospel, stressing the need for them to be both hearers and doers of the Word.
As he further postulated: “for us as Knights and Ladies, our primary duty is to properly bring up our children as Christians, through studying the Bible and praying together in the family alter, in fulfillment of the teaching that a family that prays together stays together.
in her own address, the President of the Ladies, Lady (Dr) Pamela Njemanze, enjoined the Knights and Ladies not to allow their possessions or the love of riches to keep them away from following Christ, stressing the need for them to make definite sacrifice to follow Christ and to ensure that when they give, they should do so with love and gladness.
She noted that, the Knights and Ladies should not forget that all they have is by the Grace of God, arguing that the unwillingness of the young rich man in the Bible to give out his possessions made him to forfeit the chance of being a disciple of Christ.
The Ladies President, however, expressed regret that, while some Ladies in the Council who are up to date financially do not participate in any activities of the Council, some are just not interested in the regular events but simply appear on special occasions.
She used the occasion to call on those of them who are yet to pay their hall building levy to please do so without further delay, so that work can continue on the project this year.
In a brief comment, the President-General of the Joint Council of Knights (JCK), Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Sir Joseph Ilonze, who was accomplished on the visit by the JCK Provost Marshal, Sir Dave Anezu, commended the Owerri Council for their discipline, decorum, and for always playing a leading role in the Joint Council of Knights.
The P-G who is also the current President of the Council of Knights, Diocese on the Niger eulogized the Owerri Council President, Sir Gab ah, for his humility and good public relations, and urged him to use his wealth of experience in administrating matters to take the Council to greater heights.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the Chairman of the occasion, Retired Hon Justice Duke Njiribeako KSC, urged the Knights and Ladies to try and be more committed to the affairs of the Owerri Council, describing the theme of this year’s Chapter as being quite appropriate and challenging to every good Knight or Lady of the Order.
In a brief comment before saying the benediction, the Lord Bishop of Owerri, Rt Rev Cyril C. Okorocha Ph.D who was at the occasion with his wife, Dr (Mrs) Eunice I. Okorocha, noted that Knighthood is for men and women of integrity, and asked the elderly Knights and Ladies, to try and encourage their sons and daughters who are of age to work hard so as to be members of the Order in the near future.
Among the personalities that were present at the service include, the immediate past Chief Judge of Imo State, Hon Justice B.A. Njemanze KSC, who is also the Lord Chancellor of the Diocese of Egbu, Sir Ndukwe Nnawuchi. SAN; Registrar/Clerk of Owerri Diocese, Sir Mike Ahamba, SAN, the President of the Council of Knights, On the Lake Diocese, and Sir George Iwuchukwu who represented the President, Council of Knights, Ikeduru Diocese.Bible to both the JCK President General, Sir Joe Ilonze and the Provost Marshal, Sir Dave Anezu as a guide to them.