By Chukwudi Ikpe
Politicians have come under attack for frequently dumping parties that helped them into power and joining others.
The Bishop of Owerri, Rt. Rev. Chukwuma Oparah, Ph.D, JP, who condemned such act, last Sunday, described it as shameful.
Bishop Oparah was preaching the sermon at a thanksgiving service to mark the end of the 2020 annual general meeting of the Knights of St. Christopher, Owerri Council held at the Cathedral Church of the Transfiguration of Our Lord CATOL) Owerri last weekend.
The Bishop descended heavily on the political class in the country, saying that many of them have no integrity.
He regretted that politicians no longer bear the interest of their constituents at heart but rather find it so easy to abandon these that elected them, in pursuit of their personal interests.
The Prelate who condemned the ugly incident, which seems to be on the rise among the country’s political class, also advised them to stand firm whenever they find themselves, adding that they should go back and restructure when they lose, instead of jumping from one political party to the other.
He noted that Igbos in particular were no lazy people but industrious in nature and equally condemned in its entirely, the get-rich-quick syndrome, which seems to be influencing politicians.
Bishop Oparah, who preached on the theme of the meeting, “I will turn your sorrows into joy,” likened the present situation in Nigeria to the biblical Israel at the time of Prophet Jeremiah.
He noted that the country was besieged by all sorts of atrocities such as insecurity, killings, insurgency, kidnapping and armed robbery while hunger and fear now keep the masses company.
The Bishop, however, pointed out that God is interested in everything He created, including Nigeria and Imo State, and assured that God is capable of changing every negative and unfavourable situation.
He, therefore, enjoined the Knights of St. Christopher in particular, Christians, and Nigeria in general to continue to anchor their faith in ‘Jesus, the man of peace.’
According to him, Christianity stands for peace and peace brings progress.
Bishop Oparah also conducted the Eucharistic service, assisted by the Chaplain, of the Council of Knights, Ven. Onyinyeoma Onyeagocha, and the Cathedral clergy.
The President of Owerri Council of Knights, Sir Gabriel Oduah, read the Old Testament lesson from Jeremiah 3:7-14 while Lady Dr. Lilian Nkwoada and Rev. Joseph Igbo read the Epistle and Gospel from Hebrews 11:106 and Matthew 8:5-13 respectively.
In his closing remarks at the service, the President, Sir Oduah said that the 2020 edition of their meeting marks 25 years of existence of Owerri Council of Knights, the longest in the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), and explained that it was the reason why the planning committee organized it in a special way.
The highpoint of the service was special thanksgiving by the Knights as well as presentation of Award of excellence to some distinguished members including Chief Engr. Sir Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Hon. Justice Sir Duke Njiribeako among others.
Earlier in his Presidential address on Saturday, Sir Gabriel Oduah had urged Christians not to be discouraged by the sorrows of the day but to remain steadfast in their faith and pray to God, stressing that they can generate all the forces of heavenly Kingdom through prayer and supplications.
He called on the leadership of the Anglican Communion not to allow the good heritage of the church to be destroyed.
Sir Oduah, who is also the President-General, Joint Council of Knights (JCK), Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), charged Knights and Ladies of St. Christopher to go beyond the privilege of wearing the beautiful Knighthood regalia and rise to the obligations that go with the recognition and investiture of Knighthood.
He called for peace among Knights and urged them to maintain cordial relationship with the Bishop and the Clergy.
Also presenting her address, the President, Ladies of St. Christopher, Owerri Council, Lady Theresa Ekezie, represented by Lady Dr. Lilian Nkwoada, said the meeting was an opportunity to interact, fellowship, study the word with one another, appraise their performance as Christ bearers and at the same time, examine their role in the ministry of the Laity.
She highlighted some of the achievements and problems of the Ladies and thanked the Bishop and his wife for their support.
The three-day event, featured bible study and a business session.
Ven. Ogechi Ofurum and Rev. Canon Emma Agoha who preached on Friday and Saturday, respectively were among the resource persons at the meeting.