Everything Meant for Enugu North Must Get to the District, Says Senator Ezea

  • Lists achievements at thanksgiving and grand reception
  • Bishop Onah knocks Nigerian politicians, tells Ideke to remain different from the typical politician

Senator Okey Ezea [LP, Enugu North] used the opportunity of a thanksgiving and grand reception in his honour, held Saturday in Nsukka, to pledge that he would remain honest and never divert anything meant for his district to his own pocket.

Speaking extempore during church service and at the venue of the reception, the senator, in obvious reference to Bishop Godfrey Onah’s criticism of Nigerian politicians in his homily, promised he would never “pinch” any meat he was asked to deliver to the “onyishi”.

For the umpteenth time, he refuted wild allegations of rice or N500m diversion which enemy propagandists have continued to peddle without facts in their campaigns of calumny.

In his address on the occasion, Senator Ezea listed his achievements in the Senate within nine months, renewing his appeal for support “in my quest to reposition our zone for greatness”.

“Rest assured that I will always give my best in the Senate,” he said, adding that he has been “a party to a squad of go-getters in the National Assembly…to make the voice of Enugu North heard loud and clear”, even as “the marginalisation of our district in the distribution of federal appointments and projects is no longer beer-parlour talk“.

Senator Ezea mentioned, among others, his interactions with his colleagues, ministers, contractors and federal MDAs that have borne good fruit in the ongoing reconstruction of the dilapidated Makurdi–Obollo–Opi–Ninth Mile expressway, and three roads he inherited from Senator Utazi.

He added that they were working to get an annex of the National Orthopaedic Hospital established in Aku, Igbo-Etiti LGA, “as it has been captured in the 2024 budget. “In the current fiscal year, we shall also be constructing and installing solar-powered boreholes in several communities in the zone,” Senator Ezea stated. “This is in addition to the construction and installation of solar street lights in some communities across the senatorial district, including the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, which we intend to embark on in the current year.”

The senator called for unity in Nsukka cultural zone to enable its leaders to attend “to the needs of our people”, promising that, thenceforth, he would work with other political and business elite groups to create a rallying point for “a veritable takeoff point in our quest for a more united Nsukka”.

Applause upon applause greeted Senator Ezea’s speech on the occasion attended by dignitaries from all walks of life across the country. Among them were Senator Abba Moro, the Senate minority leader; Senator Kelvin Chukwu, Enugu East; and Chief John Nwodo, former minister and former president-general of Ohanaeze Ndigbo.

Bishop Onah needles Nigerian politicians, charges Ideke to do God’s will always

Earlier that Saturday morning, the bishop of Nsukka Catholic diocese, Prof. Godfrey Igwebuike Onah, railed at Nigerian politicians, stating that many of them steal elections, steal public funds and escape punishment by decamping to other parties.

In his homily at a thanksgiving Mass in honour of Senator Ezea, the bishop decried the lack of Christian values in workplaces and institutions including the “hallowed” chambers of the Nigerian Senate.

Drawing from the first reading at the Mass (Acts 4: 13–21), the bishop, who is noted for spicing his homilies with folk tales and proverbs, said that stubborn political and religious leaders tried to silence the companions of Jesus as they still do to this day, advising Senator Ezea to always do the will of God and not the will of men.

You were a successful entrepreneur before you decided to waste your money [in politics],” Bishop Onah addressed the senator. “I know it. Like Abraham Lincoln, you won after several disappointments… You’re now sent to proclaim the good news. Whatever temptations you may face, ask: ‘Is it better to listen to God or to men?’ Almost everybody around you would want you to be corrupt so they could benefit.

“As St. Paul says in the scripture, you as a Christian can’t conform your life to the things of this world. Looking at you, I know a new culture will be created [at the Senate].”

The bishop alluded to the company Ezea had created before joining politics and which he named “Ideke” [Shipping Limited]. “Whatever your reason, I interprete it as your love for Nsukka. Nobody doubts your interest in the welfare of nwa Nsukka. ‘Ideke’ is intimately associated with this town.”

He knocked the Nigerian Senate for describing its chambers as “hallowed” even though it’s a place people fight for mammon.

Needling the senators further, he said some senators are not “distinguished” but “extinguished” and “disgusting” senators. “Only God is holy, sacred. This house [church] is hallowed because we encounter God here. What makes the chambers of the Senate ‘hallowed’?

The cleric dismissed Nigerian political parties as mere social clubs. “Nigeria has no political party. Quote me. What are their manifestos, their principles? Only in Nigeria would the number of people who cast their votes become larger than the number in polling units. When you complain, they ask you to go to court.”

Bishop Onah stated that development is not about roads or industries but about formation of human values. “Until we get education right, corruption, indiscipline etc. will not abate. “One lesson we learned from the 2023 politics is that there’s a limit to which the power holders can hold the people down.”

He concluded the homily by praying for Senator Ezea: “May God be with you.”

Early on, Bishop Onah had explained to the congregation that the thanksgiving Mass would have taken place in November 2023, during the advent, for Senator Ezea had approached him earlier. Circumstances led to the change of date, he said, adding that it was all God’s plan.

The roll call

There were at least 70 Catholic priests and reverend sisters as well as pastors of the Anglican and other denominations at the thanksgiving Mass celebrated by Bishop Onah.

There were also Hon. Chijioke Edeoga, the Labour Party governorship candidate for Enugu State in last year’s polls; retired generals Victor Ezugwu and Chris Eze; chairman of LP in the state, Barr. Casmir Agbo; House of Representatives members Hon. Chidi Obetta and Hon. Martins Oke; and House of Assembly members Harrison Ogara and Malachy Onyechi.

Guests at the reception venue included scores of traditional rulers, scores of business tycoons including Dr Sam Maduka Onyishi of the Peace Group, academics, and politicians from different political parties.

Also in attendance were Dr Dan Shere, Dr Mike Ajogwu, SAN, and  Edwin Okolo, SAN; Dr Fidelis Odo, Hon. Fidel Ayogu, Ambassador Ejike Eze, Engr. John Ezugwu, Dr Felix Ugwu, Engr. John Ezugwu, Chief Barr. Charles Ugwu, Felix Anyanwu, and other dignitaries too numerous to mention.

By Ekong Utip and Charles Eke

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