•Senate president, Govs Ugwuanyi, Umahi, others in attendance
By Sunday Ani
The wedding ceremony between the son of the former governor of Ebonyi State, Dr. Sam Egwu and the daughter of the Deputy Vice Chancellor of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State, Professor Madu Iwe, which took place in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, attracted a galaxy of high profile politicians, academic and business executives, among other crème de la crème of the Nigerian society.
The atmosphere appeared serene, halcyon, majestic and ecclesiastical, setting the tone for the epoch-making event. Nigerians from all walks of life and from across various regions of the country had converged on Abakaliki in their numbers to honour the former governor and his in-law, the erudite professor, as their children tied the nuptial knot. Dr. Egwu’s son, Chuka, and his heartthrob, Miss Chidimma Iwe, majestically walked down the aisle, as they were joined in the holy matrimony.
Interestingly, Dr. Egwu and his wife as well as Professor Iwe and his wife were all undergraduate mates some 30 years ago at the University of Nigeria Nsukka. However, they never knew that someday, they would become couples, let alone having any inkling that their children would as well get hooked up in marriage. The Senator further explained that they had all lost contact with one another, after they graduated from the university.
The wedding and the reception were held at the Abakaliki Township Stadium, which was spacious enough to accommodate the constellation of the high and mighty as well as the locals and less-privileged members of the society, who scrambled to occupy all the available spaces in the stadium. The expansive stadium came alive like never before, as it was filled to capacity, with overflow of guests, extending to the park outside the stadium’s gate. Even the high-capacity mobile marquee, which was stationed at the venue to accommodate special dignitaries during the reception, was equally overwhelmed by the unprecedented number of dignitaries in attendance. Yet, dignitaries kept dashing in and out of the venue while the occasion lasted. It was as if the whole world was in attendance; in short, the crowd was unimaginable.
However, as the event lasted, the groom’s mother and the bride’s mother, Mrs. Eunice Egwu and Mrs. Nkechi Iwe, were both lost in infectious smiles, as they grinned from chin to chin in an apparent joyous mood.
The event attracted such political heavyweights, as the former vice president of Nigeria, Chief Alex Ekwueme, Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremmadu, Ebonyi State Governor, Chief David Umahi and his Enugu State counterpart, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi were in attendance. Others were the former Senate President, Chief Anyim Pius Anyim, former military administrator of Ebonyi State, Navy Capt. Walter Feghabor (rtd.) and the Chief Judge of Ebonyi State, Justice Alloy Nweke Nwankwo, among several others.
In his speech, the chief host, Gov. Umahi, eulogised Dr. Egwu’s achievements. He described him, as the father of Ebonyi State, saying that the state would eternally remain grateful to him for all he had done to uplift the people.
The governor also thanked the people of Ebonyi state for trooping out en masse to honour and support the former governor and his family, and prayed that God would bless and fortify the new couple, as they began the journey into married life.
The Senate President, Dr. Saraki, said he came to honour Dr. Egwu, whom he described as a colleague, a fellow senator, a fellow ex-governor and a good friend, adding: “But more importantly, I am also here to continue to give hope to our people and to reiterate that Nigeria belongs to all of us. We all have interest in this nation and we are all together in this. I can assure you that I will continue to play my part, as the President of the Senate, to give a sense of belonging to all of us in this country.”
Earlier in his sermon during the Church service, the presiding pastor and General Superintendent (G.O), of the Assemblies of God Church, Rev. Chidi Okoroafor, urged the new couple to ensure that Jesus always remained the epicentre of their marriage. He said: “With Jesus at the centre of your union, your marriage would be great. It will witness multiple testimonies and you will experience a happy, happy home.”
Rev. Okoroafor later invited Prof Nnaji, who is also a renowned cleric, to lead other ministers present to lay hands upon the couple and pray for them.
However, guests took turns to offer prayers, goodwill messages as well as pieces of advice to the new couple. One of such wise counsels came from the bride’s mother just before the cutting of the magnificent wedding cake. Mrs. Iwe. She told her daughter: “I am your mother, but today, you are now a wife. The only word I have for you is submission. That was the same word I gave your sisters when they got married. You will be happy when you obey your husband. Once you apply that word effectively in your relationship, you can go ahead and enjoy a blissful marriage,” she advised.
On her part, the groom’s mother was certain that God had already taken control of the marriage. She expressed deep gratitude to God for making the event a huge success and one devoid of any sad story. She thanked all who graced the occasion, saying that she and her family were humbled by the immense solidarity that was extended to them at the wedding.
Said she: “I am humbled. I am speechless. I am full of gratitude to all our guests, who came to honour us today. It is as if the entire country converged here to honour us. May God bless and reward all of you. I also thank everyone who contributed in one way or another to ensure the success of this occasion.” ww1w0