Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
Calls for the implementation of the report of 2014 National Conference as well as commencement of a process to restructure the country were the main features at a recent event in Anambra State.
The parish priest of St. Michael’s Catholic Church, lfite Awkuzu, Rev. Fr. Hyginus Ebele Nwandu, added his voice to calls for President Muhammadu Buhari to implement the report of the 2014 Confab to save the country from problems bedevilling it.
Fr. Nwandu, who celebrated his 50th birthday and 20th priestly ordination anniversary during the Saint Michael de Archangel feast at the parish, launched four books at the event: Bishop Must Hear This (First and Second Editions), Too Precious To Rust and The Death Sentence’s Alternative.
The occasion was well attended by parishioners, friends and well-wishers who thanked God for the life of Fr. Nwandu as well as his positive impact, commitment to duty, hard work, humility and other virtues.
The cleric, while presenting the books, said God had used him to change lives in one way or the other in all the areas he had found himself in God’s vineyard.
On what motivated him to write books, Fr. Nwandu said: “The target of the books is to make society better. In Bishop Must Hear This, I dwelt on leadership. How do you set up plans? In whatever thing you have to do, set out time and follow it up for you to achieve your targets. In Too Precious to Rust, I talked about personality disorder, the issue of aggression and fighting and rage, which you see in homes and marriages.
“Then the one, titled The Death Sentence’s Alternative, is on cancer and poor medical treatment in Nigeria and how many people are losing their lives annually through the disease called cancer. What we have in our farms, the organic foods, can help us because, when we go to hospitals, we don’t have enough equipment and machines for treatment.”
Some of the parishioners who spoke to Daily Sun described Fr. Nwandu as a great pillar and mountain-mover in the church who has brought development to the parish.
Chief Davy Okey Umeano described him as the powerhouse of the parish, considering the commitment and speed with which he perfected the dedication of the church and other development projects in the parish.
He attributed the progress and growth of St. Michael’s under the leadership of Fr. Nwandu as miraculous after the exit of their two parish priests.
Chairman of the ceremony, Mr. Francis Nnabuike described the humility of Fr. Nwandu as contagious and non-discriminatory.
Chairman of the Catholic Men Organisation (CMO) of the parish, Chief Michael Sunday Nwafor said the priest executed the fencing of the premises, sinking of borehole and the building of three gates for the church.
He advised the parishioners to support the cleric in his efforts to ensure further growth in the church.
Mrs. Eunice Anyaeji of Immaculate Conception Onitsha led the Catholic Women Organisation (CWO) members to the parish to support their former priest who she said was a workaholic.
A relative of Fr. Nwandu’s, Mr. Sampson, said his late father, Mr. J.P. Nwandu, had prophesied while the cleric was three years old that he would be a priest, which invariably materialised in the year 2000 when he was ordained.
Fr. Nwandu described the incessant crises in the country to lack of good governance, neglect of youths, unemployment, marginalisation of some sections of the country among others, which he urged the Buhari administration to tackle immediately.
“I support and subscribe to restructuring of the country and community policing. Just like we are talking about security, government is falling back on community policing where the vigilante groups and local security outfits now provide security for the people since the police refused to go back to their duty posts due to fear of attacks.
“Since, the whole country gathered for the 2014 National Conference and government sponsored it, why won’t the government implement the recommendation of the conference since it is the voice of the masses? For better governance, they gathered the whole Nigerians for the national conference. They have to implement some of the recommendations in the report to move the country forward,” he said.