…Strongman of Enugu politics relives story of attack by strange ailment
From Chidi Nnadi, Enugu
On August 28, Chief Gbazueagu Nweke Gbazueagu (GNG), former national secretary of the defunct United Nigeria Congress Party (UNCP) and now one of the leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Enugu State, gathered all his well-wishers and friends to the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd, Enugu, for a special thanksgiving and what he called his testimony of all testimonies.
According to the former governorship candidate in Enugu State, he had organised the ceremony to thank God for saving his life after he was struck down by a strange ailment from January to August 2015, which sickness defiled all known medical solutions.
“However, God Almighty in His infinite mercy gave me a second chance and miraculously healed me and granted me absolute recovery in all facets of my life,” he said at the occasion that attracted who is who in the nation’s political landscape, as well as the business world.
After the thanksgiving, the man who commands huge political weight in the South-East zone also told the story of his strange ailment to a select group of journalists in Enugu, saying that now he is well again he is fully back to active politics. Excerpts:
My encounter with Bishop Mmadu
Sometime in 2002, Oji River was made a diocese of the Anglican church and Bishop Amos Mmadu became the first bishop of that diocese and invited me for a normal service. When it was my time to speak, as I was always led by the spirit, I told him that it was unusual for him to be made a bishop and posted to his own town because he is from Achi, Oji River. I said, to be made a bishop and the first place you are posted to is your own town, I said you will suffer persecution because prophets are not appreciated in their own land. But I said do not be afraid, that before you will leave this diocese, you will have cause to glorify God. Those persecutions will be over; I gave half a million naira then and left, that was in 2002. Years down the line when they wanted to consecrate an archbishop for the province, Archbishop Emmanuel Chukwuma was one of those who made him bishop, but instead of choosing Chukwuma, they, the then primate and house of bishops chose Archbishop Amos Mmadu to be the archbishop of that province.
My involvement in building a cathedral for God
Before then, I said, before you leave this diocese, you must build a cathedral for the Lord. So, when he was now made an archbishop, I went back to one of his services and I said sir, today you are glorifying God. I said about eight years ago that you will glorify God. I did not put into consideration of your being made an archbishop. I said what he has to do was to increase the drawing plan for the cathedral, that what you are going to build today is provincial cathedral, no longer diocesan cathedral. He took the challenge; and when he wanted to appoint committee members, he picked my name, and behold, he made me the chairman, he never consulted me. So, I thought about it, my diocese is not Oji River, my diocese is Aguata. The first day he called for the meeting, they now said, what is our estimate for this cathedral? And because I have in mind the type of cathedral I will like us to build for the province, I said N1billion will be the money to be used. In the next meeting, all the members disappeared because they heard N1billion, they were wondering where we will get that kind of money, that maybe we will tax them. It was only me, Archbishop Chukwuma and the clergy that remained. He called me GNG, I said sir, he said, God does not work with number. I have never forgotten that message up till today, and that has led me through everything I do. On the day of the launching of that particular cathedral, I voted N100 million, I didn’t tell my wife, I took her by storm. I said I will take 10 per cent of the total cost of the building, so I donated N100 million. Then we started, laid the foundation and I said this building must be completed in three years because the usual thing is that church of God is supposed to be built from generation to generation. But I said three years, we will dedicate. When we finished, the final thing was to roof which will now commence the finishing.
Deviating to build my own house
That time, my children asked me to build them a house because they felt that where we were staying was not good enough for them. I said okay; I acquired a land just close to Toscana Hotel, I acquired that land, 8,500square meters and my wife was reluctant about using the whole land for such a property. She said no, if we can divide the land and farm at the other side. I said no, I had this big idea, the house was eight bedroom with an in-built gym, five expansive sitting rooms, 100-seater chapel, nine rooms boys-quarters with two sitting rooms upstairs and a swimming pool and a guest house. At that site, I wanted to build a-150-sitting hall for meeting and a little office upstairs. So, while I was doing that, I merged it with the work that will end in three years. I channeled resources to building a business house and left my commitment to God’s work. I wanted to hand over that building to my wife as a birthday present.
My sudden ailment
Suddenly, an attack came, I didn’t know what was happening, I became restless, I couldn’t sleep again, I couldn’t be in one place. I started applying tranquilizer which I was not using before. That was about February 2014, the house has to stop abruptly because I have actually finished it, it remained only the painting. I was preparing to travel to Turkey to buy the furniture. Eventually, the thing became worse, I was devastated physically; I lost weight from 96 to 72. I was like a skeleton, but nothing was found as wrong with me. In the US, UK, Israel, Germany, India, Nigeria, nothing was found, but I was dying. At a point, I died three times and each time God resurrected me; for nine months, I did not sleep for more than two hours a day maximum, that is to say I can take tranquilizer and sleep for one hour between 11 and 12 and I will not sleep again, then I will take another tranquilizer to sleep again between five and six and I will not sleep again. During the day, no sleep no matter what you give to me, I will not sleep. It continued, nine months my wife cried day and night and my first daughter who returned from London with masters in Human Resource Management was crying on her own, but she does not want to compound that of her mother, when she gets to her room, she will do all the crying, when she comes out, she will clean her eyes. The thing continued, my business was left behind, the so-called building meant nothing to me, in fact, when I move along the road during that period, I see people in thatched houses. I said these are God’s people. This is the way human beings are supposed to live. Nothing mattered to me again, I actually wore only two cloths because all my cloths became over-sized, two times what I was supposed to wear and I refused to make new ones. The worst thing was that my mum, because I am the only child of my mum, was incapacitated for three years. In fact, I called my relations and told them what to do on the event I die. I said just do the basic things for the church. Every day of my life in that critical time, I thought it was the end, I thought I will not see the next day. I just gave up because I have done all the struggles and realized that nothing was happening, I just gave up.
The sudden reprieve
Eventually, I didn’t know what happened, when my mother died, things began to change, and I was eating very well. The mystery about the whole thing is that during that time, I never slept one day in the hospital, but I was visiting the hospital almost three times a day; by 12 O’clock, I will wake up my daughter because my driver knows I will like him to rest, I will wake her up to take me to the hospital, while the doctor will do the normal check up and tell me nothing is wrong with you. In one of the occasions I asked my doctor, he said that there was an injection he was going to give me so that I could sleep for once at least that month. That the injection is supposed to be 25mil, but the maximum is 50mil, he gave me 50mil, I didn’t sleep, instead the thing was chocking me, I started drinking water, he had left before I had the experience. I was rushed back to the same clinic. Immediately the doctor said this is the strongest tranquilizer anybody can give to you. He said keep drinking water. So my brothers, you can imagine when you don’t sleep for one month, what your life will be. But as God will have it, I began to gradually recover, to sleep; two hours was like heaven for me. First of all, it began to wind me out of the whole tranquilizers, if I touch something, my hand will be shaking because of the effects of the tranquilizer. If I touch paper, my hand will be shaking.
Doing away with the bogus property
On the height of that situation because I have a family of five; myself, my wife and my children, I asked myself, what will I be doing with that property if I eventually die? I decided to put it on sale, but nobody could buy because the way the property was structured, you cannot convert it to a hotel unless you bring it down, and the people said, we are buying land but the issue of bringing it down was an additional cost because the commercial people nobody wanted a chapel. The nine bedroom boys-quarters with two sitting rooms was not structured in a way you will begin to convert them into a hotel. So, I gave out that house as a peanut.
My complete recovery
As soon as I gave out that house was when I began to recover because the mystery was that God wanted to tell me that things are vanity. Like now, I’m not in that house, I did not finish the house of God. As I gave the house away for whatsoever reason, because I was going to dash it out that was where my process of recovery started. When I got over it somehow, I went back to the archbishop. As God will have it, that was why I said God does not work with numbers, that one year and 18 months I was down, people began to show interest in the structure. When I came back, a couple of things have been done inside, most of the things have been done, I now told the archbishop, give me a date we are going to dedicate this church. We wanted to do it this November, but we decided to put it off till Easter. After I have spoken with the bishop and took over that responsibility, my recovery became very rapid, no medicine, no doctor, nothing. If I bring my international passport, I will show you my face then and you see who is sitting with you now; unusual transformation. God has to clean me inside-out. He prospered me; created opportunity for me; created new and great friends for me. People are outpouring in their way to do me a favour because he gave me an abundance of grace. I suffered more than what Job suffered, but the only thing is that he didn’t take my family. God said I will meet your need from his riches in glory, God never said I will meet your luxury and your greed. That action I took was based on greed and covetousness and in that church, I mentioned it severally. What are you doing with 8,500square meters when a normal plot is 750square meters; and the next property next to me 7,200square meters, the man built 16 duplexes and sold them for N70million each and still provided one he is living in. People have packed in there joyously.