David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi
It was a wedding of the year 2020 at Rehabilitation Centre for the Disabled, Old and Tramps (RECDOT), Ozubulu in Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra State when two physically challenged ladies (crippled) in their wheel chairs, Chioma and Gloria, exchanged marital vows with Ibeadua and Fidelix, respectively.
Mr Ikenna Francis Ibeadua, 29, a businessman who hooked up with his heartthrob Chioma is physically fit just like his counterpart, Mr Samson Chigozie Fidelix, 32, who without any physical challenge decided to marry Gloria despite her challenge.
The marriage of the two couples which attracted personalities, including the former Governor of Anambra State, Mr Peter Obi was solemnized at St Aloysius Church of Divine Mercy, RECDOT Centre, Ozubulu and officiated by Rev. Fr. Donald Chukwudolue amidst hundreds of Catholics and people from other denominations who thronged the church to witness the weeding.
Joy in the hearts of the two couples knew no bounds and that was easily understood from their comments after exchanging marital vows.
Happily pushing the wheel chairs with their wives to the reception arena, Ibeadua and Fidelix were doing that with dance steps complemented by their newly weeded wives as they were sitting down.
In his comment, Mr Ibeadua said he was extremely happy and grateful to God for the consummation of the marriage after six years in courtship. He prayed God to bless his family with long life, good health and the wherewithal for sustenance, having been already blessed with two children (boys).
On what attracted him to Chioma, he said: “She has good characters. She is respectful and has all the good qualities you can think of a woman.
“I saw a whole lot of others without physical challenge, but I chose her and I believe it is God who gave me my wife. And I will love her forever. I already have two children (boys) by her. I promise her that nothing can separate us.”
His wife, Chioma, 28, said all she owed her husband is ceaseless love in every situation, adding that nothing could separate them except death.
Mr Fidelix on his part said he was very grateful to God for perfecting the marriage despite initial discouragement he received from friends and relations.
“I didn’t face any challenge in the course of the marriage except the one coming from my parents and friends. Because she is on wheel chair, many do not know that she is specifically made. I want to prove to them that there is ability in disability. Many of my friends laughed at me asking me whether I do not see other beautiful ladies out there without any physical challenge. I ignored them because Gloria is my bone, my missing ribs.
“The moment I set my eyes on her for the first time, my inner self told me that this is a woman that will give me peace of mind. I had to summon courage to see that the marriage was actualized. We were only one year in courtship, “ he said.
Fidelix promised that she would never share him with any other woman for life. He said he would always take good care of her for them to live happily for the rest of their lives.
Gloria who described Fidelis as the apple of her eyes said she was surprised at the turnout of people at the marriage ceremony just for the couples.
“I love my husband for so many reasons. He is hardworking and good all round. I must always live in peace with him. Even if there’s any misunderstanding, we must settle whatever it is amicably, “ she promised.
Former Governor Obi congratulated the newly wedded couples and advised them to continue with the love that attracted them to each other.
He commended the proprietress of the centre, Mrs Rosemary Odunukwe for all her efforts to see that the home is moving progressively.
Obi noted that Mrs Odunkwe was rather helping government, pointing out that it is the responsibility of the government to take care of the physically challenged in society and others in that category.
Chairman on the occasion, Chief Uchenna Umeanaeto (Ucheson-Mary) described the marriage as a wonderful one “fixed and perfected by the Lord Himself.”
He said that what some people thought was not possible had been made possible.
He noted that for someone who is physically fit to marry a cripple was not an easy feat.
He said that people would see the blessings of God in them as they lived as husband and wife.
Mrs Odunkwe who was radiating with happiness all through the event showered blessings on the couples.
“I advise them to live in peace and learn from others. They will be blessed with enough children and they will prosper to be able to help themselves and other physically challenged around them. Let them be the light of the nation,” she prayed.
Numerous gifts items were given to the newly wedded from friends, parents, other relations and well-wishers.