Aloysius Attah, Onitsha
For the vice chancellor, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Prof. Charles Okechukwu Esimone, and his family, these are very happy times.
A few months before his appointment as the institution’s helmsman on June 5, 2019, his wife, Dr. Chinyere Esimone, was delivered of a set of quadruplets, two boys and two girls.
Before now, the couple, who got married in March 2003, had endured the pain of childlessness for almost 12 years before they had their first child, a boy, in 2015. Four years after, four bundles of joy were added to the family.
Esimone became a professor at 37. He was also dean of Pharmaceutical Sciences, UNIZIK and Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic, for two tenures before he was appointed VC.
The dedication of the quadruplets – Ruth, Charles Jnr, William and Abigail, took place at the Deeper Life Bible Church, Awka. It attracted an array of dignitaries, including traditionalists and Christians of diverse denominations.
Some Catholic priests in their cassocks who attended the church service had to abandon their priestly duties that day, as they joined other worshippers at the Deeper Life Bible Church.
Regional pastor of the church in Awka, Prof. Godwin Okeke, preached on the topic: “Availability of Divine Goodness and Mercy for Everyone,” stating that all things and positions come from God.
The state pastor, Emmanuel Ogbodo, testified to Esimone’s commitment to the gospel as a pastor of the church as well as to his duties as the VC of UNIZIK.
At the reception, the visibly elated wife of the VC testified to the goodness of God in her family. She described the moments she delivered her first son in 2015 and the quadruplets in 2019 as visitations by God.
“When it was time to get married, God gave me this handsome young man. But for years, we stayed without any issue. There were people that said we would not have a child, but I didn’t pray for them to die. I prayed that they would be alive to hear this testimony, and it happened.
“My husband said he wanted us to have five children, while I said three. But if you are a student of the Bible, you know the scriptures said, if a woman makes a law and the husband says no, that nullifies it. So, his own had to prevail.
“For us, it seemed that God was wasting our time to fulfil that desire but we’ve realised that delay is never denial. It was not until 2014, during prayers, that my husband and I were introduced to a God-sent doctor, Prof. Joseph Ikechebelu, who discovered that I had multiple fibroids. Eventually, 21 fibroids were removed from my system.
“People were asking whether I was really pregnant or whether I got an adopted baby, but that was how Okechi Daniel was born. And, just four years later, God gave us four again at a time, confirming my husband’s wish for five children.
“When the appointed time of delivery came, we didn’t know the sexes until the day. The girl came out first, followed by a boy, another girl and finally a boy too and immediately the last came out, the womb closed up on its own,” she said.
Corroborating his wife, Esimone said his life and that of the family had been a testimony of God’s goodness and faithfulness. He urged all at the thanksgiving to believe in God, assuring them that God who did it for his family was capable of solving every challenge for others too.
Registrar of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Philomena Iwara-Okoye, while thanking God for the blessings on the Esimone family, said the quadruplets were a manifestation that those who trust in God and do His will would never be put to shame.
Dignitaries at the event included the Deputy Governor of Anambra State, Dr. Nkem Okeke; Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe; Igwe of Nnewi, Igwe Kenneth Orizu; Awka monarch, Obi Gibson Nwosu Akwaeze; Igwe Eze Nnebo, Igwe Alex Onyido; VC of ESUT, Prof. Luke Anike; immediate past UNIZIK VC, Prof. Joseph Ahaneku; Innoson Motors chairman, Chief Innocent Chukwuma; CEO of Stanel Group, Dr. Stanley Uzochukwu; Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Dr. Sally Mbanefo, and others.