The Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, and the Senior Special Adviser to Ebonyi State Governor on Welfare and Religious Matters, Very Rev. Fr. Dr. Abraham Nwali, has revealed that over 10-50 billion naira has been spent giving succour to the less privileged. He made the revelation on Saturday, 24th August, 2019, during the celebration of his Priestly Silver Jubilee, in Abakaliki.
Fr. Nwali further revealed that more than 10,000 people, including physically challenged, have benefited from the succour programmes and on that note, he highlighted the basic functions of a man of God, saying that he is happy to have worked towards achieving those basic functions which include preaching, teaching and celebrating.
According to him:
” Somebody asked me the basic thing I have achieved in life and I answered like Jesus and that is, our names be written in heaven. And to do so;
One has to be baptized, I’m sure they are running into fifty of thousands and some are married. I am sure I have been able to pay dowries of over 2000 people who would never have been married and brought them closer to God. Some have been buried and the sick have been relieved. I’m sure that for the past 25years, we have spent not less than 10-50 billion naira to relieve people. I can proudly say that over 10,000 people have been restored to good sight which means “let us see”, “Effatha” which means “be opened ” has come to fulfilment. I have identified with the sick, the less privileged and the physically challenged. I can even proudly say that we have touched over 5,000 men and women with over 500 million naira by empowering ministers.”
“But there are 3 basic functions required from a man of God; a Preacher, Teacher and Celebrant. I am glad that I share the good news, knowing that the Christ is the major instrument, I am glad that I have preached and the greatest Charisma is Jeremiah, I am also glad that I have celebrated the Sacrament knowing that in celebrating the Sacrament, we sanctify all ordinary things extraordinarily and sufficiently and that is why we say “opera est operatum. In sanctifying, we use the symbol of what we see in sanctifying the spiritual. So, I have asked God graciously to be his unworthy instrument in preaching the gospel, in preaching salvation, in preaching divine doctrine and celebrating the dignity of the sacrament. More importantly, to always be there as a mere servant.”
Speaking on the significance of the human soul to the body, the CAN chairman explained his dual positions as a servant to the people of God and to Ebonyi State Government which was made manifest during the cutting of His Anniversary cake. And he said thus:
“I decided to cut two cakes; one standing for the public society and the other one standing for the church, because every one of us has those two parts, the body and the soul. The soulstress to our spiritual needs, the body attends to our social needs, as we usually say “mensana in corporasana – a healthy mind in a healthy body and a healthy spirit” and we usually say that life requires the inter-connectivity between the soul and the body and we call it “sanctify querem intellectum”, showing that knowledge seeks understanding from Divinity. So, the combination is that ‘here In am Lord, I have come to do your will’, the will of God in the church is the kind of service needed in the public. Actually, a man of God is a public servant. The extraordinary part of it is that the Government is seeking that I advise them in the course of my public service but I am born to serve God in serving His people. So, I see the combination as the combination of the soul and the body”.
Rev. Fr. Nwali expressed his gratitude to God and all who contributed to the success of his being so far and also advised the general public to embrace peace in other to unite as one.
“I feel as if I am already in heaven because for 25 years I have been sojourning as a man of God. It has been a gracious period, I must appreciate, a very lovely period and having its own challenges. But when I remember that I am 25, I say thanks be God, thanks be to our Lord, Bishop, thanks be to my parents, thanks be to my siblings, thanks be to friends and relations,thanks be to the Presbyterium, thanks be to His Excellency, thanks be to Ebonyi State and thanks be to all. It’s simply gratitude! gratitude!! gratitude!!!”
“The advice may be the same; when the disciples were watching Jesus advise people he said: peace be unto you, I give you what the whole world cannot give you – Peace (Pax, Udo or Shalom) and again in John chapter 17; Father, that they may be one – quonum sunt”.
Governor Umahi, represented by his deputy, Barr. Kelechi Igwe congratulated Fr. Nwali on his 25th priestly ordination, saying that the priest is a hardworking man who does not leave any stone unturned and also encouraged him not to relent in his service to God and humanity, saying that Fr. Nwali means a lot to Ebonyians. He spoke thus:
“On behalf of the Governor, we have come to witness your celebration. We have so much to say about you because today is your day; You are a man who understands the opportunity given by God and you use it effectively to do your work. We are beginning to see that even in the house of God, there are challenges but God is always your strength. You mean so much to Ebonyi State Government, the church and the Bishop who has been of great support to you. The Governor said we should tell you that you have done wonderfully well and we cannot thank you enough but shall continue to be with you through thick and thin. ”
Speaking on behalf of the Anglican Diocese and the entire Christian Association of Nigeria, Ebonyi State Chapter, the wife of the Anglican Bishop of Abakaliki, Lady Nwanyieze C. Nkwoagu, said Fr. Nwali is a leader worthy of emulation.
According to Lady Nkwoagu:
“We appreciate the effort of our dear CAN Chairman, Very Rev. Fr. Dr. Abraham Nwali, He is really a Leader Per Excellence, a leader to be emulated. I love him and I want to be like him because of the virtue and spirit of trustworthiness, transparency, honesty and intelligence I saw in him which have elevated him so much, I love him and my husband wants to be like him. In my little office, on behalf of CAN, and the women wing, in particular, I appreciate his spirit of charity to the less privileged, the orphans, the widows, the widowers and the motherless. Apart from that, how he is organizing the CAN of Ebonyi State Chapter makes him different from others in the whole world. He is a different man and we pray to God to take him to another level so that he will continue to protect the image of the people in Nigeria. ”
by Udo Akam-Alo