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Priest harps on generous giving to God …As Sacred Heart Parish Egbu raises fund for Church building



Parishioners of Sacred Heart Catholic Church Egbu, in the Owerri North Local Government Area, with friends and relations, last Sunday (April 28, 2013) came out in their numbers to raise money for the completion of their church building project that has reached the roofing stage.


Prominent among dignitaries who graced the occasion, held at the church field were: former Minister of Interior, Capt. Iheanacho, represented by Hon. Emma Ekwonna and Hon. Dan Ikepazu, member for Owerri North in the Imo State House of Assembly.  The Traditional Ruler of Egbu, Eze Felix Egbukole, Ochoronma V of Egbu, who was accompanied by his Ugoeze and the Oha Egbu elders was the father of the day, while Mrs. Patience Dike was the mother of the day.  Sir Roy Obijuru acted as chairman of the occasion in the absence of Capt. Iheanacho.


The Very Rev. Fr. Dr. Alphonsus Oha, Secretary to the Archbishop and Chancellor of the Owerri Archdiocese who was the chief celebrant, concelebrated with the Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Francis Onyekwere (The Ekwueme of Sacred Heart Parish Egbu) and Fr. Chukwunonye Akamanu.


Preaching the homily, Rev. Fr. Innocent Emeam, who was also among the officiating priest called on Christ’s faithful to be always generous in giving to God.  He told them that all they have and all they can do, depend on the grace of God.


He reminded Christians of how God sustains their lives, saves them from death and dangers, all of which call for thanksgiving.


According to the homilist, the best way to insure one’s wealth is to give God his due and the rest of one’s possessions will be safe and continue to multiply.  Even during times of famine, crisis and adversity, the giver never lacks, but continues to flourish.  Fr. Emeam cited the generosity of Constantine the Great.  Tobit and the centurion, all of which earned enormous blessings from God.


In his address at the occasion, the Chairman of the Parish Pastoral Council, Sir J.C. Opara traced the humble beginnings of the parish to 1933 when it started to operate from a tailor’s shop, till 2012 when their present action Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Onyekwere pulled down the structure built after the Nigerian civil war, which could no longer cope with the large number of worshippers, to begin the present mighty edifice.


The Council Chairman who was full of praises for Fr. Onyekwere, (whom the parishioners have nicknamed the Ekwueme of Sacred Heart Parish) listed 11 solid achievements recorded by the priest within the short time he had been with them, including the free education being enjoyed by all the pupils of the Sacred Heart Nursery and Primary School.


Virtually everyone that spoke commended Fr. Onyekwere for the wonderful work he was doing, which they said was the same legacy he left wherever he had worked.


The traditional ruler of Egbu, Eze Felix Egbukole, who though an Anglican by faith was reputed to be very well disposed towards the parish, also recalled how Catholicism came to Egbu.  He later made his generous donations.  Many individuals and groups both at home and in diaspora also donated towards the church building project.


The Parish Priest, Fr. Onyekwere had earlier at the beginning of the Eucharistic celebration reminded the faithful that they owe it a duty to themselves and God to donate generously from their hearts.  At the end of the ceremony, he also expressed gratitude to all who helped to make the occasion a success.  Choral/dance troupes entertained at the occasion.


USAID begins Covid-19 testing in Imo rural areas



USAID averts 25,000 unwanted pregnancies in Ebonyi, Kogi

…Umuagwo Varsity of Agric kicks-off October

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has begun Covid-19 testing in the 27 Local Government Areas of Imo State, “in a bid to reduce the impact of community spread of the virus in the rural areas of the state.

The Imo State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Chief Declan Mbadiwe Emelumba disclosed this in Owerri while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the Weekly Executive Council meeting presided over by Governor Hope Uzodimma on Wednesday.

Chief Emelumba said so far, the USAID officials have carried out reasonable number of testing in Njaba LGA and reported that all those tested came out negative and that the council prayed that the result from other Local Government Areas will be the same.

He announced that the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) has approved the take off of the Imo State University for Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Umuagwo in October this year.

According to him, the approval underscores the efforts which the Imo State Government ably led by Governor Hope Uzodinma has made towards the establishment of a second university for the state.

Recently, the NUC panel was in Imo State to carry out the necessary verification exercises on the state facilities, human and physical infrastructures.

Mr. Declan Emelumba, who was flanked by the Commissioner for Education, Prof. Bernard Ikegwuoha, Commissioner for Health Dr. Damaris Osunkwo and the Chief Press Secretary/Media Adviser to the Governor Mr. Oguwike Nwachuku, informed that the Executive Council is happy that something new is happening in the Education Sector of the State.

Emelumba said that the Imo State University of Science and Environmental Sciences, Umuagwo will take off by October when other universities would be resuming for a new academic session.

In the same vein, the Council has approved the immediate relocation of Faculty of Engineering Imo State University Owerri to its permanent site at Okigwe, stressing that Government has put all processes and facilities on ground to ensure the immediate take–off of the faculty.

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Imo Governor’s aide visits Oziza FM Staff, Ogechi Iwu in hospital



Imo Governor’s aide visits Oziza FM  Staff, Ogechi Iwu in hospital

The Chief Press Secretary and Media Adviser to Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State, Mr. Oguwike Nwachuku has visited Mr. Ogechi Iwu, a journalist with Osiza FM.

The media man is hospitalized at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owerri over complications from diabetes that led to his right leg being amputated.

Mr. Nwachuku said the visit was to show solidarity on behalf of Governor Uzodimma to his professional colleague, assuring him of their prayers, particularly that of his principal, and the prayers of Mr. Iwu’s numerous friends and well wishers who are touched by his plight.

“I am here on behalf of my principal to associate with him in this time of health challenge and to encourage him not to see the sickness as a death sentence.”

Oge Iwu at fmc

L-R: Chief Akaraonye, Mr. Oguwike Nwachuku with Ogechi Iwu during the visit

Mr. Nwachuku urged Mr. Iwu to continue in the high spirit he saw him and trust God for his total recovery “because healing is a thing of mind and when a sick person is in high spirit the patient gets recovered quickly.”

The spokesman of the Governor promised to bring the plight of the journalist to the attention of his principal, and assured that the Governor will, in his usual manner of one with milk of human sympathy, show concern over Iwu’s plight.

Earlier, Mr. Iwu thanked the CPS/Media Adviser, the State Chairman of NUJ, Imo State, Chief Christopher Akaraonye and other journalists who were on the entourage, for coming to identify with him on his sick bed, and assured that God in his infinite mercy will quicken his recovery.

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Bishop Ugorji heads IMSU Governing Council



Bishop Ugorji heads IMSU Governing Council

Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma has inaugurated a new Governing Council, for the Imo State University, IMSU, Owerri.

At the inauguration ceremony on Monday, August 31, the governor named Most Rev. Lucius Ugorji as the Chairman of the Governing Council and Pro-Chancellor of the University.

Other members of the Council include: Chief Leo Stan Ekeh, Chief Tony Ezenna, Prof. (Ven.) Chinedu Nebo, Sir. Louis Ezeigwe, Chief Engr. Ernest Nwapa, Dr. (Mrs.) Uwandu Uzoma, Ugoeze Victoria Adaku Ekezie, Prof. Adaobi Obasi (Vice Chancellor) and others.

Speaking at the inauguration, Governor Uzodimma said the choice of the members is to infuse fresh air into the university because “It is in dire need to bounce back to reckoning.”
He added that the choice of the members was because they have carved a niche for themselves in their chosen fields of endeavour and that they have earned solid reputation as men and women of substance in their individual trade, indices that qualified them for the appointment.

He challenged the members to bring their reputation to bear on the University, bearing in mind the task for good quality scholarship in Imo State University as well as service to humanity.

The Governor urged the members to deploy their individual accomplishments, excellence, expertise, passion for service as effectively as necessary to actualize the dream of his administration of having a highly reputable University comparable to the best Universities in the World.

He also requested the Council to “restore in words and deeds the motto of Imo State University, which is Excellence in Service”.

“Imo State University currently is a classical example of a failed University,” Governor Uzodimma said but strongly believed that “with a star studded Governing Council such as the one inaugurated there is no doubt that Imo is on the track to realize the dreams of her founding fathers.”

He further enjoined the Council members to quickly hit the ground running and come up with policies and programmes that will reassure Imo people that the University that made them proud 20 years back is on track as he assured them of Government partnership in this regard.

In an acceptance speech, on behalf of the Council, the Chairman, Most Rev. Ugorji who is the Catholic Bishop of Umuahia thanked the Governor for the absolute confidence reposed in them by giving them the assignment and acknowledged that though the task is daunting he has a strong belief that with the calibre of members of the Council and support of the management, staff and students the University will be returned to a centre of excellence which was the dream of the founding fathers.

He said that Imo State University deserves the best and that he and his members as inaugurated will work acidulously to ensure that the target of the governor in making Imo State University one of the best universities in Africa is realised.

He congratulated fellow members and promised that God’s willing, they will not fail the government and people of Imo State.

Present at the inauguration were the Deputy Governor, Prof. Placid Njoku, the Speaker Imo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Chiji Collins, the Secretary to the State Government, Chief Cosmas Iwu, and other members of the expanded State Executive Council.

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