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The vocation to the Priesthood is an act of God, and the few anointed by Him have the burden of facilitating the salvation of the people, the Minister of Transport and former governor of Rivers State, Honourable Rotimi Amaechi has declared.

The Minister made this observation while speaking at the celebration of the 50th Birthday of Rev. Fr. Chris Anyanwu, Director of Social Communications, Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN) and public presentation of his book – An Introduction to Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution, authored by the celebrant.

Honourable Amaechi commended the celebrant and other Priests of the Catholic Church noting that their vocation is a great sacrifice, having forsaken the world to serve God in His Church and humanity. His words: “So for those of you who are priests, sisters and all that, there is nothing we can do for you than to continue to pray for you. Because, what you have done is to let us know that there is life after here and the consequences of our actions will be on the last day and you help to save souls. So in that journey to save souls, Ubima as a community has contributed a lot.”
He continued: “Father Chris and all other priest in my village were among the priests that I called to pray for me and I became Speaker. I am sure most of you don’t know that I became Speaker; by prayers. The same thing repeated itself when I wanted to be governor. I am the only Nigerian who became governor without election. Or better still I am the only civilian governor because there were military governors who never got elected in an election. I am the only governor and after this they amended the law.”
The former governor of Rivers State went down memory lane on his relationship with the celebrant, outlining the significant role the celebrant played in the spiritual life of his family; especially his wife and children.
Speaking on his political life, the chairman of the occasion noted that it has not been all bed of roses, but God has made it fruitful with the prayers of his priest friends, including the celebrant. He noted that politics is a battle field and called on priests to continue to pray for those engaged in it saying: “Politics in Nigeria is war; there is no brother no sister. Don’t reveal your secret to a politician, because if you become enemies tomorrow what will you do? So, you have to be cautious with politicians.”
While congratulating the celebrant for attaining the golden age of 50 on behalf of himself and his entire family, Honourable Amaechi assured Fr. Anyanwu of his support for his pet project - an Education Foundation in the name of his late father Pa Anyanwu, noting that this is a laudable legacy that will impact positively on the lives of many, especially the poor.
The ceremony took place at the Chida Palace Hotel International, Abuja; and was attended by dignitaries from all walks of life. Also in present were: Rev. Fr. Ralph Madu, Secretary General Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria; his Deputy, Rev. Fr. Zacharia Samjumi; Rev. Fr. Ojaje Idoko, CSN director of Pastoral Affairs department and Rev. Fr. Cornelius Omonokhua, the director of Mission and Dialogue department.

Also in attendance were: Rev. Fr. Mark Obayi, CBCN Youth Committee Secretary; Rev. Fr. Joseph Ohwange, CBCN Mission Unit Secretary; Rev. Fr. Uche Obodochina, Deputy Secretary of Catholic Caritas Foundation of Nigeria (CCFN) and management and staff of both CSN and CCFN and other agencies of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN). The book review was done by the Executive Secretary of the Catholic Caritas Foundation of Nigeria and Director of Church and society, Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Rev. Fr. Evaristus Bassey.


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