The coast for the reelection of Governor Hope Uzodimma in the November 11 governorship election in Imo State gets clearer by the day as Anglicans have queued behind him and his deputy governorship candidate, Lady Chinyere Ekomaru, a core Anglican.
Pointer to the massive support Governor Uzodimma and Lady Ekomaru will get from the Anglican Communion in Imo State during the election played out on Sunday at the Cathedral Church of the Transfiguration of our Lord (CATOL) where the APC deputy governorship candidate and her family, held a Special Thanking over her choice.
The Special Thanking attracted the highest hierarchy of the Anglican Communion in Imo State, with the Primate of the All Nigeria (Anglican Communion) Church, Most Rev Dr. Henry Ndukuba represented by the Archbishop of the Anglican Ecclesiastical Province of Owerri, Most Rev Dr David Onuoha.
Bishop Onuoha assured the Governor that the Primate who was unavoidably absent at the Service will be present at his post election Thanksgiving.
Bishop Onuoha in his sermon said that though Lady Ekomaru was chosen among the lot by Governor Uzodimma based on the grace of God, only God knows whom he wants to qualify.
He reminded Lady Ekomaru that because the grace of God had located her for the job, she also has the responsibility to work hard to qualify herself by not disappointing God and the expectations of the man whom God used to qualify her.
“While people look at outward appearance, God looks at the heart. By sweat shall no man prevail,” Bishop Onuoha said and repeatedly reminded the largely Anglican communicants that Lady Ekomaru is one of them, hence they must support her.
Bishop Onuoha said that “in God’s selection process, he chooses not those who are qualified but those he will qualify.”
Turning to Governor Uzodimma the Bishop said, “We welcome to the service our beloved Governor, the Executive Governor of Imo State, His Excellency, Senator Hope Uzodimma, Commander of the Order of the Niger.
“Thank you Sir for finding time to come in this service. We are deeply grateful to you for finding one of our own worthy to be your running mate in the forthcoming gubernatorial election in Imo State, which is just a couple of weeks from now. We admire your sense of equity, fairness, inclusivity and gender sensitivity.”
Bishop Onuoha’s sermon reads: ” It is a thing of joy to gather in the presence of God to rejoice and be glad in Him and to render praises and thanks for the great benefits that we always receive from His hands. We thank Him immensely for preserving our lives despite the present challenges mankind is facing in every corner of the earth.
“But here we are hale and hearty, not because of our own efforts, not because of our righteousness, but by the special grace of God.
“We welcome to the service our beloved Governor, the Executive Governor of Imo State, His Excellency, Senator Hope Uzodimma, Commander of the Order of the Niger.
“Thank you Sir for finding time to come in this service. We are deeply grateful to you for finding one of our own worthy to be your running mate in the forthcoming gubernatorial election in Imo State, which is just a couple of weeks from now. We admire your sense of equity, fairness, inclusivity and gender sensitivity.
“We applaud your efforts in infrastructural development, and for attracting federal projects to Imo State. The prospect of a seaport in Imo State is very exciting, while the presence of a Federal University of Technology Teaching Hospital in the state is a joy.
“We congratulate you Sir, on the completion of the three ultra modern General Hospitals which your administration built and equipped in Imo State and we are so excited that you have desired, determined and committed to partnering with the Church in the management of the hospitals for the great benefit of our people.
“The bishop that represented me in the commissioning of the one at Umuokanne few days ago, told me that that hospital is something else. We pray that the Lord will grant you more Grace and opportunity for more exploits.
“His Grace the primate of Nigeria, Most Reverend Dr Henry Ndukuba has asked me to bring his greetings to Your Excellency and the good people of Imo State on this happy occasion. He would have personally been here himself to join in this service, but preparations for the General Synod of the National Church which commences a couple of hours from now have made that desire impossible. He looks forward to a more auspicious time, when he will be present to bless the government and people of his home state Imo. Your Excellency, the Primate will surely be here as you conduct your post-election thanksgiving.
“May we also congratulate Lady Chinyere Ekomaro on her choice as the running mate to His Excellency at the forthcoming election. Madam, congratulations. But note that it is not your qualifications, exploits, or competence that has given you this privilege. It is only by the grace of God. So take that to Heart. It is amazing that in a State like Imo which parades an array of very highly distinguished, outstanding and accomplished women, God’s favour has located you. This is consistent with the way God works.
“In God’s selection process, he chooses not those who are qualified but those he will qualify. In God’s selection process, he doesn’t choose those who are qualified but he will qualify. This is the lesson we get from the selection of David as King of Israel. When God comes into the picture, he takes centre stage. David did not qualify in the eyes of men, but he qualified in the eyes of God. May God qualify you as the next substantive Deputy Governor of Imo State. God will scatter your enemies.
“Grace is not synonymous with noise making and incessant shouting.”
Bishop Onuoha who reminded politicians that Governors will come and go while Imo State will remain however called for peaceful campaign ahead of the election.
In his remarks, Governor Uzodimma said he will not take the support of Imo people, particularly the Church for granted.
He noted: “Mrs Ekomaru will no doubt add value to this ticket…I ask the Body of Christ to pray fervently for the success and victory of our ticket.
“The evil ones are gathering, but they shall scatter. I will continue to serve Imo people with the fear of God.
“The Church will serve the people and the government will serve the people and together united we will serve the people better.
“Mrs Ekomaru no doubt will add value to this ticket. I know the women in Imo State are celebrating her choice. I know the academic community are satisfied that she will complement the ticket and today with what I have witnessed in this hallowed Cathedral; the support of the Anglican Church is assured.”
Governor Uzodimma’s remarks reads: ‘Indeed I am very happy to be in your midst today to join in this Thanksgiving service. Anytime that I am in the midst of the Body of Christ, I feel a sense of assuredness and safety. A peace that truly passeth all understanding.
“I am always eager to be at the CATOL, if I must worship in the Anglican denomination. Not just for the historical memory it holds for me, but the fact that it stands as a reminder to the indomitable spirit of the Igbos. Our attachment to the things of God and our resolve to conquer in the midst of challenges.
“I want to thank very sincerely His Grace the Archbishop of Owerri Ecclesiadtical Province, and other Bishops that are worshiping with us this afternoon, particularly the host Bishop. I want to also thank the faithful for this formal ceremony meant to cement our pact with each other before God Almighty.
“I understand, the significance and symbolism of this act of a formal Thanksgiving and solidarity service to Dr. Mrs Chinyere Ekomaru, who emerged as my deputy governorship candidate for the November 11th election – In many ways it could be summarised in one sentence – “you are in support of her” and this is her Church. For that I commend you immensely. Trust as you know when broken cannot be fixed. That is why this your assurance is reassuring. I’m very confident that with God on our side, we will work harmoniously with each other.
“As I told Imo State stakeholders when I formally presented Mrs Ekomaru as my running mate, I stated categorically that I don’t have any issue with my current Deputy Governor, His Excellency, Professor Placid Njoku who is currently in Abuja representing me at the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria. The choice of Lady Chinyere Ekomaru is as a result of ecumenical exigencies and this became very necessary for gender balancing and inclusiveness in our polity.
“My current Deputy Governor, Professor Placid Njoku himself is aware, and to the glory of God he is part of this bold decision. I am very grateful to him for his understanding and pray that I will continue to work with him in the days ahead. Apart from having a loyal deputy who understands our vision for Imo State – satisfying the yearnings of the varied interest in the polity is a very necessary thing if you must play an acceptable politics. So I believe that those for whom these sacrifices have been made; that truly they will understand and will continue to appreciate and reciprocate.
“From testimonials by Imo people, it is very clear that this my government is working hard to deliver on our promises to the State based on our prosperity agenda, encapsulated on reconstruction rehabilitation and recovery. I have tried to speak at the nooks and crannies of Imo State starting from the civil servants, to the transporters, to market women, to our youth whom we have greatly empowered and will continue to empower in our match to our destination, and all are talking positively to the effect that the narrative is gradually changing and the difference between 2020 when I got to Imo State and assumed office as the governor and today is different. So I want to thank Almighty God for making this possible.
“I pray more, that God will open the heart and eyes of our people to understand; like the homily just said; what is important is that what God sees is the heart not the body. Imo people; God should be able by His grace; open your eyes to see my heart. In that regard, this movement is beyond religion; our movement is also beyond ethnicity. Just like prosperity is universal, developments in Imo State will also touch every facet of the society. But I must never take the support of our people for granted.
“Mrs Ekomaru no doubt will add value to this ticket. I know the women in Imo State are celebrating her choice. I know the academic community are satisfied that she will complement the ticket and today with what I have witnessed in this hallowed Cathedral; the support of the Anglican Church is assured, for I know, you will not abandon your own. My Brethren in Christ, above every human effort, one cannot succeed without the endorsement of God Himself. Consequently, I ask the Body of Christ to pray fervently for the success and victory of our ticket.
“As many of us are aware, the evil ones are gathering. – They are gathering to truncate the good works we have been doing; but as it is written in the scriptures, they surely will gather but against the work of God, they shall scatter. I promise today as always, that I will continue to serve Imo people with the fear of God. My administration will continue to be transparent and accountable. What we have achieved in the first tenure will be doubled in the second tenure. I will never – I will never disappoint the people of Imo State. I will remain true to my oath of office and allegiance. Imo State shall continue to prosper under my watch and I want to thank you the leadership of the Church – Anglican Communion; for the support you have given to my government in the past and also pray for the support you will continue to give to my government.
“There is no government anywhere in the world operating practically in Christian dominated society that will do better without the Church. So as long as my government is here to offer this Thanksgiving to Almighty God; Government has a responsibility to partner with the Church and the Church have a responsibility to reciprocate to the good deeds and support of the government to them. You cannot do it alone. The Church will serve the people and the government will serve the people and together united we will serve the people better.”
Earlier in her thank you remarks, Lady Ekomaru expressed gratitude to the Church and to the Governor and promised not to disappoint the expectations of the Governor and that of Imo people.
She said that by her nomination all Imo people are now more united than ever and that the three zones of the State will vote and return the Governor come November 11, 2023.
She thanked the Governor and the Church and noted that by the thanksgiving the Governorship campaign has been handed over to God.
Also in his appreciation remarks, Elder statesman, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu thanked the Governor for the choice of Lady Ekomaru whom he described as “good and right candidate for the job and a great honour to the Anglican Communion.”
Iwuanyanwu added that he sees in Governor Uzodimma a man that radiates love, honesty and sincerity.
He told the Church that the constitution provides for eight years tenure and that it is only someone who is bad that is limited to only four years. When he asked the Church if Governor Uzodimma is bad, he got a thunderous “NO”!!!
Chief Press Secretary and Media Adviser to the Governor