Former Anambra governor and vice presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2019 elections, Mr. Peter Obi, has eulogised Awka diocesan elderly priests for their contributions to the church and society, while calling on people to always show love to others, especially the elderly.
Obi who visited Awka Diocesan Priests Welfare Home, celebrated Mass with them and took the day’s reading, described the visit as part of how he had chosen to celebrate the festive period.
He said he loved spending time with the elderly and encouraged the younger ones to always say ‘thank you’ to their elders for the good roles they play in societal development.
“To celebrate the elderly ones who had faithfully served the church and society is not only morally binding, but spiritually rewarding to spend time with them, care for them and tap from their wealth of wisdom and experience,” he said.
Recalling his association with the elderly as governor of Anambra State, Obi said: “I organised birthday celebrations and took care of the likes of Prof James Nwoye Adichie (of blessed memory), Chike Obi etc. These were elderly people who had invested their youthful ages in making society better. So I am happy to be celebrating our elderly priests today.”
Obi also recalled how he spent close to N40 billion to clear outstanding pension and gratuities owed by successive governments of Anambra since 1990. He said one of the worst crimes anyone could commit against humanity was heartlessly withholding the benefits due to the elderly, be they pensions, gratuities and others.
Obi encouraged the priests to continue to live their lives happily and to constantly thank God for the gift of life in old age.
Appreciating Obi for what he described as extraordinary show of love, Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev Paulinus Ezeokafor, represented by the Director, Awka Diocesan Priests’ Welfare Home, Rev Fr Emmanuel Udu, said he was not surprised by Obi’s kind gestures, as showing love to people had become his signature. Udu encouraged Obi to keep on with his exemplary lifestyle.
One of the resident priests, Msgr Simon Amateze, expressed joy at Obi’s show of love promising to remember him constantly in their prayers. Other resident priests in the welfare home are Frs Ikem Oliobi, Simon Azuka, Clement Obianozie, Ernest Nwankwor and Victor Egbuachor.