By Ogbonna Casmir
The Archbishop of Ecclesiastical Province of Enugu and Bishop of Enugu Anglican Diocese, Most Rev Dr. Emmanuel Chukwuma has said unless the spirit of God touches the heart of people there will not be serious change in Nigeria.
Archbishop Chukwuma stated this Saturday during the dedication of Ultra Modern Church, Bethel Anglican Church building at Ishi Ozalla, Nkanu West Local Govt. Area of Enugu state built and donated by Mr Kingsley & Engr. Mrs Muna Okoye (nee Nweke).
He said that real change in Nigeria can only come when the people’s heart and character are revived and transformed, become conscious of doing what is right, corruption cannot be eradicated.
“Transformation spiritually is what we need, not sycophantic, cosmetic and parasitic change which we are seen today that is very deceitful. Nigeria needs a change where people will be concerned for one another, when we shall love one another, when we shall concern that somebody is suffering and proffering solution and not to increase suffering as we are right now.
Calling the federal government to declare a state of emergency on the financial sector of Nigerians said it must find a way of ameliorating the sufferings of the people now; “people are suffering and the type of change that we bring now suffering must be squashed by every serious increment in the salaries of workers. You cannot increase fuel and then causing inflation and people remain in the same salary”, he said.
Attributing the increasing rate of bitterness, strife and bloody conflicts around the country on the unforgiving spirit of some Nigerians, the Cleric said “unforgiveness is one of the barriers to our prayers”.
He also warned fake prophets to desist from misleading the people or face the wrath of God.
“Your heart must be right with God before you receive God’s favour,” he said.
Drawing his sermon from 2Chronicles 6-20, Arch Bishop Chukwuma commended the family of Mr. and Engr (Mrs) Stella Munachimso Chinedu Okoye for building a church for God.
He said that the church is for God and not for man, noting that those who have burden in their heart, who have supplication and confession to make, shall come to the church and receive God’s mercies and favour.
Speaking with journalists, Engr. (Mrs) Munachimso Okoye, a staff of Shell Petroleum Port-Harcourt, stated that she was motivated to build the church along with her husband in her father’s community as a way of honouring her late father, Late Chief Okonkwo Osinachi Nweke and as a way of paying back to God for His numerous favours to her.
She said that God restored her marriage, and transformed her from contract to permanent staff aside from other favours too numerous to list.
“I am motivated by God’s mercy in my life and my family. I have been a contract staff for 13years and when my company was off boarding staff and my marriage was in shambles, forsaken by friends and family, all hopes lost and the church was my only place of comfort.
“That was when God remembered me and I was on board as a regular staff. So promised God I will build a church where people like me can come and seek His face in time of trouble and He will answer them as He answered me. Also when I saw the need to do it in daddy’s village I want the community to remember him,” she said.
Her husband, Mr. Okoye stated that he decided to support his wife to build the church as part of his own ministry to God.
The Okoye family also distributed money and cloths to widows and children of less privileged families.
The Teacher in charge of Church, Ori Francis Tochukwu stated that the new church building estimated to have cost more than N12 million replaced what used to be a batcher with about 14 members in congregation.
He said that he believed that it was God’s favour on him that the family of Okoyes built the church saying that in his previous parish, a parsonage (pastor’s house) was built by a church member and just as he was about to move into the building, his transfer to the present parish came.