By Philip Okoro
According to the French philosopher and Jesuit Catholic priest, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, “You are not a human being in search of a spiritual experience. You are a spiritual being immersed in a human experience.” Chardin’s compelling insight into the fundamental nature of our being truly captures the essence of the life story of Elder Ekeoma Eme Ekeoma.
A man rooted in the deep humility and always striving to live by the precepts of his beloved Christ, he concedes time and again that his endowment with material wealth came through the grace and power of God. Perhaps, it is then little wonder that he believes it must be redistributed to the less-privileged without expecting anything in return.
At the time he surrendered to Christ, Ekeoma must have realised it was neither by his power nor might that he was transformed from a salary earner in the employment of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to a self-employed man of means. It was that realisation that transformed him into an astute philanthropist and a devout Christian, passionately committed to the kingdom project.
Like all great journeys, preparation is indispensable. Opting for spiritual preparation, he was ordained an Elder of the Presbyterian Church. This new status became a powerful platform he is using to touch the lives of humanity in more ways than one.
He is a firm believer in the dictum that faith without good work is dead and the biblical injunction that it is more blessed to give than to receive and that the hand that gives is always on top. This requires that you give to those who may not be able to return the favour. Elder Ekeoma, as he became fondly known embarked on the good work of helping people who are down so as to prove to them that they are not out.
To actualise this seething, inner vision, he chose two areas with which he hopes to fulfill that passion – hospitals and prisons. He established these ministries – Hospital and Prisons Ministries and has used them to touch many lives. To-date, he has helped over 1,000 inmates regain their freedom.
These are places that the spiritual song writer must have had in mind when he composed the popular song: “Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers that you do unto me. I was in prison you visited me. I was sick you gave me succour. I was hungry you gave me food to eat. I was naked you clothed me.”
A very humble man of means, he has used this God-given endowment to support a lot of church advancement and mission projects. He has built worship centres, both in his hometown of Igbere in Abia State, Lagos and other places as well as other works in the church. In addition, he has been donating evangelical buses and musical equipment to different Presbyterian churches and fellowship centres.
Instructively, for Ekeoma, his faith is equally as important as his good works. Elder, as he is fondly called, demonstrates this fervently. He is an ardent prayer warrior and loves God with palpable zest. He qualifies as a pillar in the Body of Christ and is a ruling Elder of the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria, Yaba Parish, Lagos State.
He currently oversees a non-denominational Businessmen’s Fellowship, Believers Fellowship (BF) at Golden Gates Hotels, Kingsway Road, Ikoyi, Lagos.
On his encounter with God, Elder Ekeoma declares: For a child of God, we are all full-time workers in the Lord’s Vineyard. I wouldn’t say I am a full-time minister. But I have a commitment to share the Word of God on a continuous basis.
In the last couple of years I have had the burden in me, but lately about three months ago, in my sleep I had a direct message from God. The message was – ˜My son put your total trust in me. I heard the voice clearly, and I knew it was God who spoke, and that kept me thinking. So that birthed the Believers’ Fellowship.
I had the leading to create a platform within the Ikoyi axis, where people could fellowship with God. It’s a non-denominational organisation where the Word of God is propagated. The target is to sensitise people about the end time and the need to get closer to God at a time the world is falling apart. It’s a forum for believers to express themselves in God’s presence.
Ekeoma is also committed to temporal activities that complement his spiritual life. Deploying his personal money, he has been able to build roads, provide pipe borne water and other life-enhancing infrastructure that has endeared him to the people, not just in his home town but also in places like Lagos where he lives.
A business professional to the core, Ekeoma who holds a Diploma in Business Administration from the University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos, is the Chairman of Nepal Oil and Gas Services Limited. Nepal, as a company, has diversely leveraged his goodwill, business ideas and networking for the good of the society.
A true business icon, Elder Ekeoma is characterized by his wealth of business leadership acumen and ideas. An ex-banker, Ekeoma left the services of the CBN to set up and manage his own businesses. As an entrepreneur, he has started up a number of businesses that are roaring successes.
Ekeoma hails from Ndi-Ekpere compound, Amaiyi in Igbere Bende Local Government, Abia State. Born to Elder Roselyn Ekeoma and Mazi Ekeoma Anyim in the year 1960, He had part of his early upbringing in Kano State.
Pragmatic and hardworking, he also believes in fitness; little wonder he also spends quality time in the gym. More, Elder Ekeoma is also great dresser! He loves looking good for his very beautiful wife and loving kids. He loves relaxation and hangs out in exotic places within or outside the country, with family and friends. He loves to sing and dance to gospel music.
It is often said that behind every successful man, there’s a good woman and of course a loving family. Elder Ekeoma is married to a beautiful, strong entrepreneur and lawyer, Barr. Ngozi Ekeoma (MD, Nepal Group). He is usually emotional when he is talking about his wife. “I have a very supportive wife,” he often says. “I may not be the best, but with God on my side, He brings out the perfection in the union.
I am sure like in many other marriages, we’ve had our highs and lows. It’s taken maturity and patience to steer the ship. I have decided to give more time to my family and also begin to exercise a lot of tolerance, thus giving everybody their space and act in advisory capacity.
I am spending more time in the secret chambers, talking to God on anything I feel is not right in my family. And God has been so helpful, and those things have been addressed. Spending time with God praying and seeking His face under any challenge I’ll say is the secret to the longevity of my marriage.
From observing the life of Elder Ekeoma who is blessed with four children, it is not difficult to affirm Tielhard de Chardin insight – that he (Ekeoma) is indeed a spiritual being immersed in a human experience.
Okoro wrote in from Umuahia