Embrace Family Spirit, Unity, Okeke Urges Anambra Guber Candidates

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The Metropolitan Archbishop of the Onitsha Ecclesiastical Province, His Grace, Most Rev Valerian Okeke, has charged politicians to imbibe the spirit of brotherliness in their electioneering.

Archbishop Okeke was speaking during the celebration of his 68th birthday and celebration of 40 years of priesthood with inmates at the Nigerian Prisons Onitsha.

In a holy message he titled, ‘Turning your Challenges into Blessings and Opportunities,’ Okeke sought an end to killings and bloodshed in Anambra. He called for an end to hatred and divisive tendencies, while he asked politicians to work for the good of the society, especially during challenging times like now.

The Archbishop also urged the prison inmates to develop themselves for future productivity, just as he encouraged indigenes to remember the historic peace for which Anambra, as a pace setter, was known.

He begged God to bless the inmates, Anambra State and Nigeria at large.

Archbishop Okeke expressed deep passion for a new Anambra transformed into a progressive family of peoples, characterised by love, peace and harmony.

The state has been enmeshed in violence and general insecurity in the countdown to the November 6 election race.

Baring his mind with deep faith, active hope and profound passion at the birthday Mass, the Archbishop, condemned all forms of destructive and desperate activities. He called for the dethronement of politics of bitterness, politics of bloodletting, politics of division and favouritism, politics of exclusion, politics of excuses, politics of back-stabbing and politics of enmity, and appealed for the enthronement of the politics of family harmony, brotherliness, cooperation, development and peace, and indeed politics without bitterness in the electioneering campaigns.

Okeke proposed politics of societal transformation that will accentuate the greatness of Anambra and place it as a cynosure of admiration.

He expressed desires for a state that will be the consolation and motivation of Ndigbo; a state where politicians would take welfare of citizens as priority; a state where politics would be devoid of violence, bloodletting and bitterness. While charging the ruling class to embrace brotherliness and to denounce violence, Okeke insisted that Anambra should be devoid of “do-or-die attitude and by-fire-or-by-force disposition.”

According to him, no kingdom divided against itself can stand and in no way should Anambra be counted in the generation of brother-killing Cain. He said a state richly blessed with human and natural resources as Anambra was positioned by God to be “primus inter pares,” the light, by performance, not merely by name. “And this task requires the cooperation of all the stakeholders in the Anambra socio-political enterprise,” he said.The Archbishop’s message was received by the ruling elite in that state who graced the occasion. They were, His Excellency, The Governor of Anambra State, Chief Dr Willie Obiano and Wife, Dr Mrs Ebelechukwu Obiano; His Excellency, Mr Peter Obi, CON, the former Governor of Anambra State; gubernatorial candidates of the various political parties in Anambra State, including Nze Akachukwu Nwankpo (ADC), Prof Charles Soludo and his Deputy, Dr Onyekachukwu Ibezim (APGA), Mr & Mrs Valentine Chineto Ozigbo (PDP), High Chief Dr Obiora Okonkwo (ZLP), Chief Primus Odili, Anambra State Chief of Staff, Ozonkpu Victor Oye and Senator Dr Victor Umeh, current and former National Chairmen of APGA, respectively, Mr Obinna Ufudo, Prof Kate Omenugha, Commissioner for Education, Hon Evarist Uba, Lady Ngozi Nwanosike, among others. The speeches, feedback and the conviviality that pervaded the entire arena bespoke the acceptance of the message of the Archbishop by persons of different political and religious persuasions.