By Friday Idachaba
Former General Manager, Graphic Newspapers, Kogi State owned weekly tabloid,
Mr Fidel Egwuche, has been laid to rest in his country home, Omabo in Ibaji Local Government Area of the state amidst tears and wailing over his sudden death.
Earlier in a Requiem Mass in his honour at the Arch Angel Gabriel, Michael and Raphael Catholic Church, Gadumo, Lokoja, Rev. Father Rowland Nwakpuda of Abuja Catholic Diocese called on Christians to rededicate their lives to God in Service.
Rev. Fr Nwakpuda urged Christians to leave good legacies that would attract heavenly salvation and societal benefits and as well, be faithful, spiritually guided to make their paths straight.
The cleric noted that late the Egwuche, 68, who died on July 15, 2021, had completed his earthly sojourn but would be remembered by his worthy legacy toward the work of God and lives he impacted in the society.
In his remarks, the Auxiliary Bishop of Abuja Catholic Diocese, Most Rev. Anselm Umoren MSP, who led the Bishop of Lokoja Catholic Diocese and 52 other Reverend Fathers to the Funeral Mass acknowledged that late Fidel Egwuche lived a fulfilled life worthy of emulation.
The Bishop and 52 orher Rev. Fathers were in Lokoja, in solidarity with their colleague, Rev. Stephen Attah Egwuche, son of the late Egwuche stressed the need for every living soul to have the fear of God in their daily activities “to straighten their kingdom paths”.
Receiving the remains of late Journalist and Administrator at Onyedega, headquarters of Ibaji Local Government, the Ejeh and Chairman, Ibaji area Traditional Council of Chiefs, Chief John Egwuemi, described late Egwuche as an ICON who always “bulldoze his way to bring smile to the faces of citizenry.”
Chief Egwuemi appreciated the legacy of late Fidel Egwuche, especially his contributions toward the socio-economic development of Ibaji and Kogi state at large.
Earlier, Chairman of Ibaji Local Government, Hon. Williams Ikojo, pointed out that the legacy left behind by late Egwuche, especially as the first Sole Administrator of the Local Government was unquantifiable “as we always consult him for administrative guidelines.”
The Chairman donated the sum of N150,000 un behalf of the council towards the burial and commended the Central Planning Committee, headed by Dr Jonathan Okpanachi
for its tireless efforts the success of the programme.
Our Correspondent recalls that late Fidel was a correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN); News Editor and later Deputy Editor, Sunday Voice Newspapers in Benue state; Editor and GM Graphic Newspapers after the creation of Kogi state in 1991.
Egwuche was the first Sole Administrator of Ibaji local council in 1996, Ex-Official member, Kogi state land allocation committee, Chairman state Action Committee on Aids, Ad-hoc committee member of the state chieftaincy review committee.
He was appointed permanent secretary in 1998 and later appointed special adviser to the governor on economic matters after his retirement from service.
Other appointments were: Special adviser on information, Special adviser on Bilateral and Multilateral relations, and Special adviser on inter party relations respectively.
Egwuche, born November 25, 1953, was buried in his home town Omabo amidst weeping, wailing and freely flowing tears from his six children and wife, Mrs Philomena Egwuche, family, friends, colleagues and well-wishers from all walks of life. (Ends).
Southern, Middle Belt Leaders grieve over Ezeife’s demise
The leadership of the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders’Forum (SMBLF) has expressed grief over sudden demise of the former Governor of Anambra State, Chief (Dr) Chukwuemeka Ezeife on Thursday 14th day of December 2023 at the Federal Medical Centre, Abuja. He was 85.
The statement was jointly signed by Chief (Dr.) E.K. Clark for Southern people, Chief Ayo Adebanjo Leader of Afenifere, Chief Dr. Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, President-General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Dr. Pogu Bitrus – President, Middle Belt Forum and Senator Emmanuel Ibok-Essien, FNSE – National Chairman, PANDEF
Thestatemwnt reads, “‘Okwadike’ as he was fondly called was a founding and staunch member of the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders’ Forum; a strong promoter, and an unshaken believer in the unity and progress of Nigeria, based on equity, fairness, and justice.
“We recall that he actively participated in the last meeting of the Forum (SMBLF) in Abuja on Thursday 26th October 2023, where far-reaching decisions were made in the overall interest of the country.
“The Havard-trained economist was a prominent Statesman, a politician of exceptional brilliance, high repute, and integrity. He was a man of firm resolve and typical modesty. Ezeife loved his people and Nigeria with passion.
“We will sorely miss his inspiring personality, brilliant ideas, vibrant contributions, and steadfast solidarity in our pursuit of an egalitarian Nigerian State that would be fair and just to all irrespective of tribe, religion, or political inclination.”
The statement extended its deepest condolences to his family in particular, as well as the Government and people of Anambra State, the Igbo Nation, and Nigeria, which he served dedicatedly.
“We pray the Almighty God ro grant us all the fortitude to bear this irreplaceable loss and for the peaceful repose of the noble soul of our dearly beloved departed Compatriot.
Unveiling First Hausa Catholic Bishop in History: Mamman Musa’s Extraordinary Journey
In a historic move set to redefine identities and religious narratives, Mamman Musa, a Hausa man, is on the verge of becoming the first-ever Hausa Catholic Bishop in the Catholic Church. The investiture ceremony, scheduled for December 12, will mark a revolutionary milestone, elevating Mamman Musa into the echelons of the church hierarchy within Hausaland, specifically in Katsina.
At 52, Mamman Musa’s appointment as a bishop heralds a new chapter in Hausa-Catholic relations. His journey into Christianity and priesthood, defying the odds of a predominantly Muslim background where only 1 percent are Christians, resonates with a legacy of resilience and dedication.
Born Gerald Mamman Musa, his family’s conversion to Catholicism traced back to the arrival of the Society of Missionaries of Africa in northern Nigeria in 1934. Mamman’s grandfather became a convert, setting the stage for a generational commitment to the faith. Despite facing hostility and challenges in a region with a religious majority opposing their beliefs, Mamman’s parents continued their Christian devotion.
Emmanuel Musa, Mamman’s father, became a torchbearer for the faith, translating the Bible and Christian doctrines into Hausa. He confronted adversity in the form of societal ostracization and professional limitations but stood firm in his convictions. Similarly, Mamman’s mother, Christiana Asabe, hailing from a family of converts, contributed to their steadfast commitment to Catholicism.
Mamman Musa’s upbringing in Malumfashi, Katsina state, was marked by an immersion in church activities, fostering a love for Catholicism despite being surrounded by a predominantly Muslim environment. His education in Catholic seminaries further solidified his dedication to the church, leading him on a path that eventually saw him excel academically, earning degrees from prestigious institutions globally.
His journey into priesthood and academia culminated in his role as a director at the Centre for Studies of African Culture and Communications in Port Harcourt. Amidst challenges of potential alienation and derogatory terms like “maguzawa,” a disparaging label for Christians in the North, Mamman Musa’s commitment to his faith remained resolute.
In his forthcoming role as a bishop, Mamman Musa acknowledges the weight of responsibility and privilege attached to this historic position. His inclination towards liberation theology, emphasizing the centrality of the poor and marginalized, reflects a commitment to addressing societal issues and drawing inspiration from influential figures such as Gustavo Guitierrez.
As Mamman Musa prepares to assume his role as the first Hausa Catholic Bishop, his journey stands as a testament to resilience, dedication, and a commitment to bridging religious divides while upholding the tenets of his faith.
Bird of elocution
Bird of elocution
a bird of elocution
she doesn’t speak in English
she sings it
when she speaks
we hear the ring
of dulcet tones and sound
of rhythms and notes
so ear pleasing
that her voice becomes
a part of the message
she is speaking about
and those in the know
know and they make her
a favorite compere and moderator
of august events
so her smiles beam
screen shines when she appears
to cast the news
and interest fresh and new
greets the viewer
and she speaks as well as she writes
a gift wrapped for the TV station
and the book makers world
her flourish is a story
of increase and lifting
her name is Eugenia
the wife of Abu
a fairy godmother of the arts
etiquette defines her
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