Nigeria”s former President Olusegun Obansanjo, leader of Afenifere, Ayo Adebanjo and the chairman of Anambra state council of traditional rurals, Obi of Onitsha, H.R. H. Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe have eulogised the lifestyle of the former minister of Information, Nnia Nwodo, describing him as a bridge builder.
Obasanjo said this on Sunday during a Church service to mark the 70th Birthday and Colloquium of Nwodo, the immediate past President-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo Worldwide, at St. Mulumba’s Catholic Church, New Haven, Enugu.
He noted that “the age of a man does not matter much” as to his achievements and contributions to humanity, adding: “The life of a man really begins at 70”.
“It is not the number of years you spend here on Earth, the most important thing is your positive contributions to humanity and God, ” he said.
He prayed God to continue to guide the celebrator as he continues to make positive contributions to development and unity of the country.
In his remarks, Afenifere Leader, Ayo Adebanjo,
also extolled the uncommon qualities of Nwodo to build bridges and friendships across the country.
Adebanjo said that Nwodo had stood out for peace and equity of all parts and ethnicity of the country, adding he had done that by words and vivid actions.
“I congratulate him for his love for humanity and progress of everybody he comes across. We thank God for his life,” he said
Speaking at the event, the Obi of Onistha H R H , Igwe Achebe, said that Nwodo remained a man of many parts that had contributed much in various field of human endeavours and community development.
He described Nwodo as `a great nation builder and an outstanding bridge builder” who had continued to see all Nigerians as one and the same family.
“I pray that God will continue to grant him good health and drive to accomplish all He had set out to use Nwodo to achieve for our great nation,” he said.
Earlier, in his homily at the church service, Bishop of Nsukka Doicese,
noted that God at no time did not limit the age of men, but “it is our sinful nature that brought us to this limitation”.
He said: “However, long years do not make life honourable but wisdom and fear of God.
“Age is about your investment in doing good, extending positive tidings to others and spreading your daily work towards the common good of all”.
Onah congratulated Nwodo and urged other leaders in the country to emulate his good virtues of patients, meekness, accommodating heart and love for humanity.
In a vote of thanks, Nwodo thanked those that came to grace the occasion
He said that his 70th birthday was coming at a time that the country was on a crossroad of change and value re-orientation towards national progress and true unity.
“I prayed that God, in His infinite mercy, would grant people that came from all over the country to rejoice with me more years in their lives and positive developments too,” he said.
Highlights of the service were special thanksgiving by the Nwodo’s family on behalf of Chief Nnia Nwodo , a Special Papal Blessing from Pope Francis on Nwodo.Highlight was the launch of the book – “John Nnia Nwodo: Great Speeches”.
The thanksgiving service was officiated by the Catholic Bishop of Enugu Diocese; Most. Rev. Callistus Onaga. Catholic Bishop of Awgu Diocese and Most Rev. Ayo Mana, Catholic Bishop of Ilorin Diocese were present at the occasion.
Other dignitaries that graced the thanksgiving service included: Former Governor of Anambra state and the Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State; Sen. Jim Nwobodo, former Governor of Old Anambra and Sen. Ken Nnamani.