Obiano Charges Obi, Ilozumba to Fight for the Poor, Voiceless

By James Eze

The governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano has charged his predecessor in office, Sir Peter Obi and the Hon Commissioner for Works in the state, Sir Callistus Ilozumba to use their new position as Knights of St Sylvester to wage a fierce war that will liberate the poor and the voiceless in the society.

Speaking at the special mass held at St Patrick Catholic Church, Awka to mark the investiture of the duo as Knights of St Sylvester, Governor Obiano observed that Knighthood was not an end to the journey but a call to service to mankind.

Brilliantly recalling the historic Siege of Malta when the Ottoman Empire invaded the little island of Malta in 1565 and the heroic exploits of the knights in the eventual rescue of Malta, Governor Obiano declared that the knighthood demands a high level of social responsiveness from the recipients.

“The same spirit that the knights displayed in liberating Malta from the invading Ottoman armies is what I urge you to adopt in fighting the ills of the society and rescuing the social order. Do not hesitate to draw your swords to defend the poor, the needy, the hungry and those that don't have people to talk for them. That's why they gave you the swords you now carry,” Governor Obiano enthused.

Spicing up his brilliant speech with humour, Governor Obiano jocularly remarked that he was happy when the National President of the Association of Papal Knights and Medalists, Sir Patrick Ikemefuna mentioned the fact that there were two categories of knighthood which no man had attained because according to him, as a relative of the Blessed Father Tansi, he would aspire to attain them after serving two terms in office.

The governor paid glowing tributes to former Governor Obi, members of his cabinet and members of the Anambra State House of Assembly who passed the law that gave schools back to the Mission in Anambra State.

“But more importantly, I want to specially recognize APGA for producing somebody like Chief Peter Obi because without APGA there will not be Peter Obi. On this note, I pray that God will continue to bless and guide protect and guide Chief Sir Peter Obi and of course Chief Sir Callistus Ilozumba and all of us,” Governor Obiano remarked, urging the church to hold him up in prayers.

Also speaking at the investiture, the Presidential Adviser on Inter-party Affairs, Senator Ben Obi observed that Sir Peter Obi served Anambra with humility, love and compassion and made immense contributions to nation building.

Earlier in his Homily, the Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev. Dr Paulinus Ezeokafor had lauded Sir Obi's eight-year regime for setting a shining example for his successors. He praised the former governor's famed humility which made him not to use siren and for always staying in the back seat whenever he was late to mass.

The Investiture attracted Anambra's pre-eminent sons and daughters including former Vice President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme and his wife, Chief Sir Victor Umeh, National Chairman of APGA, Dr. Nkem Okeke, Deputy Governor of Anambra State, Hon. Oseloka Obaze, SSG, Prof. ABC Nwosu, former Minister of Health, Iyom Uche Ekwunife, Senator Joy Emordi, Senator Annie Okonkwo as well as the Governor of Abia State, Chief Theodore Oji among many others.