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Obiano Marks Solemn 60th Birthday in Country Home

By Emeka Ozumba
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The governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano at the weekend marked his 60th birthday with a quiet celebration with a circle of his close friends and family.

The event which began with a Thanksgiving Mass at his impressive Gech Auditorium in the expansive compound of his country home was deliberately low-keyed to reflect the current mood of the nation.

In a homily delivered during the Mass, the Auxiliary Bishop of Awka Catholic Diocese, Most Reverend Jonas-Benson Okoye stressed the need for those in positions of authority to utilize their positions to work for the good of the people especially the poor.

Thanking God for the gift of Governor Obiano to the State, he expressed delight that the governor chose to have a modest celebration and urged him to continue in his welfarist system of administration that has impacted positively in the lives of NdiAnambra.

The Catholic Prelate noted that the occasion coincided with the feast of Saint Dominic, whom he likened to governor Obiano with respect to the call to serve. He also called on the State legislators and members of the Cabinet to emulate the governor, who he said shared people’s concerns, by contributing meaningfully and selflessly to the success of the administration.

While calling for massive support for governor Obiano in order to encourage him to do more, he gave assurance that the clerics would support governor Obiano through prayers to enable him do more, so that “God will chose him for higher goals in life."

In his appreciation speech, governor Obiano expressed gratitude to God for His faithfulness to him and his family and his appreciation to friends and associates who came to mark the milestone celebration with him.

“This is the highest prayer you can offer on a Holy Day (of St. Dominic) like this. I am delighted you are here to witness it and join me to celebrate. I can assure you that I am better positioned to steer the affairs of the state," Governor Obiano said.

Many dignitaries who graced the grand reception include the State Commissioner of Police, Hosea Karma, Department of State Security, and Commandant of Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), captains of industry, local government chairmen, market leaders, traditional rulers, captains of industry and chief executives of blue chip companies, as well as Bishop Ezeokafor, Bishop of Awka and Rev. Fr. Onwudifo and Rev. Fr. Celestine Okonkwo, represented the Bishops of Onitsha and Nnewi.

Soul-rendering birthday song was sang by attendants led by choristers from Awka and Onitsha, followed by final priestly blessings for the governor, who later inspected a Guard of Honour mounted by the Police Command.

Special gifts were presented to the governor as keepsakes of affection including the 7-foot carved native flutist presented by the Deputy Governor, Dr. NkemOkeke.

Highlight of the event was the presentation of a magazine, The Enabler, published by a group of upcoming media entrepreneurs, which chronicled the achievements of the celebrant among other events in the state and beyond.

(L-R) Chief Victor Umeh, former National Chairman of APGA, ChiefWillie Obiano, Governor of Anambra State and Hon. Mrs Rita Mbagwu,Speaker Anambra State House of Assembly during the SpecialThanksgiving Mass held to mark the Governor's 60th Birthday inAguleri...a the weekend

Pix 2:(L-R) Chief Victor Umeh, former National Chairman of APGA, ChiefWillie Obiano, Governor of Anambra State and Hon. Mrs Rita Mbagwu,Speaker Anambra State House of Assembly and Justice Peter Umeadi, theChief Judge of Anambra State, during the Special Thanksgiving Massheld to mark the Governor's 60th Birthday in Aguleri...a the weekend