Disappoint us and the Church will abandon you in 2019, Bishop warns Okowa
By Jon Egie
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has been warned that the church will abandon him in 2019 if he continued to listen to the advice of some of his political aides that are leading him on the course of poor performance.
The Rt Rev Cyril Odutemu, Bishop of Ughelli Diocese (Anglican Communion) gave the warning during a homily he presented at the 100th birthday thanksgivibg service held in honour of the Owhorode of Olomu, HRM R.L.Ogbon, Oghoro 1 at Otorere-Olomu; Friday, Jan. 20
The Bishop recognized the governor as a parishioner and a Knight of the Anglican Communion and hence the church mobilized support for Okowa in 2105 but warned that the electoral beat of 2019 will be of a higher decibel than that of 2015 since some people will not be in Government House in 2019 “because your works are ‘Mene mene tekel urphasin’.
He prayed for Okowa to do well so he could get the desired support in 2019 but assured tha the church will abandon him if he disappointed the church.
The Bishop lashed at the shabby treatment given to Urhobo traditional rulers during the recent visit of the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osibanjo to Delta State saying that Urhobo kings have palaces that are large enough to accommodate the President’s visit and therefore urged President Buhari to serve Urhobo monarchs a fair desert.
Addressing the celebrant, Bishop Odutemu noted that the reason the Olomu monarch was celebrating was in appreciation of the benefits he had from God. He charged the monarch to continue in his effort to lay down for himself treasures in heaven as his day to day life depicts praying that the grace of longevity which he enjoyed be extended to other monarchs “as they lay for themselves treasures in heaven by being fair, rebuking the sinner and making the fatherless feel at home”
“You are a bundle of uncommon testimony, I am sure your longevity will not be stained with darkness. Your reign has enjoyed peace because of justice and fairness; do not change from who you are because people take your word as a standard of life.
“All kings should know that as they reign there is a King of kings who is so merciful yet in judgment does not compromise. Do not forget discipline as you exercise your authority. Before your eyes things are changing but our God has not changed.
“Some things are happening in our land that are traumatizing, that you are alive for 100 years is the grace of God that kept you alive to tell us the truth and guide us so that we should change for good.
“Today, oppressors and armed robbers are wearing chieftaincy titles, there should be righteousness in the land. If you cannot tell the oppressor the truth the church will be disappointed. Any Olorgun (traditional chief) who forcefully takes another man’s wife, withdraw his title. You are one of the very few kings who entered into the throne and was not carried away by the paraphernalia of the throne but has remained a Communicant, stop oppression in the land, stop iniquity.
He told Urhobo youths to desist from blowing pipelines and resort to blowing the truth stressing that the pen is mightier than the sword and hence, Urhobo youths should realize that good living enabled the Owhorode to the throne but not ‘jaguda’.
The celebrant read the Old Testament reading during the Holy Communion service which was celebrated by the Most Rev Friday Imaekhai, Arch bishop of Bendel Province, after which he led his family and the others to present his thanks offering.
Speaking after the post thanksgiving benediction, the centenarian monarch said: “I thank God who has been so kind and gracious in giving me a life that I did not expect. Words will fail me to express my gratitude to God” he said and gave a vote of thanks to the Church, the State and all who contributed to the success of the celebration.
Taking turn to speak, the governor of Delta state, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, congratulated the monarch saying “a 100 years on earth is not an easy thing and for a king to live up to 100 years is rare.
“You are blessed and may God continue to bless you. You have seen all and only one thing is left, that crown of life. You must work consistently to bring glory to your life. I am confident you will make heaven, you are a role model and I am honoured to be here to witness this celebration.
Okowa used the opportunity to apologize to Urhobo traditional rulers for what happened at the PTI Conference Centre saying “it was unfortunate, not intentional and no matter what happened I take the blame. Please forgive me and the federal government. I thank you for the honour you did to me for returning back.”
The event was graced by the Vice President who was represented by Senator Otundu who presented a congratulatory message in a letter signed by Prof Yemi Osibanjo to the Owhorode.
Traditional rulers across Delta and beyond also graced the occasion.