Business Man Turns An Nsukka Community Into Little ‘London’

Posted by Cosmas Asogwa On Sunday, February 3, 2013 0 comments

Bizman turns Enugu community into little ‘London’
“Who am I to calculate before giving God when He does not calculate before blessing me? I thank God because I ran to him when my situation seemed hopeless and he gave me hope and blessed me so amazingly.”
Those were the words of Anselem Okonkwo Onuh, the Bangkok-based business man who turned his, hitherto obscure village of Ogbodu in Enugu-Ezike, Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area of Enugu State, into a new Nazareth by donating multiple projects to it. His built and donated to his village, fully air conditioned church, Parish house (a duplex), orphanage home, Reverend Sisters’ quarters and a mega borehole.
He also graded access roads that connect the village to other nearby communities from various axes. He donated about 3000 bags of rice to the widows and two bags each to about 300 priests that attended the dedication service to mark the official handing over of the projects to the Catholic Bishop of Nsukka diocese, Most Rev Dr Francis Okobo. But for his Indonesian wife, Nena Cherawati Onuh, Anselm said the project would not have been a reality as many people discouraged him from embarking on it since he had not built his own house in the village.
He expressed surprise that his own kinsmen were the people who tried to stop him. Our reporter gathered that before Anselem embarked on the breath-taking charity project, nothing was known about Ogbodu village. But now, all that have changed as people now visit village from far and near to feed their eyes while others who experienced scarcity of water came from nearby villages fetch water. Expressing happiness over Anselm’s large heartedness, the Diocesan Secretary, Very Reverend Dr Eugene Odo who represented the Bishop said: “The Bishop is happy with Anselm and his family and he wishes them well.
He also prays that the parishioners and all who will worship here will sweat to maintain the facilities since they are enjoying the sweat and sacrifice of one person.” The Bishop had earlier visited the project sites three days before the dedication to personally supervise it. He had also promised to preside over the dedication Mass but for his poor health condition. Delighted with Anselm’s amazing gesture, the catholic scribe said the donor has put his village in the world map. He also berated politicians and other wealthy individuals in the society for their self-centeredness saying they should realize that if one man could do that much for his village, then they should know they have greater responsibilities. For Reverend Okpuru Gideon Chukwuemeka of the Methodist Church Nigeria, Abakaliki Diocese, Anselem is an extra-ordinary human being. “I see Anselem as an extra-ordinary human being.
I am the minister of the contractor that did the projects being dedicated today and I have come to felicitate with the donor and the people of this community. I think with people like him, there are still Christians who can act like the biblical Solomon, David and others,” he said. Chairman of the Dedication Organizing Committee and member representing Umu-Ozzi 11Constituency in the Enugu State House of Assembly, Hon Ejikeme Odumegwu, said Anselem has amazed and challenged the entire Catholic faithful in the area and the people of Enugu-North Senatorial Zone in general. Speaking on the success of the event, Hon Odumegwu who is also known as Owelle Nsukka said: “We ensured that there was no logistic loophole. We reached out to the Enugu State Commissioner of Police, the Nsukka Area Commander as well as the Divisional Police Officer of the host LGA, Mr Fidelis Agbo and they all offered us tripartite security coverage.”
Also speaking during the event, the Parish Priest of St Micheals Amufie, where Anselem’s parish, St Anthony was carved out, Fr Celestine Eze said: “It takes divine courage for one to spend the kind of money Anselem had put into this huge projects. When I met him, he said he wanted his people to worship God with their whole hearts without being bothered about levies and donations for church building. So, with this, all they need do is just come in, sit, pray to their God and go home.” According to Fr Eze, following the completion of the church building and Parish house, the Bishop carved out St Anthony’s Ogbodu from St Micheals Amufie and upgraded it to a Parish.
I prayed with him and God answered When our reporter encountered a Reverend Sister, Martina Oforka who is believed to be instrumental to Mr Anselem’s success, having prayed with him for three months, she declined comment. But when prodded further, the Sister, whose orphanage home and residence are the beneficiaries of the hostels and Reverend Sisters quarters built by the man, disclosed that someone introduced Anselem to her sometimes ago. She said she prayed with him over the phone after which she gave him a three-month prayer line. “I told him that God has promised to surprise him with blessings.
I also advised him that God warned him not be proud with the riches that would come his way. I had not met him physically then,” she said. Sister Oforka, who is also a stigmatist, (one who seasonally experiences bleeding in parts of the body as Christ did on the Calvary), said years later, the young man returned and told her he wanted to build a church for his community; and that it would be the exact design of the church he had prayed in overseas. Anselm, confirmed this when he told our reporter that after praying and God answered him so amazingly, he then decided to build for Him first.
It was also gathered that he had earlier purchased a car for Sister Oforka before embarking on the multiple projects. Our special blessing saw him through Anselem’s success story was not only traceable to Sister Oforka’s prayers as another couple, Nze and Lolo Jude Dimejesi, lay claim it. They mentored the businessman for seven years when he served them. According to them, it was the special blessing they poured on Anselem that led him into unprecedented wealth.
The indigene of Uga, Anambra state who said he was into importation of general goods, especially Italian tiles, also said that he and his wife poured out their hearts while giving the “Promising Boy” a parting blessing. He said they had always known him to have a large heart and were not surprised at what he had done for his people. Meanwhile, the people of Enugu-Ezike – the Executive Chairman of Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area, Hon Bonaventure Onuh, Chairman Traditional Rulers Council in Igbo-Eze North LGA, Igwe Wilfred Ogbonna-Ekere, Member representing Igbo-Eze North 1/Umuozzi, (Mr Onu’s Constituency) Hon Nze Micheal Onyeze, and others expressed their respective gratitude to Anselem who they said has re-written the history of their town.
They unanimously, prayed God to bless him more to enable him continue to set a pace for others to emulate in the area. They disclosed their plans to to confer a befitting chieftaincy title on Anselem as a mark of appreciation. As the Chairman of the Traditional Rulers council in Igbo-Eze North, Igwe Ekere put it, “We neither have money nor present that would be enough to thank him, but we intend to confer a befitting chieftaincy title on him as a mark of honour and appreciation. We are hoping that he will accept it.” Dignitaries at the occasion included a former member of the Presidential Advisory Committee, Dr Sally Adukwu, Chairman of Igbo-Eze North LGA, Hon Bonaventure Onuh and all his councilors, Justices, Business Moguls, all the traditional rulers in Enugu Ezike, some members of the Enugu State House of Assembly, among others.
Popular Nollywood icon, Osuofia who was billed to anchor the event could not as villagers who wanted to have a glimpse of him almost lynched him. He was however guarded into the new Parish House where he made a brief appearance and left with some dance steps to the admiration of the cheering crowd. There were also celebrated musicians such as Timaya, Princess Rosemary Chukwu, Ozoemena Nwa Nsugbe and a host of others that provided assorted musical tunes at various ends of the expansive church compound to suit all the guests. There was no dust because the entire premises were cemented. Meanwhile, after the mass, the celebration commenced with assorted food and drink.
Emily Restaurant, from Enugu city was on ground to provide assorted delicacies, with cold vans mounted strategically to supply various brands of beverage drinks. It was like a pilgrimage or a scene in Mecca where human heads appeared like an excited sea. The high and low, Catholics and non-Catholics alike were there to felicitate with the man who built for his village and cooked for the world.


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