Chidimma Tr: Be pacesetters to others
— Million Naira skill acquisition centre ready by December
— Obiano,Obi,Soludo,Ozigbo,Okonkwo,Umeh,others,grace 68th birthday inside Correctional Centre

By Ononye VC
The Archbishop of Onitsha and Metropolitan of Onitsha Ecclesiastical Province,Most Rev Valerian Maduka Okeke last Wednesday,20th October 2021,celebrated his 68th birthday inside the Onitsha Correctional Center,formerly Onitsha Prisons.
It was a resounding celebration where the mighty,the high and low witnessed the event.
The Archbishop in a remark while commencing the mass,said he dedicated the mass for the good of Anambra State for peace to reign especially this period of gubernatorial election.
He called on politicians to allow peace to reign in the state by finding solutions to fighting and killings during this season of election.
He urged them to be pacesetters to other states of the federation where they would come to learn.
He announced to the cheering audience that the multi-million Naira skill acquisition centre which he commenced inside the Correctional Centre,would be commissioned in December 2021 with all the necessary equipments needed to help the inmates acquire skill before discharge from the prison so that they would be useful to themselves and the society.
In a homily,the Archbishop urged the inmates not to see their incarceration as a disadvantage but to turn their challenges into blessings and opportunities such that they can through the skill acquisition centre,learn computer studies, engineering,furniture making,electrical,sewing and fashion designing among other trades.
In his remark,governor Willie Obiano urged the inmates not to wallow in self pity but to make good use of the opportunity provided by the skill acquisition centre.
He pledged to assist in quick completion of the skill acquisition centre by calling for the list of outstanding requirements for presentation to him by the state Commissioner for Basic Education Prof Kate Omenugha.
Also in his remark,the Comptroller of Correctional Services,Mr Patrick Chukwuemeka,commended the Archbishop for his benevolence and his numerous assistances to the centre.He confessed that the men,officers and inmates of the centre would ever remain grateful to him and had always looked forward to his visits three times in a year.
To mark his birthday,the Archbishop made presentation of various items to some of the inmates and dormitories who performed well in various competition sponsored by the Archbishop.
Some of them carted away mattresses,pillows,television sets and overall winners’ trophy.
It would be recalled that a football and table tennis competition was held on the eve of the birthday inside the Correctional Centre.
Also on his birthday,the Archbishop as usual,presented several cartons of cookies,cartons of toilet roll,bottled water,dozens of tubers of yams,10 bags of rice cooked with one cow among other items.
Also,wife of the governor of Anambra State, Chief (Dr)Mrs Ebele Chukwu Obiano,supported the Archbishop with 10 coolers of cooked rice,100 tubers of yams,5 bags of rice and many other items.
Also Dr Obiora Okonkwo,the gubernatorial candidate of ZLP supported with dozens of tubers of yams.
The major highlight was the cutting of the birthday cake after which the Archbishop in company of some of his guests,inspected the skill acquisition centre.
At the Centre,the gubernatorial candidate of PDP Mr Valentine Ozigbo pledged to assist in his own way for completion of the centre.
The National Chairman of APGA,Chief Victor Oye,former National Chairman of APGA Sir Victor Umeh,former governor of Central Bank and gubernatorial candidate of APGA,Prof.Chukwuma Soludo,former governor of Anambra State Mr Peter Obi and several top notch Anambrarians graced the ocassion.


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