By Ononye VC
It was indeed a day of felicitations and commendations as friends of Archbishop Valerian Okeke(the Metropolitan of Onitsha Ecclesiastical Province) mostly from the political extraction paid homage to him at the Bishops Court,Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity,Onitsha as the new year (2021)was ushered in recently.
The visibly happy Archbishop received his visitors some of who came with members of their families in a visit described by Chief(Sir) Victor Umeh as a Pilgrimage.
According to Umeh,Archbishop Valerian Okeke has distinguished himself as a true shephardship in the Lord’s vineyard in the way he conducts himself honourably as the father of the entire priests and faithful in Onitsha Ecclesiastical Province and therefore deserves a homage from his children.
According to him,the visit was devoid of any political connotation as all those gathered there came from different political backgrounds.
He commended the Archbishop for his spiritual and physical achievements in the Archdiocese and prayed that God continues to give him the enablement to achieve more.
In his brief remarks, Archbishop Valerian Okeke expressed gratitude to them for visiting. He commended them for exhibiting maturity in conduct of their individual and collective affairs by avoiding rancour,violence and bitterness.
He urged the political class to go about their campaigns in the quest for the forthcoming Anambra gubernatorial election peacefully since only one person would occupy the position.
The Archbishop prayed for his visitors and blessed them.
Many others spoke and commended the Archbishop on his achievements since his Episcopacy.
Some of the dignitaries present are,Chief Dr Sir Victor Umeh (OFR),Chief Obiora Okonkwo,Sir Damian Okolo,Dr Tony Nwoye and Igwe Peter Anugwu.
Others are,Dr Chris Ngige,Chief Aloysius Okafor( Zubee),Chief Valentine Ozigbo and Chief Johnbosco Onunkwo.
The Chancellor of the Archdiocese, Very Rev Fr Prudentius Aroh,the Vice Chancellor Very Rev Fr Basil Ekwunife,the Chief Press Secretary to the Archbishop Rev Fr Benjamin Ogbunuko and Rector of the Basilica, Very Rev Fr Nwokedi Ezumezu were all present on the ocassion.
One of the highlights of the ocassion was cutting of the new year cake and entertainment by the AVOMA.