By Steve Unegbu
The Anglican Archbishop of Aba province and Bishop of Umuahia diocese, Most Revd Ikechi Nwachukwu Nwosu has disclosed that the church plays important role to ensure that those selected for knighthood investiture are true Christians who are exhibiting the fruits of the Holy Spirit,revealing that there is no written code to select one who is to be made a knight, but “by their fruits, we shall know them, even right from their local churches ” he said
The Bishop who made this disclosure at St Stephen ‘s Anglican Church Umuahia ,made it clear that “No one hustle to be made a knight, rather the church selects them” while adding that some even decline to be made knight after selection, especially those who prefer doing God’s works secretly.
Speaking On the preliminary preparation of those selected before the investiture, he hinted that ” for three days, they were camped and taught what the Anglican Church stands for, what the knighthood stands for and what the church of Nigeria stands for,and in that three days every evening we organized mini crusade so that those who have not given their lives to our Lord Jesus Christ to do so. The church does everything humanly possible to help them make heaven”
Archbishop Nwosu while interacting with Newsmen , chronicled what led to this 2019 knighthood investiture, he revealed that the diocese of Umuahia had taken its own turn of knighthood investiture, because the Anglican Church is organized, every diocese is expected to have one investiture every four years, so the last one we had which was two years ago and I had health challenges ,which kept me down and I was totally off duty for more than 3 weeks, so I was in a hospital at Portharcourt when the investiture took place and those invested with the order of the knighthood them felt my absence so much, and when I recovered and came back, they rushed to me and said they had expected me to be the one to organize their investiture, it dawned on me that I should have been in that investiture “
Speaking further, he explained that “with that emotion,I pleaded with the Joint Council of Knights (JCK) in charge and wrote to them that I was in sick bed during that last investiture and requested for concession and surprising it was granted to me “
He stated that with the special concession given to me as I am retiring , “this group will be assigned a special name to remember what led to their investiture, because every event has a history”
Archbishop Nwosu ,expressed gratitude to Almighty God for making him to survive the serious illness, the Joint council of Knights for being so magnanimous in conceding his request and the council of knights Umuahia diocese for obliging his request and his wife for her supportive role during the period he was sick .
Addressing the Newsmen after his investiture, Sir Dan Iheanacho Okoli ,who is also Abia state commissioner for Homeland Security, expressed joy over God’s mercy and favour on his life, especially this year, saying God favors who He wants to, pointing out that knighthood investiture is a call to defend the gospel of God, while urging other inductees to be defender of the gospel
He noted that, his induction is not because of his contributions to the church ,but that God looks into the heart of every man and favours who He wants to, while adding that, he has always been contributing to the works of God , ” I have contributed immensely even in my local community church “
Speaking after induction, the chairman of the 2019 knight inductees, Sir Barrister Obinna Onyebuchi, expressed gladnes over their induction, saying they have been charged to work for God and support the gospel.
Sir Ifeanyichukwu Anene,spoke on behalf of the chairman, commended the church for finding them worthy to be elevated to the highest group of laymen in the church, while promising to intensify their services to God and humanity .
In the same vein, sir Uche Anyaogu, said ” I am very delighted to be knighted, it is a memory that remain throughout my life” while saying their recognition could be as a result of what they have been doing in the house of God, even as he encouraged people to take the things of God seriously,while sir Nwachukwu Kenneth Chibuzor, said both the poor and the rich can be knighted so far you are found worthy in the things of God, adding that it is all about service to God and humanity.
In his speech, Sir Solomon Okezie ,stated that, ” I am very happy and elated because it is a call to serve .It is with humanity and service to the people and I have always giving it a priority when it comes to helping the less privileged ones and the needy, I thank God, I will keep doing what “
Earlier on the Guest Preacher, the Bishop of Uyo Anglican Church, the Rt.Revd Prince Asukwo Antai ,charged the newly inductees into the Anglican Knighthood to do greater works for God and to live like their patron saints.
Prince Asukwo who preached on the theme, ‘ ‘To live is Christ ,To Die is Gain ‘stated ” that the knighthood investiture is not award , secondly ,it is not basically a recognition for service done rather it is a call to service to do the works of God” adding that people are waiting to see them put into action the things they were taught.
He challenged them to emulate St Paul, who was very courageous and bold in the preaching of the gospel of God, while urging them to present themselves as living sacrifices to God and to serve God through humanity, by supporting the church in various aspects towards spiritual, moral, infrastructure development ,even as he thanked His Grace Ikechi Nwachukwu Nwosu for giving him the opportunity to preach at the ceremony, saying he was very honoured by the invitation from his Grace, describing it as quite remarkable thing to him.
Meanwhile ,the in coming Bishop of Umuahia diocese, the Rt Revd Geoffrey Obijuru Ibeabuchi, prayed and blessed all the new invested Knights .And some were invested into the order of St Paul, Good Shepherd, St Christopher and others into St Augustine order of the knighthood.