Showers of Blessings at 2013 Akokwa Christian Elites Dinner at the Lagos Sheraton
~ By Ingram Osigwe
A new trend will soon overtake the old norms at what used to be boisterous community and indigenes meetings and the people setting this new trend will be a new set of individuals known as Akokwa Christian Elites. Akokwa is a large and highly prosperous community in Ideato North L.G.A of Imo State. Among the sterling products of this community are many icons of entrepreneurship. The community has a lot of first class products from Universities both within the country and abroad. It is an assemblage of these progressive minds that formed the Akokwa Christian Elites, and sought to operate on a fresh tangent, the business of community meetings.
Arc. Ifeany Odedo.
Bishop Charles Ubatu.
Chapter President Akokwa Elites, Mr. Cliff Onyeje.
Mr. Iyke Simeon Ebelebe.
Mr. Chris Iyoha.
Eng. Jojo Udensi.
Augustine Eze, IK Egechi, Barrister Emeka Ofoma and Charles Anusionwu.
Engr. George Obioha.
Mr. and Mrs. Amaechi Okpara.
Community meetings are usually a gathering of indigenes from the same community, living abroad in a strange city. They gather themselves together once in a while to know each other and to pool some little funds together through levies, to meet challenges of emergencies such as helping members in dire situations. Overtime, some community meetings have become so politicized and anarchical that most indigenes deliberately avoid them. It is in this situation that Akokwa Christian Elites stepped onto the terrain with a new approach.
Akokwa Christian Elites is an independent and politically neutral group of highly accomplished indigenes of the Akokwa Community. They are made up of businessmen and women, professionals, intellectuals and other categories of peace loving and socially constructive men and women who believe in the supremacy of God and who live a life guided by Him through the Christian faith. Funded by voluntary contributions from members, the group is committed to efforts towards the provision of good living conditions for everyone, as right of all Akokwa indigenes. Akokwa Christian Elites, in its quest to add values to the lives of Akokwa citizens have evolved several welfare programmes ranging from financial grants and empowerments for Widows every Christmas season to Banquets for the Royal fathers encouraging them to keep their thrones Godly. The group also organizes mass Christian Evangelical programmes (crusades), University Scholarship Schemes for indigent students. One of the activities of the association is the annual dinner during which the association invites illustrious citizens from around Nigeria to speak to indigenes, especially the young and upcoming, to serve as platforms of encouragement and inspiration towards positive self actualization.
Mr. Hope Obioma Opara and Miss Amaka.
The last edition of the annual dinner was held on Saturday June 15th 2013 at the main banquet hall of the Lagos Sheraton and Towers Hotel. The event had all the respect and fanfare of a serious Christian evangelical revival crusade, making new guests to wonder whether a man of God such as Benny Hinn was coming from USA to minister to the people. The decorations at the venue and the total ambience was very edifying, lifting those present, away from their present surrounding, into a peaceful celestial atmosphere.
By 6 pm, most guests have arrived and the programme went into full swing. Engr. Jojo Udensi, said the opening prayer, inviting God to be the Chairman of the occasion, urging Him to arise in His Glory and take charge of all proceedings. He reiterated that the essence of the meeting was to encourage and to inspire, and therefore called upon God Himself to come and do that by His own perfect way.
To further relax the gathering and foster a cozy spirit of comfort and camaraderie, food was immediately served after the opening prayer and everything else was done with an informal ease and brotherly love and affection, observing to boundaries of class and escutcheon.
Mr. Bona Egbo.
In that atmosphere, some notable indigenes were call to the high table amidst applause. It was remarkable that indigenes of super high profile, found time to come and assemble, mingle and network with their fellow kindred men in that gathering. Profiles cut across every strata of the economic pyramid and within that social ambience, there was equality and unity, with no class distinctions. Next, Engr. Greg Obioha one of the founding fathers and executives of the association, reeled out the vision of Akokwa Christian Elites. He reiterated that the association was founded upon a Godly and welfarist premise and was instituted by a unity of purpose from like minds who just freely want to contribute to the development of the community.
The high point of the gathering was the special prayers by Bishop Charles Ubatu. He brought down the glory of God into the place, by appealing to His love and mercy and claimed the blessings of Abraham upon the entire Akokwa community. The fervency of prayers, rendered by all in the gathering, both the poor and the super-rich alike, only showed that God was present in the place and that the heavens were opened to Akokwa community in that very instance. Indeed the fire of God did fall and the soul lifting that was felt was akin to signs and wonders.
Barrister and Dr (Mrs). Okey Muomalu.
Chief and Mrs. Chijioke Awalite.
Chief and Mrs. Israel Orijiekwe.
After the prayers, Mr. Chris Iyoha gave life touching stories of his travails and triumphs in life. The aim was to encourage others by showing that the blessings of God is meant for all and that no condition is permanent in life. He sought to show that even in the darkest dungeons of life, God is still there and that persistence in prayer and hard work is al that is needed for all to succeed.
An interlude of praise and worship followed after which the guest speaker, Arc Ifeanyi Odedo held the audience spellbound with his ministrations and testimonies. His speech was a parody of encouragement and inspiration upon all that gathered and was a perfect healing balm upon all spirits of the people in the gathering.
Mr Charles Anusionwu gave the vote of thanks and the president of Akokwa Christian Elites Lagos Chapter, Mr. Clifford Onyeje made some annoucements on the activities of the Association. Closing prayers were then said by Mr. Chika Egboluche.
The event was a dreamlike episode, leaving all with a rare feeling of hope and encouragement and soul deep joy. There was no doubt that it was a hybrid specimen of a community gathering in a deep Christian perspective.