Governor Udom Emmanuel has donated a multi-million Naira public address system to Catholic Church, St. Paul’s Parish, West Itam, Itu Local Government Area.
The Governor made the official handover of the public address system to the church through his Special Assistant on Public Affairs, Mr Raphael Edem on Easter Sunday.
Speaking during the church service, Edem said the Governor is someone who attaches top priority to anything that concerns the church and the work of spreading the gospel.
“There has been no sitting Governor who has worshipped in this church before. But even though His Excellency the Governor has not worshipped in this church before, today this church has felt his impact”, Edem said.
The microphone maestro used to occasion to thank God for saving his life and that of his boss, Mr Udom Emmanuel from the sad event of the Reigners Bible Church collapse on December 10, 2016 which claimed many lives.
He urged the church to take good care of the public address system, saying “we have been assured by the manufacturers that if these instruments are properly taken care of, they will still be working properly and in good condition in the next 10 to 15 years”.
He said about 4 persons from the church will be trained to manage the instruments, saying it will also serve as a source of empowerment for those picked for the training.
“Anybody who is trained as a sound engineer has a handicraft that will fetch him money even outside the church”, said the man popularly called Raph.
Raph, while giving his testimony said “God has been so faithful to me. In 2015, God gave me my first daughter. It was not long, His Excellency the Governor appointed me Special Assistant.”
He said in appreciation of God’s faithfulness in his life and that of his family, he is instituting a scheme for members of the church.
“Working with the leadership of the church and the direction of the parish priest, myself and my family will pick one person in each of the stations that make up this parish. We will find out if that person has the capacity to gain admission into the university. If the university gains admission into the university, myself and my family will pay the school fees of that person all through his/her university years. The conditions are that the person must be an indigent member of the church and must be going for a four-year course. But if there is any station that there is nobody that fits this description, but wants to learn a trade, I will pay for the training of such person until he/she is done with the training”, stated the ex-OAP.
Speaking further, he urged the church produce more people who can also help others to grow.
“In our church, we should strive to improve our selves and produce other people that will be in better positions to assist other people. I don’t want to be the only person from my church, family, or village that can assist people. There should be other people who are in position to help our people. The youths are the future of the church and should be able to stand well to contribute meaningfully to the development of the church”, he said.
He thanked the church for the perennial support to him, urging members of the church who are up to 18 years to take part in the ongoing registration for the National Identity card and voter’s card. He said time to fulfill these civic responsibilities shouldn’t be a time whereby people declare their own holidays to watch television at home.
He also urged Christians to always pray for Governor Udom Emmanuel and others working at different levels of government, saying it will help in the growth and development of the state.
While rounding off his speech which saw an eruption of a thunderous applause, he left Catholic faithful with this food-for-thought: “As we keep growing in this church, irrespective of where we come from, that as Catholics, a church that is one, apostolic, indivisible anywhere in the face of the earth, we should show our Catholicism, our unity, our oneness, our indivisibility in the way that we act in church and outside church. Don’t forget, the life you live might be the only Bible that some people read”.
Responding, the priest in-charge of the parish, Reverend Father Michael Ekpenyong expressed his appreciation to the Governor for his benevolence. He also expressed his heartfelt appreciation to Raph Edem for being a “good messenger” and for facilitating the donation of the public address system by the Governor.
One of the high points of the event was the presentation of a souvenir and letter of appreciation to the Governor through Mr. Raphael Edem by the chairman of the church’s Pastoral Council, Sir Joseph E. Udoh.