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Bishop commends Tony Okocha for remembering to thank God

Bishop commends Tony Okocha for remembering to thank God

A cleric has heaped encomiums on an emerging political star in Rivers State, Tony Okocha, who locked down half of the Garden City to throw a thanksgiving church service in Port Harcourt on Sunday, April 28, 2024.

The Bishop of the Diocese of Niger Delta North (Anglican Communion), Holy Trinity Church, Rumuapara District, Wisdom Budu Ihunwo, in his sermon at the thanksgiving service which attracted the presidency, national leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Minister of the FCT (Nyesom Wike), 17 state chairman of the APC, and many more, the cleric said thanksgiving was first an act of obedience, then an act of appreciation.

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He said: “We return glory and praises to God for the life He gave us and for making us to sleep and wake. It’s not by our power.”

He showered encomiums on Wike and Okocha, but admitted that the crowd was there to celebrate with Okocha and his wife. Digging into the Book of Luke especially verses 15 and 16, the bishop used the story of the 10 lepers to show that thanksgiving is weightier than many felt due to the element of obedience. He said the 10 lepers first obeyed the master (Jesus) and on the way met their miracle. He harped on obedience as a key pillar of faith.

He went on: “Thanksgiving means thanking God and giving Him gift. It is to express gratitude and to make a present with something weighty. People dress with millions of naira worth of accessories but give one goat that will die soon after the thanksgiving service.

“Often, people come to thank themselves, instead of God. Thanksgiving must be to God with something substantial. If God saved you in the labour room, what can you give to appreciate Him? The appointment God gave to our son (Okocha) could have gone to any other person. If you do the thanksgiving well, God will know that we are really grateful. When God has used you to do good, thank Him whether the beneficiary appreciates it or not.”

In his brief appreciation at the altar, Okocha said: “We thank God for the health he lavished on my family, before we talk of appointments. At some time, the political weight was too much, but God saw us through.”

Turning to the heavy weights that starred in the hall, he said: “We have church projects which we eagerly wish to complete. My boss Wike is great. On water, he is the Commander of the Amphibious Brigade; in the air, he is the Captain; on land, he is the Commander of both the Artillery and Infantry. He is the General, the Lion that knows no defeat.”

Speaking later at the reception centre, Okocha said he wanted to show what organic support meant; not about renting a crowd. “But in this one, you can see the zest, the joy; from the church to this place. I am very happy that God has given us this opportunity to thank Him.”

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He thanked the President Again and his benefactor, Wike, who he said held nothing from him.

In his intervention in the church, Wike joked that thanksgiving services were often for project fund raiser. “We are not going to run away. Thank God for Okocha and wife. It pleased God that you got the appointments. If God is not tired of us, we will not be tired.”

He donated N20million to support the projects on behalf of his friends and team that came with him.

He however, ended on a sober note: “Pray for Nigeria and for President Bola Ahmed Tinubu so he can fulfil his promises.”