By Sam Raphael
The Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Saint Matthew’s Cathedral, Sokponba Road, Benin City, Edo State, was a beehive of religious and social activities, Sunday 23rd March, 2014, when former Minister of State for Works, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Sir, Engr. (Dr.) Chris Ogiemwonyi, FNSE, KSA, JP, was admitted into the Order of Saint Christopher, amongst other important dignitaries in the state, in a colourful ceremony attended by the crème de la crème of society.
While inaugurating the 37 new knights, Archbishop of the Anglican Communion, diocese of Benin, Rt. Reverend Peter Imasuen, challenged them to be humble ambassadors of Christ, who would help to actualize the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ to all nooks and crannies of the world and assist the church at all times.
Also speaking during the event, the guest preacher and Archbishop of the Kaduna Province, Most Reverend Josiah Idowu Fearon, called on Christians, especially the new knights to put on the amour of truth and righteousness in order to be able to fight the ills in the society.
He noted that in a world that was being ravaged by the threat of moral and spiritual decadence, especially the spreading evils of homosexuality, injustice and extreme wickedness, Christians were supposed to be extra vigilant to save their world, insisting that with their faith in God, they would overcome.
Sir (Engr.) Dr. Ogiemwonyi, in a chat with newsmen, shortly after the end of the church ceremony, thanked God for the honour done him with the investiture as knight of the Anglican Church, noting that it had always been his prayers that after quitting the public service, as a career civil servant, he would dedicate the remaining part of his life to serve humanity and support the work of God.
The former Minister later treated his numerous friends, associates and family members to sumptuous meals and lively entertainment at his residence.
Present at the ceremony were politicians from all political party divides, representatives of the Palace of the Benin Monarch, a cross section of traditional chiefs, led by the Iyase of Benin kingdom, Chief S.O. Igbe, captains of industry, the leadership and membership of clubs and associations to which the celebrant is Grand Patron, notable amongst which were, the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Association of Community Newspapers’ Publishers of Nigeria, ACNPN, National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, The Benin Recreation Club, etc.