By Magnus Eze
Everything at the International Conference Centre (ICC), Abuja, on Sunday, October 15, venue of the interreligious thanksgiving service in commemoration of the Golden Jubilee of the founder/leader of Living Christ Mission, Most Rev. Daddy Hezekiah was indicative of a grand occasion.
From the traffic gridlock to large security presence, the crowd at the African Peace Hall was visibly intimidating, just as the gallery and foyers witnessed a sea of heads as never, in recent times.
The roll call of ‘who is who’ in politics, commerce, industry, clergy, traditional institution and the diplomatic community, was endless. Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, his Labour and Employment counterpart, Senator Chris Ngige, Senator Theodore Orji, ex-Anambra State governor, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Chairman, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Council of Chiefs and Ona of Abaji, Alhaji Adamu Yunusa, Eze Igbo of Abuja, Nwosu Ibe, Eze Igbo of Lagos state, Nwabueze Ohazulike and Eze M.O.Kanu graced the occasion.
Former Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana, representatives of the Presidents of Zambia and Central African Republic (CAR) and members of the diplomatic corps also added colour to the event.
The mand of God said he had brought the celebrations from the South-East to the nation’s capital, to afford those who had not seen him before an opportunity to do so.
He noted that God’s faithfulness had kept him actively for 50 years in the Lord’s vineyard.
Talking about his life, Hezekiah said: “I was called in 1967, when I was in Class 3 and since then, I have not looked back. I left Nigeria in 1974 to Zambia; University of Zambia, Lusaka where I studied Industrial Chemistry. Before I left Zambia in 1979, I was invited to the State House by the then President Kenneth Kaunda to pray for him and his cabinet. Thereafter, I returned to Nigeria to do the National Youth Service Corps. That shows that I’m a patriotic Nigerian. I started teaching before my ministry started in 1983 but was incorporated in 1985.
“I had celebrated 49 times in the south; this is the first time that I am doing it in the north. I came to Abuja to let the people see the man, Daddy Hezekiah they have been hearing about; to let them know the man they’ve been worshiping his God.”
Hezekiah harped on salvation, holiness and righteousness as the foundation of man’s relationship with God, pointing out that these key planks formed his main mission on earth.
He regretted that many churches had deviated as “they don’t talk about salvation any longer but money. Many churches may be corrupt but God is not corrupt.”
The cleric showered encomiums on members of the church, whom he said had remained united since 1983, thereby showing the world that money was not the ultimate.
Responding to an award for his contribution to global peace, presented to him by the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) led by Murtala Garba, Hezekiah canvassed for peace in the country.
He advised the Federal Government to consider the use of dialogue and peaceful processes in the settlement of disputes.
He stated that the urge for global peace made him mobilise resources to ensure the reconstruction of the mosque burnt in Onitsha, Anambra state sometimes ago; just as he donated to the United States of America after the 9/11 bomb attack.
“If the youth organisation is strong, the nation will be strong. So, this is to assure you that I will give you my support to ensure that Nigeria is united,” Hezekiah stated.
There were several performances from different parts of the country including renditions by the church choir and the scintillating Nkpokiti acrobatic display. Various groups also used the occasion to present awards to the man of God.