The religious ceremony for the dedication of the off-campus students’ hostel of about 96 bedrooms (with some having living rooms) built and equipped at Nwafor Orizu College of Education, Nsugbe, Anambra State, Nigeria, by the Mothers’ Union and Women’s Guild of the Diocese of Nnewi, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) was held on Thursday, January 14, 2016.
Few years past, the women of the Diocese of Nnewi embarked on this hostel building project in a bid to correct the anomaly of students staying in dilapidated huts in far and nearby villages which exposes them to moral decadence and sometimes physical harm. In order to encourage the women project and educational development in Anambra State, the Bishop of Nnewi, Rt. Rev. Prof. Godwin I. N. Okpala (JP, OON), chose to preside at the foundation laying ceremony then, when they set out to construct this project.
The completed students’ hostel building which, according to the Bishop of Nnewi Diocese, is to help the growth of education in Anambra State, is to stand as a unique hostel in the NOCEN community. He also commended and recommended the Nnewi Diocesan women’s community development work for other women organization in the country. After the inspection, prayers and formal dedication of the Diocesan women’s project, the Rt. Rev. Prof. Okpala declared and named the students hostel after the motto of the Diocese of Nnewi, ‘Alive Unto God Hostel’.
Addressing the Mothers’ Union members, clergymen and students who gathered to witness the dedication and opening of this new hostel, the sponsor of the project and President of the Mothers’ Union and Women’s Guild of the Diocese of Nnewi, Mrs. Eugenia Okpala said the new hostel project was constructed to address the accommodation concerns of the NOCEN students and it would provide affordable, accessible and quality shelter for diligent and godly NOCEN students who she noted, are searching for very close, decent and low cost accommodation. She maintained that most of the challenges that led to the poor academic performance and ailments among NOCEN students could be prevented if decent hostel accommodation was provided.
The President of Diocesan Mothers’ Union commended the effort of Mr. Humphrey Ngonadi, Rev. Canon Chukwunonso Arinze and Mrs. Lois Nwangwu for their diligent and selfless commitment to the successful completion of the hostel building project at NOCEN, Nsugbe.
The Bishop’s wife, popularly called Nnebuife, also appreciated all the women and clergy who were present at the service of dedication. Some of the clergymen who featured at the event were Ven. Dr. Stanley Awuzie, Ven. Dr. Ernest Ezumezu, Ven. Vincent Egwuenu, Ven. Ok. C. Emeribe, Ven. Daniel Azodo, Ven. Dr. Iyke Okafor, Ven. Arinze Anen, Rev. Canon Temple Madunagu, Rev. Canon Timothy Agbanusi, Rev. Nelson Ifeanyi Iluno, Rev. Canon Dr. Maurice Agu, Rev. Canon Prince Chukwuma, Ven. Innocent Mekaowulu, Rev. Canon Chamberlin Igwenazor, Ven. Benson Okeke and Ven. Fidelis Onyeka.
Administrative Secretary to the Bishop of Nnewi, Ven. Dr. Godwin Agba who directed the protocols at the dedication ceremony commended Mrs. Eugenia Okpala for the initiative saying that the students’ hostel project would provide decent accommodation for the teeming student population and equally boost the educational and community development programmes of the state government. According to Ven. Dr. Agba, “the church must go back to the drawing board and contribute to nation-building apart from the spiritual guidance it renders”.
Over 100 students of Nwafor Orizu College of Education, Nsugbe (NOCEN), Anambra State, Nigeria would benefit from Alive Unto God Hostel.
By Nelson Iluno