By John Oghojafor
In keeping with his vow to God on the safe return of the former governor of Delta State, Chief James Onanefe Ibori back from London prisons, the President of the Christ Missionaries Crusaders Church Intl, Archbishop God-Dowell Avwomakpa on Sunday June 25, 2017 organized a thanksgiving service in honour of the former governor.
Shortly after the thanksgiving, while responding, the former governor, Ibori recalled that he had promised himself and God not to speak publicly yet, adding that he took the decision to avert being misunderstood or misrepresented. However, he made a few remarks, saying that he had forgotten and forgiven everyone.
Declaring the thanksgiving service open, Archbishop Avwomakpa recall that when he met the former governor in the UK while still service his sentence, he prayed that God should secure him and return him back to Nigeria safe and sound, adding that he vowed to God he will organize a special thanksgiving to God in Ibori’s honour. The clergyman expressed joy, adding that the former governor did not neglect the church during his reign. The occasion witnessed lots of praises and dancing to the glory of God.
Responding, shortly after the thanksgiving, the former governor recalled that at the start of his ordeals he prayed to God to give him the grace to forget and forgive his adversaries and also remove anger from him, adding that God did it for him.
Said he: “In my mind when all this ordeals started, I said to my God, I leave my faith in your hand, my adversaries in your hand and I was praying for God to take anger out of me and to leave vengeance to Him. And indeed, God did it for me before I left. I have forgotten, forgiven everyone.”
He said further that on getting to the airport from the UK, he thanked God for safe arrival and said to himself that for the five years or so he was away, Nigeria became a better country without him.
“So I was going to humorously say when I arrived at the airport, I will thank God for safe arrival, and I will also say that Nigeria, in the five years or so I was away, became a better country without Ibori. Ibori, Ibori, Ibori, they would not allow some to hear a word, I think Nigeria is better now?”, he said.
According to him, he has chosen to remain in his little corner to watch the scene, praying that Nigeria should be good and prosperous. He however promised that a time will come when he will tell his own story, which he assured “will be an interesting one”.
Highpoint of the occasion was the joint prayers by the clergymen led by Archbishop Avwomakpa for the former governor.
Present at the occasion were the former Deputy Governor of the State, Prof. Amos Agbe Utuama (SAN), Senator Dino Melaye, Hon. Solomon Awhinawhi, clergymen from within and outside the state, royal fathers from different kingdoms in the state led by the chairman of Delta State Traditional Rulers Council, HRM Efezomo I, the Obi of Owa kingdom. Others include Prof. Sam Oyovbaire, Hon. Reuben Izeze, Mrs. Faith Majemite, Chief Egone, Chief Moses Odibo among others.