(BY NGOZI ADIGHIBE) The Primate of All Nigeria, Anglican Communion and Bishop of Abuja Anglican Diocese, the Most Rev. Nicholas D. Okoh has described the Ven. Stephen Ejezie as a man of “fabulous patience,” adding that Nigeria needs men of integrity such as him. He gave this description at the Holy Communion and Thanksgiving Service for the 70th Birthday and Retirement from Ordained Ministry of the Ven. Stephen Ikechukwuka Ogbonnaya Ejezie. Primate Okoh showered encomiums on the Ven. Ejezie, further describing the Vicar of Our Saviour’s Anglican Church, Durumi Abuja as an honest, truthful and content man. He thanked God for the life of Ven. Ejezie, appreciating God for his family, parents, teachers, children and all those who have influenced his life positively.
He said the Venerable is several things to different people and some may describe him as a hard man, but according to the Primate, he is also disciplined and hard even to himself. He commended the Ven. Ejezie for his time of service in the Church and for being a man of patience. He said that this quality of patience is extraordinary in light of the popular Christianity today, where people command God to do things their own way. He said the Ven. Ejezie has the capacity to wait on God’s timing for things to happen and encouraged him to maintain this attribute even as he moves on to the next phase of his life.
Reminiscing on his younger days, Archbishop Okoh said that there were things that they did when they were young that they cannot do today, because of their age. He pointed out that young people take risks that are sometimes unnecessary, but as one matures in age, one begins to develop a sense of fear and reduce taking risks. Hence, he noted that the Venerable may not be as active as before, but he has become qualified to be an elder.
Quoting from the Scriptures, Primate Okoh stated that to everything there is a time and it was now time for the Venerable to retire. He said that the Church is losing value by releasing a man such as the Ven. Ejezie, but that the Church will always call on him for assistance. The Cleric explained that it may not be easy to transition to a life of retirement, because it is often lonely. Thus, he encouraged the Ven. Ejezie to occupy his time wisely and also become an adviser to the younger generation, in fulfillment of the Bible passage that states that old men will dream dreams.
The Bishop of Abuja Anglican Diocese concluded his message by pledging his unending support for the Venerable, stating that his doors are always open because the friendship, loyalty and dedication of the Ven. Ejezie is of great value. He prayed that God will guide him, grant him the grace to remain honest, grant him sound health and peace to enjoy his retirement and lastly, reward him greatly for his faithful service to the Church.