AUDIENCE WITH A GREAT HUMANITARIAN

An audience with a great humanitarian, Rev. Fr. Nicodemus Chizoba Adii

Rev.Fr. Nicodemus Adii is the Parish Priest of the exemplary St. Peter’s Parish Ikpa Ozuakoli Urualla, Imo State. A recently created parish that within a short time has outlived expectations due to the good works of Fr. Adii. Fr.Adii is a priest with a difference whose giant strides are felt around. He is a man of wisdom, creativity and compassion. He is also a great writer and a good sportsman. His humanitarianism is second to none, testimonies coming to us attest to this fact. He is a man who assimilates issues carefully before speaking, he spoke about many issues ranging from his priesthood journey, the church, the problem and solution for youths, the virtues of humanitarianism, and the problems of the country, the way forward. Excerpt:

Good day, Fr., please kindly introduce yourself to our readers.

My name is Rev. Fr.Nicodemus Chizoba Adii. By the Grace of God, I am the parish priest of St. Peter’s Parish Ikpa Ozuakoli Urualla and I welcome you to my parish.

You recently celebrated Seven years in priesthood, as a priest you have served the Church and humanity in various capacities, how has the journey been thus far?

You are correct, I celebrated seven years in priesthood precisely on the 24th of August 2020. You cannot separate priesthood from victimhood, they are inseparable. There are grace and there are difficulties of priesthood, and I think the difficulties are more. It has been a been a very wonderful pastoral experience, you know, being a priest in itself is a mystery. This is the fourth parish that I served. The point is that it has not been a smooth ride as there are challenges, but we keep conquering those challenges through the grace of God.

Considering your missionary achievements, do you feel successful in your vocation?

I think the question is very pertinent at this point. Though within these seven years, I feel successful. Being alive is the top of my success story. Like I said earlier, I have served in four parishes within seven years and all these were possible with humility. The word, “Humility” is gotten from humus soil, one must serve in order to be served. In Igbo, it is called “ibu akpa” to carry someone’s bag. You must carry someone’s bag first, and yours will be carried by someone at some stage. The three parishes that I served before, I served as a curate, but now I am a parish priest. During the course of my service in the church, I have converted many people, many received the Sacrament of the Eucharist through me and I have joined many together through the Sacrament of Matrimony. I have indeed administered the ritual sacraments of the church efficiently and effectively to the glory of God and sanctification of His people. I have been serving all through and the service continues anyway. So, I really think I am successful and it has been wonderful.

We agree that you are successful, looking at what you have accomplishedso far. So what are your blueprints for success?

I will say Resilience. You know some youths lack the capacity of trying again when they fail. They lack persistence in such situations. Let me give you an example, when I came to this parish, this mighty church building you are seeing was all bushes, I had to start something out of nothing, and in barely one year, the result is the mighty building you are seeing now. It was due to my resilience and courage. I am taking out time to invite you to our church dedication coming up on December 31st. One should always be deaf to what others are saying when undertaking a project, people’s utterances and side talks can discourage you, just focus and achieve your objective. So, I will say in general, Resilience and shunning of side talks

Recently you fed the motorcyclists in your parish and also organized and sponsored wedding ceremonies for some, can you please provide us with some insight on this.

According to St. John Paul II, “No one is so poor that he has nothing to offer”, that little, one offers goes a long way in saving lives. Yes, I did such for the motorcyclists and they were surprised as this is the first time anybody is doing such for them. I called them, and gave them what I have for them, and also advised on the need for coming closer to God. I emphasized on the sacrament of matrimony as some have neglected that hence why I organized and sponsored free wedding for some. I had to chauffeur a couple that had no car, with my car on the wedding day. It might interest you to know that these motorcyclists constitute the security network of this place, and some of us tend to neglect them. They are also part of the evangelization, you bring them closer, and you tell them about God, that’s why I deemed it fit to bring them aboard.They were about fifty or sixty of them. They came, we had discussions on the way forward in their Christian lives, and I also thanked them for their work.





Fr. we believe that your net worth is not to close to that of Dangote or Otedola, yet your humanitarian activities are being felt so much around here. On that note, we say keep up the good work. So, let us diversify a little bit. With the present condition of Nigeria, amidst insecurity, corruption and poverty that has ravaged the country, what do you think is the way forward?

The current state of our country, Nigeria is indeed worrisome, but we keep on praying and trying.With the Corona virus pandemic, Nigeria has remained in a precarious situation. We have to rely on the mercy of God and of course, everyone should be contributing positively. I normally tell my parishioners, that they should not subscribe to laziness, they should find something doing for the wellbeing of their families. We ought not to fold our hands and watch the situation of the country, we are supposed to do something for ourselves no matter how little.

You mentioned advising the youths in your parish on the need to find something doing. But in recent times, the society seems to be drifting towards negative values, negative values like fraud, corruption, and these negative values are usually seen as the way to success. What is your take on this?

It is important to note that the end does not justify the means rather the means justifies the end. In Igbo, we call it, “Ego Mbute” but that is surely not the way. The main problem with the youths is that they lack the virtue of patience. I normally tell graduates that after school, they should always forget the fact that they are graduates and find something to do and forget the “Ego Mbute”. Our youths should imbibe the virtue of patience and always know that it is the means that justify the end and not the other way round.

You always say that, “if being better was possible then being good is not enough”, An average Nigerian youth has the desire to be better, to succeed, but Nigeria as a country offers little or no enabling environment for them to succeed. What is your advice to the average Nigerian youth out there?

My advice to every Nigerian youth is to keep on trying, even if they don’t succeed, they should try again, that is, persistence. If being better was possible, being good is not enough, what that means is that they should wake up from their slumber, and keep striving to be better. They should not rely solely on Government, which of course have failed us. Make sure you have something doing to better your lives and that of your families. They should always rely on the Grace of God.

What is your take on the denominationalism and proliferation of Churches that is prevalent today, as against the backdrop of Christ describing the Church as one body?

Let me start by describing the word, “Catholic”, this simply means Universal, I prefer to call the rest(other churches), Movements rather than Churches. Let me state this fact, before 1517, every Christian was a catholic, then after wards (from 1517), Fr. Martin Luther founded a Lutheran church in Germany, and other churches or rather movements followed suit. Prior to this, everyone was a catholic, as that was the only church founded by Christ himself, all other movements were founded by men. Matthew 16:18 confirms this, and also beginning the official gathering at Acts of the Apostle 2:1, and led by the 266 successors of St. Peter. So, on your question the only Church founded by our Lord Jesus, remains the Catholic Church (Ecclesia Katholica), all other Churches were movements that drifted from the Catholic Church.

The bible posits, that Joy abound more in giving than receiving, your humanitarian works have solved problems and provided joy to people, how much do you think that humanitarianism can be a solution to the problems of this country?

One of my favourite singers, the late Lucky Dube will tell you that blessed is the hand that giveth, than the hand that taketh, there is always blessing in giving, Even in the Christian life, one must always sacrifice something to get blessings from God. The positivity of humanitarian services cannot be over emphasized. When you give, God gives you back. One of the saints I love so much, Mother Theresa of Calcuta will say that when God bless your neighbor, it means that God is in your neighborhood. Thus if you exercise patience and of course congratulate the recipient of the blessing, then your own blessing can come to you. Thus in such way, humanitarianism becomes a great tool in the solution of this country.

Fr. We understand that you are a very busy man, how do you relax?

Of course, in my busy schedule, I also have relaxation moments. In the morning, I engage myself in light exercises. On Monday evenings, I play football (I am a very good footballer), then I make sure I don’t miss my afternoon siestas so as to relax the nerves. This is like the ritual for me. Because all works and no play makes me dull.

Recently you were conferred with the title of “Nwakaibeya” by your parishioners as a result of your good works, we say congratulations and continue with the good works.You have shown that there are many other effective ways of propagating the gospel of Christ. We appreciate you taking time of your busy schedule to interact with us, we are grateful.

 

 

 


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