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:
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.
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.
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?
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
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
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
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
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.