Odogwu Emeka Odogwu
Pope Francis was happy to hear that Prof Emeka Francis Ezeonu and wife Dr (Mrs) Nkoli Jane Ezeonu were celebrating their silver jubilee of marriage.
To that effect , he sent his Papal apostolic blessing gift in form of a certificate to honour the couple. The certificate was presented to them at the renewal of their Marital vows weekend at St Mary’s Catholic Church, Alor , Idemili south local government area Anambra state.
Pope Francis was happy Emeka and Jane were celebrating their marriage when many homes are broken with divorces daily rocking marriages.
It was a glorious day for the couple celebrating their 25 years of marital bliss as dignitaries across class turned up to celebrate with the couple as they renewed their marital vows they first made on the fifth day of August 1995.
While thanking God for blessing him with a wonderful family, Prof Ezeonu’s appreciation was endearing to the dignitaries who graced the occasion.
Prof Ezeonu who is the Imo state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) said that the twenty-five-year-old marriage wasn’t bed of roses as they have passed through ups and downs as witnessed in many marriages but according to him , it was the grace of God that kept his marriage going.
He said that his father and mother-in-law Dr. Louis Nnamdi Oraka and his wife Mercy Oraka played a vital role in the success of the marriage.
Prof Ezeonu who is also former Vice Chancellor of Hezekiah University, Imo state said his in-laws stood by him and filled the gap created by his departed parents even as he described them as pillars of support even in his dark periods.
Earlier, the Parish Priest of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Alor, Fr Izuchukwu Christopher Ifem, in his sermon said that the day was significant to the couple and witnesses of the renewal of marital vows.
He said that the marriage between Prof Emeka and Dr Jane was a witness to God reminiscent of St. Stephen’s witnesses to God in the Bible.
He said while Stephen was remembered for his witness to God as a deacon when he was martyred, Francis and Jane Ezeonu’s marriage represented the same cause as they are witnesses to God through the success of their marriage.
He urged the couple to be steadfast and firm in the service of God to avoid temptations that have led to break up of many marriages in the society even as he stated that the foundation of love that has been laid in the family will be beneficial to the children who according to him will model their lives to their parents.
He added that the ring is the smallest of handcuff that ties marriage together.
Speaking at the reception held at Jubilee Garden Alor, the Imo state Independent National Electoral Commission team led by Mr Victor Nwokeabia ,HOD Election and Party Monitoring while presenting their gift to the couple said that Prof Ezeonu has been a servant leader to them.
He described the existing relationship with him as cordial and understanding, adding that he is the best to happen to them.
Dignitaries across class were present to honor the couple amidst archival friends and colleagues from Nnamdi Azikiwe University including two past Vice Chancellors, the immediate past Vice Chancellor of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Prof Joseph Ahaneku and wife Prof Gladys Ahaneku, and a former Vice Chancellor of Unizik, Prof Ilochi Okafor and wife, Lady Egosonwa Okafor.
As well immediate past Vice Chancellor of Enugu State University of Science And Technology (ESUT) Prof. Luke Anike, Director Unizik Business School, Prof Au Nonyelu, Unizik Director of Academic Planning, Prof Joseph Ikechebele, Prof Sam Neludu, Chief and Mrs. John Udeagwa, Prof Stanley chidi Udedi and wife as well as Onowu Alor, Chief Okwuchukwu Ezekwesili all graced the occasion among other Professors, Academic, Businessmen, and Politicians.
Officiating Priests were Fr Simeon Amuche, Fr Austin Aniagboso, Fr Jude Chukwuneke from Nnewi Diocese, Fr Tochukwu Onunkwo, Rev Fr. (Prof.) Anthony Chiegboka among others.
For Dr Mrs Nkoli Jane Ezeonu, it was a pleasure having guests across board to celebrate with them on a journey they embarked 25 years ago together with love , faith and determination.
The marriage is blessed with a daughter Chideraa and three sons Kenechukwu, Kosisochukwu and Chinedum.
The highpoint of the celebration was the renewal of marital vow by the couple, exchange of rings, handover of Papal apostolic blessing certificate from Pope Francis to the couple by Parish Priest and the cutting of the anniversary cake by the family.
www.odogwublog.com reports that Emeka met Jane as a student in his Applied Biochemistry department in 1991. Emeka was motivated by her diligence in class while Jane got attracted by Emeka’s super intelligence and dedication to duties.
They later became friends after a tease from a female colleague of Emeka and later fell in love turning the friendship to unannounced courtship that led to marriage.
Prof Ezeonu described her wife Jane in superlative terms when he said : ‘Jane pleases both my eye and my heart , she is my jewel and my treasure. She is my friend, my soulmate , my teacher, and my conscience”. He prayed for another 25 years with Jane together , adding that their Christian faith is unshakable and that they are positive about every situation.
For Dr Mrs Jane Ezeonu , the queen will always look out for her king because they are best friends and complement like black and white.
Kenechukwu Celestine Ezeonu, the first born , the love by their parents made them grew fearlessly without apologies, while Kosisochukwu Blasie Ezeonu , his parents love life has so much to be admired a d cherished , adding that the love they share is simply unfathomed.
For the girl, Chideraa Angela Ezeonu, she is appreciative of the beautiful lessons they have taught her especially that of love and life and thanked them for teaching her that honesty is the best policy , while the last born of the house , Chinedum Martins Ezeonu , who was concerned about being fed and raised to his current age of 14 described his parents love as quite an example of true love.
Prof Stan Udedi and wife Chinyere Udedi were the first young couple, Prof Emeka Ezeonu and wife Jane fostered and sponsored and they have sponsored 18 couples during their wedding.
In their blessings and prayers to the Silver couple, Dr Louis and Evangelist (Mrs) Mercy Oraka thanked God for blessing the couple academically, professionally, fruitfully and prosperously, but requested for more blessings to celebrate their golden , diamond and centenary jubilees in good health.
He even recalled how he cried like a baby when her daughter was departing his abode to join her husband’s and he entitled that ‘the last time I cried’.