Fr. Nwali Builds Computer School for The Blind In Abakaliki…As He Celebrates 25years Anniversary
By Igwe Agnes, and Okereke Wilson Ogbonnaya
The Parish Priest of St. Johnpaul II Catholic Church, Ugwuachara and Senior Special Adviser to Ebonyi State Governor on Religious and Welfare Matters, Very Rev. Fr. Dr. Abraham Chukwuma Nwali on Friday 23rd August 2019, officially opened a computer school for the visually impaired persons which he single-handedly built as one of the projects marking his 25 years priestly ordination in Abakaliki.
Fr. Nwali told newsmen during the commissioning of the center with the name “Ability in Disability Special School/Vocational Center, Ezeonu Memorial School for Indigent Africans (EMSFIAS), that every human has one form of defect or another.
The disability he said might include psychological, mental, social, economic, family, religious, political, moral defects, physically challenged, among others.
He said he was motivated towards embarking on the project so that the blind persons would learn how to read and write, using brail machines which would improve their conditions.
He condemned stigmatization which some disabled persons are facing even when all lives are characterized with different defects, pointing out that the worst of them all is mental defects, a situation where one would no longer be liable for any crime because of total absence of integrity in such body which would make the person not to have value for anything.
According to him, “when wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost but when integrity is lost, automatically everything is lost”.
He advised that the physically challenged persons should not be discriminated against as some of them had made the world proud in many facets of life, stating that both the best scientists and the best surgeons in the world are people with disability including the world’s richest man and the best cardiologist in the whole of South East of Nigeria.
The man of God who is also the Judicial Vicar of Catholic Church, Abakaliki Diocese disclosed that blind persons usually have higher sensitivity in their memoranda and possess extra increment in sensations which enable them to feel physical environment and dangers easily and in view of these features mentioned above, he then built the school so that in future, secretaries of firms and computer operators could be found among them.
While commissioning another multi-million naira vocational center at Oroke Onuoha meant for the sight persons, he told the mammoth crowd that he was motivated by the need to produce students who would be marketable in the society as the trainees would be taught on the following productions; Soap, Cream, Perfume, Disinfectants, Shoe-making and repairs under the tutelage of a capable hand whose name was not given whom he said emerged the overall winner in the whole Federation during the recently concluded skill acquisition competition organized by Central Bank of Nigeria at Abuja.
During the cutting of the first two cakes on the second day of the event, Fr. Nwali disclosed that the one with English design symbolized civilization of Nigeria under England while another with Italian background represented the Holy father which stand for both City of God and City of public service.
As the man of God was unveiling 10 books which were written in his honor, he quoted, “you may be remembered for your work but not more than a decade, for your help to so many persons, you may be remembered from generations to generation but once one writes, such works will serve from known generation to unknown generation”
He therefore said that among all the gifts which his invitees would receive that none would last as long as the books which he would share, adding that through his service to God and humanity, many lives had been touched positively as he had since his ordination baptized over fifty thousand persons, paid bride price of over two thousand women on behalf of their husbands, carried out befitting burials of some persons, paid hospital bills of a great number, identified with some disabled persons and widows in addition to empowerment given to some members of the clergy among others.
“Since the past 25 years, I have spent between 10-20 billion naira in the course of doing my work,” he said.
Pertaining to his assessment on his performances, he narrated “When the apostles returned from a beautiful assignment and came back relaxing, along the line they told Christ that all evil spirits obeyed them, they healed the sick and received all grace. They were told that as they rejoice, they should hold themselves because the greatest Joy is because their names are written in heaven”
He then told us that he was feeling as if he was already in heaven because his 25years in God’s vineyard had been lovely and gracious and as a result thanked God, Bishop Okoro, for his parents, Governor Umahi, siblings, relations, friends and everyone.
Ebonyi State Governor, Engr. David Umahi represented by Commissioner for Education, Hon. Dr. Stephen Odo appreciated the priest over the accomplished wonderful assignment which according to him coincided with the latest government policy on public-private community partnership geared at providing students with vocational training and qualitative education.
He disclosed that another approach called Community Development Model is underway where Council Chairmen, Traditional Rulers, Stakeholders, Town Unions presidents, and other philanthropists would be met for them to assist in taking some responsibilities in government own schools within their area.
“Government cannot afford education alone, thus, we are calling on the stakeholders to get involved so that quality education will be given to our children.
It has been the government’s desire to introduce Vocational and Special Schools be it in agriculture or entrepreneurship, it will help to reduce the high rate of unemployment” he explained.
Highlights of the events are the dedication of St. Johnpaul II Church, Display of products made by disabling persons, cutting of the anniversary cakes, presentation of gifts, Unveiling of Fr. Nwali’s Statue, live performance of music artistes, cultural dances, among others.
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