Homage to Rev. Father Ezeonu (1)

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On 27th day of March 2020, Rev. Fr. Raymond EZEONU will clock 77. Twins and Friends of Rev. Fr. Raymond Ifeanyichukwu Ezeonu will be commemorating the 77th Anniversary of his Birth and his 48th Priestly Ordination Anniversary on the 8th day of April, 2020.

He was ordained a Catholic Priest of Abakaliki Diocese on 8th April, 1972 by Most Rev. Thomas McGetterick, the pioneer Bishop of Abakaliki.  Fr. Ezeonu was the pioneer priest of his home town, Oraeri in Aguata LGA of Anambra State, Nigeria.

He transited to Life after life on the 26th day of January 2003.

He is honoured today and forever for his great effort to stop the killing of twins, no wonder he is called “Papa Ejima – Father of twins”. He did not only stop the killing of twins, he adopted and catered for them and other less privileged members of his society.

At the Mission House in Ezzagu, he fostered and nursed twin mothers and their babies. Fr. Raymond gave the people free care. Fr. Raymond bathed abandoned twins after picking them up from the evil forest. He was not just a missionary; Fr. Ezeonu was a humanitarian, an angel of peace, a leader, a father of all.

In Ebonyi State, everybody is excited to talk about him, the young and the old, the male and female, everyone. I have been trying to imagine why a young Anambra man from a very aristocratic background, should leave his many comforts to salvage people alien to him.

He was so passionate about the poor and the helpless to the extent that his family mattered no more. I couldn’t imagine such sacrifice, such love for a strange people, a people painted as barbaric, backward and timid, the Abakaliki people.

Today, Raymond Ezeonu’s legacies live on. He is calibrated today not on bank notes or wooden or graven objects but in the hearts and memories of the people. Forever the memory of Raymond Ezeonu shall remain fresh in the memories of all. Raymond Ezeonu is an unlikely hero.  He remains a challenging example of Christlikeness to all believers. He was a man who converted many souls to God through his exemplary giant strides.

He is variously described as “the Apple of the eye of Ezeonu family, the Beauty of Umuezeohamasi clan in Obinri, the “Ebubedike” of Obinri village in Ora-Eri, the Testimony of Ora-Eri town in Aguata LGA of Anambra State, and also the Weapon of Righteousness of Ebonyi State.”

That this land of Abakaliki might have a rebirth of freedom; that twins killing might be stopped forever in Ebonyi soil; Raymond Ezeonu staked his life.

We bow in humble homage to the man who died that others might live; a man who sacrificed his comforts; that others might enjoy the good things of the earth.

Here in Ebonyi land, you toiled day and night that we may have life and have it more abundantly. It’s here that you brought sunshine into many homes and freedom to the oppressed.

Millions of Ebonyians love and cherish you Fr. Raymond. You’ll be ever remembered as a man who transformed his society; as a Catholic Priest who left the world better than he met.

You’ll be fondly remembered as a friend of the downtrodden masses; as a Christian who cherished and respected human life from conception.

We hope to build a monument to engrave these words in order to immortalize your heroism.

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