Cicero, in his Pro Publio Sestio wrote that “History is the witness that testifies to the passing of time; it illumines reality, vitalizes memory, provides guidance in daily life and brings us tidings of antiquity.”
March 27 being the Birthday of Rev. Fr. Raymond Ezeonu should be calibrated in the annals of the history of Ebonyi land as a day of Twins and Multiple Births.
Rev. Fr. Raymond Ifeanyichukwu, a bona fide Catholic Priest of Abakaliki (R.I.P.) who fought and won the battle for the souls of twins at Ezzagu Deanery nay Ebonyi State, Nigeria was born on 27th March, 1943.
As part of our plans to actualize our dreams, Ebonyi Twins & Multiple Births Association (ETAMBA) a.k.a. Fr. Raymond Ezeonu’s Twins was inaugurated on 27 March, 2017 during the 74th Anniversary of the Birth of the Rev. Gentleman.
Commemorating the Birthday of Fr. Raymond Ezeonu as the Ebonyi Day for Twins & Multiples afford twins and multiple births a fitting opportunity to solidarize and brainstorm on ways and manners to immortalize a MAN who courageously, firmly and bravely gave them the chance to live and exist.
All through his life, Raymond Ezeonu remained a PRO-LIFER. He’s a Catholic Priest who rendered sacrificial services to humanity. He offered his life on the altar of the poor as a sweet -smelling sacrifice pleasing to God. Indeed, he was an extraordinary man who performed ordinary tasks of life in extraordinary manners. He stood himself out as a Visionary & Missionary with strong passion for the salvation of the souls of all and sundry. He doggedly fought and won the battle for the souls of Twins & Multiples. He equally abolished other obnoxious traditions inimical to human survival on earth.
Although the brutal custom has stopped, the twins now die out of lack of care and mercy. The twins and their families still need support and care. Hence the urgent need to relieve the life of Fr. Ezeonu’s by reviving them.
Recall that centuries ago, many African tribes and other civilizations around the world as well considered twin births an aberration and a taboo. Often twins and their mothers were ostracized by the community; in many cases, one or both twins were killed. In those tribes, giving birth to more than one child was considered either sub-human, because only lower animals have more than one offspring at a time. It was equally adjudged as evidence of two-fathers (Adultery). In some cases, the arrival of twins was considered to bring very bad fortunes to the village. Elaborate purification rituals were performed. Historians say “Twins towns” appeared across Africa in those times, and twins gathered there to live after being rejected by their villages.
Sadly, such belief systems bred gross violation of human dignity including right to life. It’s quite unfortunate that our Traditional Religion and Culture superstitiously abhorred (perhaps still abhor) twins as children from evil spirits, and consequently denied them the right to human existence.
Thanks to the efforts of Christian Missionaries, Twins and Multiple Births are today celebrated and honoured as a blessing and joy to almost every family. However, Twins are double joy and also double trouble. This is because they require double or additional feeding/nutrition, clothing/shelter, dress alike especially if they are identical. Identical outfits for identical twins. If one gets dirty, you change both of them so that they are always alike. It is very difficult finding two things alike in the same sizes. It is very hard buying two or more sets of everything (in case of multiple births like triplets, quadruplets, etc). parents of twins or multiple births face double or multiple problems dressing, feeding, training and raising them and other children/wards. So, multiple births pose heavy cost/finance challenges to the family especially health concerns. Also, the little infants face uncertain future. Indeed, multiple births is equal to multiple risks. With all their special needs, twins can be difficult to raise.
These challenges facing families and parents of twins and multiple births will be highlighted during the Fourth Ebonyi Twins & Multiple Birth Festival marking the 77th Birthday of our Religious Hero & Spiritual Icon. The event is intended to amplify the truth concerning the authenticity of the humanity of twins and children of Multiple and the need to celebrate the dignity of their nativity.
By 3 O’Clock in the afternoon of 27th day of March 2020 all roads will be leading to No. 8 Dr. Tina Nweze Street, Edda Echara, Ugwuachara, Ebonyi State to celebrate the Festival of Twins and Multiple Births Heritage. The event is in honour of and homage to Reverend Father Raymond Ifeanyichukwu Ezeonu who is the Christ (Saviour) of twins and children of multiple births.
Let us aim at RE-LIVING the LIFE of providing assistance to INDIGENT parents/families of twins and children of multiple births. We appeal to all benefactors, benefactresses and beneficiaries of Rev. Fr. Raymond Ifeanyichukwu Ezeonu to donate generously towards this project of establishing a Special Trust Fund for indigent twins. The organization wants to help secure the future of twins using the goodwill, legacy of life of Fr. R.I. Ezeonu. We are totally committed and dedicated to assisting and providing help and support to people who are suffering in this life.
This is because the best honour done to a departed man is not measured by flood of tears shed after him, nor by the volume of praises showered on him. A man is best honoured by respecting his last wishes and sustaining the cause he believes in.
We the beneficiaries and Friends of Rev. Father Raymond Ezeonu respect his desire and wish to have a haven for the homeless. To realize this dream was his last days’ struggle and to leave that dream unattended to is to belittle what he stood for.
It is in memory and homage of his sacrificial charity (CARITAS) that FORFRIE has initiated efforts towards his State and Church recognitions.
Twins and Multiple Births Care Foundation is a humanitarian project that aims at catering primarily for indigent twins and children of multiple births. The project provides welfare packages, scholarships, skill development and acquisition programs.
Towards this end, Ebonyi Twins & Multiple Births Festival is celebrated as an annual event to promote and sustain the Cause of Twins Saviours by campaigning for twins’ welfare and well-being.
The 2020 Ebonyi Twins and Multiple Births Festival is open to all twins and children of Multiple Births Arena (Twins, Triplets, Quadruplets, etc) & their families, friends and well-wishers.