By Henry Ojelu
Foremost preacher and entrepreneur, Pastor Itua Ighodalo, has described Ewohimi, a sprawling agrarian town in Esan South East Local Government Area of Edo state, as God’s hidden secret.
He made the disclosure while delivering a keynote address as guest speaker at the maiden Economic/Security Summit, put together to mark the 25th ascension anniversary of the monarch, Omon N’Ogie of Ewohimi Kingdom, Lord-Peter Ogienefoh Usifoh II.
“…I saw an expanse of lush green vegetation, a very beautiful landmass and concluded that Ewohimi is God’s best-kept secret. Whether we like it or not, Ewohimi has to be developed,” Ighodalo, Senior Pastor, Trinity House, Lagos, noted.
In his a paper, “The developmental life of Ewohimi”, Pastor Ighodalo enjoined all stakeholders, including every well-meaning son and daughter of the town, to encourage viable agro-allied businesses as a booster for sustainable development, adding that he will help to mobilize the required support to turn the town’s community development centre into a hub of development activities.
Pastor Ighodalo, who decried the absence of unity among the people which he reasoned was the bane of development in the town, urged the people to embrace unity irrespective of their different political leanings. Quoting copiously from the Bible, he enjoined the people to shun all forms of individual political bitterness and focus more energy and resources on the pursuit of the common good of Ewohimi.
“There is a need for all interest groups to come together as one. The Bible tells me that it is in unity that God converts his blessing. It means that if there is no unity, there will be no blessing. What is the problem of Nigeria, it is disunity also. So the first takeaway from this conference is that we must unite,” he appealed.
Other speakers include Dr Mike Asekome, an Associate Professor of Development Finance, Benson Idahosa University, Benin City, and Professor of Chemistry, University of Benin and Prof Emma Ukpebor, a Professor of Chemistry, University of Benin, Benin City. While the former delivered a paper titled “Unleashing and Harnessing the Potential for Integrated Socio-Economic Development of Ewohimi Community”, the latter dwelt on “The role of Education in the Development of Youth and Children in Ewohimi”.
Chaired by Hon Victor Eboigbe, federal commissioner, Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission, RMAFC, the interactive summit, facilitated by illustrious sons and daughters of the town, was organized, in the main, to expose attendees and participants to new ways of chatting the course of Ewohimi over challenges hitherto militating against its development and proffering solution to same. Among other things, it was designed to help foster love and unity, and to conceptualize the security architecture and economic framework for the advancement of the kingdom. Not least, the summit was put in place to create an enlightenment platform for the promotion of knowledge for human capital development and harnessing of available material resources for the growth and development of the town.
It was attended by a cross-section of experienced resource persons and discussants, including Barr Matthew Ukpebor, His Lordship, Bishop Donatus A. Ogun, OSA, Bishop of Uromi Diocese, represented by Rev. Fr. Fidelis Arhedo, Director of Justice Development and Peace Commission JDPC, Uromi Diocese, Edo State, Prof. M. E. Enosolease, Department of Hematology, UBTH, Benin City and Mrs Omo Imhanyehor, a seasoned Banker.
Others in attendance are former governorship aspirants in Edo State, Barr. Kenneth Imansuagbon, aka, Rice Man, former Edo State Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Dr. Larry Aghedo, a seasoned Banker, Mr. Robert Omole and Mr Erhabor Okogun.