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A few weeks to the 2022 edition of the Maris Annual Public Service Lecture, the Maris Trust Council has said that Rt. Rev. Justus Mogekwu, Bishop of Asaba Diocese, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion (rtd), would be the Father of the Day at the event.

The Secretary of Maris Trust Council, organisers of the annual lecture series, Comrade Fidelis Egugbo, said that the annual lecture would hold during the Holy Week; that is, the week before Easter Sunday, which is one of the most important weeks in the Christian calendar.

He disclosed that the Spiritual Adviser of the Trust Council, Very Rev. Fr. John Konyeke, who is at the Catholic Institute of West Africa (CIWA), Port Harcourt, Rivers State, had always played the role of Father of the Day at the lecture, noting that the acceptance of Bishop Mogekwu (rtd) as the Father of the Day had made it such that the Septuagenarian would play active roles in this year’s edition.

“With the topic, “Selfless Service: A Phenomenal Virtue” to be delivered by a seasoned politician, Rt. Hon. Festus Ovie Agas, the world is eager to learn a lot from this year’s lecture.

“We are happy that through the prayers, the support of members of the public for Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s administration which has made Asaba and Delta State in general to be tourism destination and investors’ haven, God is also, packaging this lecture to be one of the best that the Trust Council has organised.

“We thank God for the success story as we can proudly say that we are set for the lecture which will hold on Wednesday, April 13, 2022, at noon at Unity Hall, Government House, Asaba, Delta State.

“As a man who has seen a lot as a servant of the people using different political platforms, the Governor of Delta State, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, will be at the lecture as Special Guest of Honour.

“Also, Ambassador Godson Echegile, OFR, former Nigerian Ambassador to Sierra Leone, will be Chairman of occasion, the immediate past Bishop of Asaba Diocese of the Anglican Communion, Rt. Hon. Justus Mogekwu, a Septuagenarian is being pulled out from his retirement to attend the lecture as Father of the Day and Dr Mrs Cecilia Ibru, OFR, MFR, another Septuagenarian who is the Visitor and Co-founder of Michael and Cecilia Ibru University, will attend the lecture as Mother of the Day.

“For this year’s lecture, there is also, gender balancing among the discussants as renowned businessman and philanthropist, Hon. Eta Enahoro, Very Rev. Fr. Dr Chris Ekabo, Hon. Shiite Bello and Mrs Bridget Anyafulu are going to discuss the topic while Kemi Emina PhD, will be the Moderator.

“The Chairman of Maris Trust Council, Chief Kenneth Olise, PhD, FCA, and members of the Council have expressed joy with the positive reactions trailing the acceptance of Rt. Hon. Agas as the guest speaker.

“They observed that with preparations in top gear for another general election, Rt. Hon. Agas as someone who has held several elective and appointive positions, a man who is grounded in the act of governance is well qualified to speak on the topic, ‘Selfless Service: A Phenomenal Virtue. ‘

“The lecture holds Wednesday before Easter Sunday because, apart from the fact that it falls within the period when Stella-Maris in whose memory the lecture was instituted was born, it is the most serious or solemn week in the Christian calendar, following the passion of Christ.

“It is a week you reflect on Man as God’s creation, a week that you especially reflect on life and a week that you have to decide on several issues about life considering what Jesus went through within that week.

“It was the week that Jesus Christ was betrayed by His trusted disciple, a week that He prayed so much that sweat came out in form of blood; a week that He was found innocent, yet He was crucified.

“So, Maris Lecture holds every Wednesday of the Holy Week for us to look at the challenges of our society and proffer solutions to them.

“To the glory of God, it is a solemn and serious period and, every year, He gives us topical issues and serious-minded persons to discuss the topic in the interest of all and we thank God for using good people to always make the lectures successful,” Egugbo said.