Thursday, 30 June 2016

How Bayelsa & Rivers Pastors battled for relevance @ Pastor Luke Okpuruka’s 70th bash

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The Celebrant with his wife & Six Children (His Daughters   and their Husbands)

In this Part 2 of our exclusive coverage of Port Harcourt, Rivers State based elder statesman and Pastor, Luke Okpuruka’s birthday celebration; we bring you more details and more pictures of dignitaries and personalities who graced the April 16 event. Only on your Africa’s number 1 Celebrity Encounter blog, Asabeafrika. Enjoy.
Pastor Mrs. Olanike Olagboye of RCCG, Bayelsa Province 1   lead celebrant and his wife in cutting of cake

More PH Big Boys storm event
Apart from Peclo Oil boss, Charles Akabueze, other big boys in the city of Port Harcourt  and environ stormed Pastor Luke Okpuruka’s 70th birthday bash in their various colors and attire. Names like George Amangala, Ifeanyi Obi of Jazzy Ni Couture, Dan Udofia, a construction business expert in Port Harcourt and personal friend of Engineer Sam Anya. Dan Udofia was at the party with his wife Chioma. Another top PH big boy who attended Pastor Luke Okpuruka’s birthday is NDDC big boy Sokaribo Ogaree who attended the event with his pretty wife as well.  Others are top Port Harcourt business man Osele Ebodagbe and Kattey O. Kattey. 
Portharcourt big boys, Charles Akabueze (Far Left) Osele   Ebodaghe (In black) and Ifeanyi Obi of jazzy Ni Couture among others like   George Amangala, Oyibo Ovido and Katey O. Katey
 Top Bayelsa Govt. functionaries storm Pastor Opuruka’s 70th
Leading a cream of powerful delegation representing Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State is the pretty female Justice Ebimi Okara of the Federal High Court, Yenagoa.  Her presence at the event was highly acknowledged. She sat on the same high table with celebrant and his wife.  Other top dignitaries who stormed the event from Bayelsa State are Honorable Chief Victor O. Sam-Ateki the former Deputy Speaker, Bayelsa State House of Assembly now S.A to Governor Seriake Dickson on Parastatal monitoring and Revenue. He was at the occasion with his pretty wife, Chief (Mrs.) Jennifer Sam-Ateki. The Present Leader of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Honorable Akpe Peter and his lovely wife, Pastor (Mrs.) Favour Akpe also graced the event. The next very important dignitary from Bayelsa State is Chief Diekivie Ikiogha a former Chief of Staff to Bayelsa State Governor.  
Engineer Sam Anya to Asabeafrika....'My Father in-law   surprises me with the way he relates with God which has equally affected   his children. I am privileged to be his son-in-law'
Meet the event’s Most IT complaint guest
If an award is to be given to the guest who busied himself most with his I-Pad, that award will be won not by a Rivers man but a Bayelsan man in the person of Honorable Akpe Peter, the present leader of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly.  All through the course of the event, this gentle politician was busy doing this and that on his I-Pad; except once in a while when he decides to look into the face of his pretty Madam, Pastor (Mrs.) Favor Akpe. He took holiday off his I-Pad only when he was to take his meal and during the toast. He is one of the early arrivals and equally left early.
Celebant with his In-law and ex-Custom boss, Sir Mishael   Iwuagu
How Bayelsa Pastors battled Rivers Pastors @ the event
Apart from the fact that the “Birthday Boy” is a “Port Harcourt boy” by birth and education; it appears to dignitaries who attended the event that there was a subtle move by Bayelsa Pastors and Politicians to over dominate the event to the detriment of their host. A large number of Redeemed Pastors from Bayelsa state stormed the event. Although few of them like Pastor Festus Irinyenikan (What a powerful name?) of Tabernacle of His Glory, Rivers Province 4 and host Pastor, Pastor Edisemi Opokiti of Chapel of Testimony (The Grace Place), Pastor Runnson Williams of RCCG, Rivers Province 8 and Pastor Alex Ogie-Patrick of same Rivers 8 made a bulk of the Port Harcourt based team of pastors who graced Pastor Luke Chukwumaeze Okpuruka’s 70th birthday. But many like Pastor Barnabas Ikechukwu, Pastor Ikorlie Reuben from Bayelsa Province 1 and others too numerous to mention made the occasion look like a competition between Rivers and Bayelsa. If not for the profile of the celebrant which was made available to guests, one might take the celebrant for a Bayelsa born.  However, analysts believe that the crowd of Bayelsa pastors and politicians at Pa Okpuruka’s birthday was as a result of the grace of Baba’s Pastor Son in-law Emmanuel Okolo who is the Zonal Head Pastor of RCCG, Province 1, Yenagoa.
Pastor Emmanuel Okolo congratulating his father-in-law for   making 70
Port Harcourt top Pastor, Ikponmwosa storm event with family
He is the founder of Port Harcourt based Christ Followers Sanctuary, Pastor Ikponmwosa Ehioge. The very handsome man of God who later presented a well crafted photo frame to the celebrant came with his beautiful wife, Pastor (Mrs.) Patience Ehiogie and their lovely kids, Marcus, Erhun, Ogosa, Prince Uwa and his PA, Festus Omosigho. He was seated next to the celebrant’s table.
Pastor Mrs. Olanike Olagboye storm event event with Bayelsa Good Women…
Pastor Luke Okpuruka....The Man loved by his   people...
Another top minister of God who graced the occasion is the wife of Pastor Olagboye, one of the leading Pastors in-Charge of RCCG, Bayelsa Province 1. Her name is Pastor Mrs. Olanike Olagboye, she was at the event with her husband but she stayed till the end while her husband had to attend to other ecclesiastical activities on his schedule.  She was one of the ministers who directed the 70th birthday cake cutting segment with good women from RCCG Bayelsa province.
Mrs. Chinasa Iwuagwu with her friends from all walks of   life
What People said about celebrant…
There was room for people to share their testimonies on the celebrant which made a lot of people to struggle to say what they know about the Celebrant, Pastor Luke Okpuruka. Majority of the speakers turned out to be widows who have benefitted from the celebrant and his wife’s good gesture towards their cause.  The first speaker, Mummy Imoni from celebrant’s branch of RCCG described Pastor Okpuruka as “The man who cares for God’s wives” (Widows) She continued “I am one of the wives of God he (Luke Okpuruka) is caring for. Since I knew him, his yes has always been yes and his No is No.  I don’t feel pity for myself that I lost my physical husband because Jesus my spiritual husband is there for me.  Pastor Luke is the man who looks after us for Jesus concluded the very aged woman.  The next speaker, Madam Chinyere Anyia  who is a relation of the celebrant described Pastor Luke as someone who loves everything about God and the words of God “He will ask me when we were young” have you gone to the choir practice today?” said Mrs. Anyia who described herself as Pastor Luke’s younger sister. She added “He is lucky to have equally married a wife who loves God. Today they both take care of widows in Port Harcourt and other places. I am happy he broke the record of 70 in our family”.
Engineer Sam and Mrs. Kelechi Anya with their first lady   Samuela and Ibeji (Twin Boys)
Meet the man who gave the ‘Most Worrisome Prayer’
 Still on the testimonial segment, Sir (Evangelist) Godson Ndubueze Onyeukwu a friend of 15 years with the celebrant was the next to speak about the man, Luke Okpuruka. He eulogized the celebrant by saying “The man is indeed a good man. I have known him for over 15 years since he was in NITEL. He is a man whose way is straightforward. His lips speak only the truth. He doesn’t know how to romance lies. He loves and discuss kingdom business” Sir (Evangelist) Godson added “Through his kind gesture to the widows in Port Harcourt, we have also founded a widow’s community in Owerri, Imo State” However, the man rounded up his remarks with the most worrisome prayer point and tongues were literally divided on whether to say their “Amen” to the later or say it half-hearted. Hear the prayer “You will live another 70 years” he removed his cap and said a loud “Amen” before leaving the stage.
Guests having a fun time at the event
 Ikoli Reuben a former Assistant Manager, Exchange System, NITEL and old colleague of Pastor Luke Okpuruka expressed his surprise that the man was already 70. Ikoli Reuben who is now a Pastor with RCCG, Bayelsa Province 1, described the celebrant as a man of his word who hate lies but loves truth “He is a man that minds his own business. Working with him at NITEL, I never knew he was this old. He is a straightforward man. Despite his military background, he doesn’t take nonsense. He tells you how he feels. You are congratulated in Jesus name”
Celebrant broke into joyful tears after his first   daughter, Adaku on behalf of others presented him a key to his brand new   Ford Explorer Jeep
Papa’s 4th child read his Biography
A short biography of the celebrant was red by his 4th Child, Master God’swill Okpuruka who used only 10 minutes to read the very interesting biography of his soldier-turned-civilian father before the sermon of the day. God’swill is a Science Student of a highbrow school in Port Harcourt.
Mama Lovina Chile Okpuruka with a Senior Colleague   appreciating God's mercy for her husband and her children
What the Pastor said about Luke Okpuruka
Pastor Alex Ogie-Patrick of RCCG, Prevailing World AreaRivers 8 gave the 70th birthday sermon for Pastor Luke Chukwumaeze Madukwem Okpuruka. The man of God who was at the event with his pretty wife titled his sermon “Glorious living” with his major text taken from Genesis 17. Pastor Alex Ogie-Patrick who described the celebrant as a man of ‘rare grace’ said Every race without God’s grace is a frustration”. The Pastor told his listeners that he has a very rich uncle known by majority of Nigerians “To all of you, he is rich, he is a celebrity but to us who know him, he is a man living with a secret pain”. The Pastor later gave kudos to Pa Okpuruka for raising well behaved and level headed children and a Godly family in such a time like this in Nigeria and the world at large. He went further to add that the celebrant is a child of grace. “A man who has wayward children can not have a glorious old age but look at Baba’s children and his in-laws; it takes a good seed to attract a destiny seed”. “Just like Abraham, Pastor Okpuruka commanded his children in the way of God” The Pastor who gave a rich 30 minutes sermon reiterated in his concluding lines that “A father is a face of grace”. The Redeemed Pastor added that it was a rare grace that the celebrant was standing today and his entire family is with him up to his grand children. Rounding up, Pastor Alex Ogie-Patrick noted the kind heartedness of the celebrant and how Baba has been kind and generous to many people that comes his way;  hear his testimony “A brother lost his job in our church and was homeless; we didn’t know how to go about it until Pastor Okpuruka came to our rescue”. He said “Come, I have a place in my house for you to stay temporarily” and today the brother is happy. The Preacher reached out to guests and distinguished personalities at the event to embrace Christ and earn grace “There is a way that seemeth right to man but the end is failure. Do not frustrate Grace. Jesus is the Grace of God” (John 3:16)
Mr. Uzoma Iwuagwu to Asabeafrika....'My Father-in-law   deserves more than a Ford Explorer and we will do more for him because he   is a good father'
Ijala dance for celebrant
Nobody believed such a thing could happen in Port Harcourt of all places but it happened. The action itself showed how highly detribalized the celebrant is. A Port Harcourt based fashion designer and tumbler; Kehinde Amudipe of Kenny Classic Designs (on Elitor Road, Woji) rendered 15 minutes Ijala Dance (A Yoruba traditional dance) and Oriki (Native Praise) for Pastor Luke Chukwumaeze Okpuruka. The performer described it as Ijala Jesu.  Majority of the guests who saw the artful display of Amudipe and how he rendered Yoruba Oriki for the celebrant were quite surprised because it was almost the first time a Yoruba entertainer will render Oriki (A Yoruba native Praise-Spree) for an Igbo man. The entertainer who did some skillful acrobatic dance steps to the appreciation of guests rendered praise words (Oriki) in honor of the celebrant describing him as “A Shining Moon of Humanity”.
Celebrant with wife and last daughter, Chinasa with her   husband, Mr. Uzoma Iwuagwu
Meet the Boy who made Guest to Cry-Laugh
Maybe it has never happened to you before that you cry as you laugh. This blogger calls it “Cry-Laugh”. That was exactly what MC Aproko a Port Harcourt based comedian did to the Okpuruka guests inside The Grace Place on Saturday April 16. The guy whose face looks very tough reeled out some rib cracking jokes on Family Problems, Terror Look, Bad Prayer Points and many other funny events of life. His comedy dragged a lot of big dignitaries off their seats as they jerked front and back laughing their veins out. MC Aproko who rarely laughs while delivering his jokes reeled out more jokes that turned the entire hall into a laughing symposium. His jokes were just too raw and real that many equally forgot they were laughing. Real name is Gift Loveday (What a name?)
Adaku with Aunty trying to pull Dad out of the shock of   his 70th birthday Ford Explorer Jeep
Baba & Mama turned Choir experts
It came under the Exhortation segment as the Celebrant and his wife stepped out on the stage at exactly 2pm to make a song ministration to the admiration of their guests. While Mama sang pure Suprano Baba backed her with his upper Tenor and the title of their song is “I am Planted by the Rivers Side and watered by the Lord”. The song was sang for ten minutes after which all the Pastors in the building came out to offer prayer for both the celebrant, his wife, children and grand children including in-laws and relatives. It was a rare moment of prayer for the Okpuruka clan.
Celebrant in rare pose with two VIPs at the event
Ex-Customs boss made toast.
When his baritone voice boomed through the microphone some minutes to three ‘O—Clock in the afternoon, many knew it was time for Birthday Toast of the celebrant, but the man leading the sea of glasses ready for the click-click exercise was not just an ordinary guest. He is a reputable in-law of the Celebrant, Pastor Luke Chukwumaeze Okpuruka. His name is Sir Mishael U. Iwuagwu a retired Comptroller of Customs.  His son, the very hardworking Uzoma Iwuagwu CEO Maconi Logistic and Engineering is married to the celebrants’ last daughter, Chinasa. The way and manner Sir Mishael directed the toast segment would have made a British man green with envy as the elderly man dished out his command in pure Queen’s English matched with diction next to that of Prince of Wales.  The segment revived the hall as guests filed their glass cups and click glasses to wish the celebrant long live and prosperity. 
Celebrant praying on his brand new toy (A 2016 Ford   Explorer Jeep new chasis)
The Ford Explorer that brought tears to celebrant’s eyes
It was the most important moment but nobody saw it coming. Not even the celebrant, his wife or his guests. But his kids knew all along. They knew they were going to shake dad’s emotion. They knew Dad was in for an April 16 surprise package (Not April 1). It was some fifteen minutes past 3 O’ Clock during the Presentation of Gifts Segment. Baba’s three lovely daughters, Adaku, Kelechi and Chinasa in conjunction with their successful spouses had conspired to purchase a brand new N10 million naira worth Ford Explorer Jeep, 2016 model for dad. It was Dad’s 70th birthday gift. Pastor Luke Okpuruka who drove into the venue in an old looking Nissan Jeep was to drive out of his birthday party in a brand new Ford Explorer jeep (New Chassis). It never crossed his mind at all and what next? As Adaku Okolo, his first daughter announced the presentation to Baba and handed over the keys to him, Pastor Luke Chukwumaeze Okpuruka burst into tears. The Celebrant wept. But it was a joyful cry as his children grabbed him and pet him out of his emotional outburst.
Baba's Old toy, a Nissan Jeep (Which brought him to the   venue)
How Celebrant reacted to Ford Explorer Gift
After his children, wife and well wishers have witnessed his tearful moments of joy, the celebrant opened up. He said what happened to him that hour is one of the most interesting events of his life since he was born on April 16, 1946. Pastor Luke told the audience how his children and in-laws surprised him in a very big way “When they drove me into this venue earlier in the day, I asked the driver, ‘are you sure we are in the right place? Are you sure this is not a political meeting venue? But my darling wife assured me that we are at the right venue. I didn’t believe my eyes”. Pa Opuruka who arrived the venue at 12:30 in his old Nissan Jeep said he couldn’t believe his eyes at the level of generosity shown to him by his children. He went ahead to thank them for receiving the training he gave them as a father and making use of the training. He equally thanked their spouses for making him a successful father-in-law and showered prayers of blessings upon them. It was obvious someone had made Papa’s day. It was quite sure that Pastor Luke Okpuruka’s stand with God has eventually paid off in the long run. Guests and well-wishers later joined Papa and his family to unveil the new car which was neatly packed outside the venue with a wedding like ribbon strewn across the car and a tag “Daddy @ 70; Happy Birthday” which seated on a green-white-green background.
The Celebrant with his wife and three hefty son in-laws,   Pastor Emmanuel Okolo, Engineer Sam Anya and Mr. Uzoma Iwuagwu
 “What we learnt from our father-in-law”—3 son-in-laws open up to Asabeafrika
Speaking with Asabeafrika after the event, three of Baba’s son-in-laws told this blog what they learnt from their marriage to the celebrant’s daughters and why they decided to honor him in a very big way on his 70th birthday. The first to speak was Pastor Emanuel Okolo who married Baba’s first daughter, Adaku. The clergy said “He is a great man, why because he is one person that has encouraged his children and everybody around him to get closer to God. For me, that is greatness”. On why the Kogi state, North Central Nigeria born clergy married Pastor Luke’s daughter he replied “Of course I married her because of her great background, precisely, everyone that want to get married would know that marriage is not a show, it is a serious business. And if you want to marry somebody who will go with you through the thick and thin of life, you have to also look at the family background and make a choice based on God’s direction. So, that Christian background is important and as you can see, the man is 70 today and he is still together with his wife. That is a pointer to everybody that they have grown well with God as the anchor of their marriage life” Pastor Okolo stated.
Celebrant with wife and 1st daughter, Adaku with her   husband, Pastor Emmanuel Okolo
The second person to speak to Asabeafrika is Abia state, South Eastern Nigeria born Engineer Sam Anya. He described his father-in-law this way “I will describe him as a great man. I am so happy  to have been a son to him by marrying his daughter, he is a wonderful father, a praying father; he has done so many things for me that I cant even express. All I wish him is many more years and a longer good time on earth” on what the Engineer learnt from Baba, “His spiritual nature and his way with God” Anya gushed.
Celebrant with former Colleague at NITEL, Chief (Engr.)   Davidson Ekeh
Imo state, South Eastern Nigeria born Mr. Uzoma Iwuagwu was next to speak to Asabeafrika, he told this blog why Pastor Luke is a great father “Yeah, well, we thank God for his life, he has lived well and this is one way of saying ‘thank you’ that we have gained a lot from a life well spent by you.  We have more good things that will come his way because he has given a lot to his children whom we are married to and we are also blessed by him. We (Son-in-laws) pray that we will do more and more for him than what you see today” On what Nigerians can learn from Pastor Luke Okpuruka’s fatherhood, the founder of Maconi Logistic and Engineering Ltd said “Be a support to your children and God will blessed you with long life”

…Always pray to be among the Lucky Ones who will celebrate their Events on Asabeafrika
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A Pretty Guest at the event
Baba's New toy, a Ford Explorer (Which took him back home   from the venue)
Back View of the Brand New Car for Baba @ 70
Celebrant with wife and 2nd daughter, Kelechi and her   husband, Engineer Sam Anya
Celebrant's two boys, Godswill and Favour their Cousins   and nephews
Clergy Son-In-Law, Pastor Emmanuel Okolo of RCCG, Bayelsa   Province 1
Engineer Sam Anya with Portharcourt Big Boys Uche and   Ugochukwu
Enginneer Sam and Mrs. Kelechi Anya with Portharcourt Big   Designer Ifeanyi Obi of Jazzy Nicouture
First Daughter of The Family, Mrs. Adaku Okolo
Inside Pastor Luke Okpuruka's new toy, FORD EXPLORER 2016   Model
Kehinde Amudipe.....Doing his Ijala Jesu Oriki for the   Celebrant
Mrs. Chinasa Iwuagwu with Friends Mfon (L) and Ego   (R)
Mrs. Kelechi Anya with Mrs. Ndidi
Ms Ifeoma, a guest at the event
Pastor Emmanuel Okolo to Asabeafrika...'Pastor Luke   Okpuruka is a Godly Father-in-law'
Portharcourt Big Boy, Osele Ebodaghe at the event
Portharcourt Youths serenade Baba with well-wishes at his   70th birthday Party
The Celebrant and his pretty wife, leaving the event of   his 70th birthday in his brand new toy, a 2016 FORD EXPLORER jeep. Happy   70th Birthday to Pastor Luke Okpuruka
The Celebrant Thanking Everyone for making out the time to   celebrate with him
The Celebrant with wife and his full team; Adaku, Kelechi,   Chinasa, Godswill and Favour (The Complete Family of 7)
The Celebrant, his hearthrob and their 7 Grand Kids   (Number of Completion)
The Celebrant, wife with family, beneficiaries and   well-wishers
The GDA with a very elated Madam Lovina Chile Okpuruka   (Nee Ibe) with another admirer
The Okpuruka Babes; Kelechi, Adaku & Chinasa....They Made   Dad cried with their gracious gift of a Ford Explorer..
The Three Musketeers and the Celebrant's God given   daughters, Mrs. Kelechi Anya, Mrs. Adaku Okoli and Mrs. Chinasa   Iwuagwu

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