In a spiritually charged atmosphere of praise and worship, the entire Abia State University Community gathered at the University Cafeteria, Wednesday, December 5, 2018 for a Non-Denominational thanksgiving service in celebration of the 3rd year in office of the Vice Chancellor Professor E. Uche Ikonne.
The event tagged, “EBENEZER 3 , FOR HITHERTO HATH THE LORD HELPED US”, have become an annual event, initiated by the administration of Professor Ikonne, to express appreciation to God for his mercies and help and rededication of the University to God.
Addressing the mammoth crowd, while sharing his testimony, the Vice Chancellor, explained that the gathering is a renewal of the covenant he had with God from the beginning, to appreciate the goodness of God in his life, and in the University in a non denominational church service every year.
According to him from Ebenezer 2 to Ebenezer 3, there are countless blessings of God in his administration which includes the increase of Inaugural lectures to its current number of 43, the equipping and transformation of the microbiology laboratory to be one of the best in the country today, the perfection of Transcript processing and collection on line, the invitation and collaboration of the ABSU Alumni in USA, and other international collaborations, the equipping of the Engineering workshop, mobilization of students for National Youth Service as at November, completion and furnishing of a new students Union Government (SUG) Secretariat, commencement of the building for a University Guest House, acceptance of the University Research topics for funding by TETfund, and many others. These, he stated, were all by the uncommon favor of God, from last year (Ebenezer 2 to this year Ebenezer 3).
The Vice Chancellor explained further that these modest achievements of his administration would not have been possible without the full support of the visitor, and Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, the University management, his Predecessors, who have always been solidly behind him, the students, Abia state University women association, (ABSUWA), and the entire staff of the University.
He called on all, to join him to give glory to God for thus far he has led us, promising that God will strengthen him, and other members of management to do much more, by Ebenezer 4, next year.
Earlier, in between choir renditions by the various groups, the 1st reading was taken by the Vice Chancellor from 1 chronicles 29:10-23, the responsorial psalm by the wife of the Vice Chancellor and President, ABSUWA, Barrister (Lady) Uzomaka Uche Ikonne.
The Registrar, Dr (Mrs) Evelyn Iheukwumere, took the second reading, while Professor .I. Elekwa, DVC Academic, took the 3rd reading from Philippians 4:4-9.
In a sermon, Rt. Rev. Manasess C. I. Okere, Anglican Bishop of Isukwuato/Umunneochi Diocese, taking his text from 1 Samuel 7:7-12, pointed out that Ebenezer is a memorial, a mark of remembrance, a stone of the acknowledgement of the help of Jehovah. He explained that the University has enjoyed the power of Ebenezer, stressing that by virtue of the sacrifice of thanksgiving which the VC initiated, greater help and peace will come from above for the university.
The highpoint of the thanksgiving service was the re-dedication of the University management, Deans of faculties, the entire University to God, as well as intercessory prayer for the visitor, and Governor of the state, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu.
Four choir groups that ministered in songs were St Augustine’s Chaplaincy choir, All Saints Chapel of Redemption choir, ANCHODIF Choir, and SDA Choir, with sonorous hymns at intervals.
In a vote of thanks, the DVC Administration, Prof. O. M Ogbulu, thanked everyone who came to be part of the service, especially the guests from outside the University Community, describing the Vice Chancellor as a God fearing person, hence the success of his administration from one level to another.
The three Past Vice Chancellors, Professsor Chibuzor Ogbuagu, Professor Mkpa A. Mkpa, and Professor Ogwo E. Ogwo, and other academics graced the occasion.