By Vincent Ujumadu
The renowned Mbanefo Odu family of Onitsha yesterday held a special thanksgiving service to mark the centenary of the Odu –Osodi title in the ancient town.
The thanksgiving service, which was held at the Immanuel Anglican Church, Inland Town, Onitsha, attracted many friends of the family.. Head of Mbanefo family, Chief Arthur Mbanefo , a former Nigeria permanent representative at the United Nations, who was installed the Odu 111by the late Obi Ofala Okabue in 1995 led the family members to the special church service.
Preaching a sermon during the service, the Vicar of Immanuel Anglican Church, Venerable Joseph Nweke said it is always good to appreciate God’s favours and commended Mbanefo family for remaining steadfast in the service of God.
According to the cleric, gratitude is a culture that is supposed to be sustained in people’s lives adding “today, we join Mbanefo family in saying thank you God for the grace you have shown to us”.
He said the fact that their great grandfather became the Odu of Onitsha, one of the highest titles in the ancient town in 1919, showed that he was already an influential person before then.
He also observed that the fact that Mbanefo family had produced many firsts in Igbo land was by the grace of God and it was therefore not surprising that the family decided to identify with the church.
Rev Nweke recalled that it was Mbanefo family that provided the solar that gives light 24 hours in the entire church environment and built the church tower with electric bell that wakes people up for prayer everyday.
Speaking during the service, Chief Arthur Mbanefo, the Odu 111 of Onitsha, who, apart from being Nigeria’s permanent representative at the UN, also served as pro –chancellors for Obafemi Awlowo University, University of Lagos and Ahmadu Bello University at various times, thanked the people for joining them in the thanksgiving service and promised that the family would continue to support the church in many ways.