It was double celebration on November 2 for the household of Sir/Lady Kingsley Chijioke Oti. On that Sunday in Lagos, Mr. and Mrs. Oti danced to the altar of St. Barth’s Anglican Church with their kids in thanksgiving to the Lord for the life of Lady UK, who turned 50 on August 16.
The other side of the celebration was the thanksgiving in honour of Sir Kingsley, who worked and retired from the bank without blemish.
The double-barreled ceremony attracted family members from different parts of the country and admirers of the Oti family, who came to rejoice with them.
In the sermon delivered by Rt. Rev Johnson Onuoha, the Lord Bishop of Arochukwu/Ohafia Diocese, he extolled the virtues of Sir/Lady C. K Oti on their service in the Lord’s vineyard. He prayed God to continue to refresh them and as well grant them more open doors.
The Vicar of the Church, The Venerable Ben Nwanekwu also spoke at length on the doggedness of the Otis in their services in the church. He also prayed for God’s grace to continue to uphold them.
After the church service, all roads led to the Union Bank Sports Club at Bode Thomas street, where guests were treated to a lavish entertainment.
Asked why the elaborate celebration especially at this austere time, Ezinnye pointed to a page in the Church programme which read:
CELEBRATING GOD’S FAITHFULNESS
“Indeed, the faithfulness of God in my life and my family cannot be over-emphasised. This is the reason we are celebrating today. I am highly overwhelmed and I lack words to express my joy. Looking back to where we started, I think I have myriads of reasons to appreciate this awesome God, and to celebrate with friends and relations.
“For those who erroneously think that celebration is synonymous with material success, I beg to disappoint you by saying that there is more to success than materialism. I may not have achieved anything in terms of material resources, because I am neither a first class business woman nor a celebrated career woman, but I want to say today that I have more reasons to celebrate than these.
“First, my knowledge of Christ has nourished me with a very refreshing and youthful look, which keeps people wondering about my age. For me, it is enough reason to appreciate God. It may surprise one to know that the highest age rating I have received from people, even abroad is 45 years.
“I return all glory to God because there are many of my mates who look three times older than me. There are many of my mates who are dead, but I am alive, so why won’t I celebrate God? There are many of my mates who are not yet married, but I am. There are also many of my mates who are married, but do not have a child of their own, yet God has given me, even more than I asked of Him. Can someone tell me why I should not celebrate? I also know that there are many of my mates who died after their first child birth, or got bedridden because of the carelessness of medical personnel, but God delivered me from them all.
“Whenever I remember many of my mates who passed through the burdens of pregnancies and pains and agony of childbirth yet they are childless, I ask myself what I did to merit such favour and grace. When I think of my mates who have made the hospital their second home; mastered all medical terms and medications either because of their ill health or their children, I notice tears dripping from my eyes. What about my mates who God blessed with beautiful children, but the enemy snatched them away from them and turned them to delinquents? But the Lord did not allow the rod of the enemy to locate my children; why then should I not appreciate God?
“There is this gift of inestimable value from God, which does not cost a kobo for one to have, yet there are many of my mates who, in spite of their huge financial success, do not have it. Many times they have prayed that God should exchange their wealth for this priceless gift, but it has not been possible. I am talking about Peace. Today, I am celebrating the peace of God in my life and my family, because I know that it is not easy; therefore it is worth celebrating.
“I also know that there are my mates who sent their children to school but it became their doom; but God fulfilled His word in the book of Isaiah which says that ‘ none of the children God has given to me shall be doomed for misfortune’ in the lives of my children. Why will I not celebrate?
“I can go on and on. The list is endless but let me rest it here for the moment. For my husband, sincerely I cannot thank God enough for the shield He built round about him all through his service in the bank. He may not have retired as a CEO or Director, but I know many of his colleagues who were gunned down on their duty posts because they were branch managers. Yet God shielded him from such attacks, even when he was not wearing any bullet proof.
“There are many of his colleagues who lost their jobs for no cause of theirs, but God did not allow that to befall us. There are still many who were sacked unannounced, and without anything to look forward to. They left the office they had laboured for years hopeless, without knowing where to go or what to do. I will not forget his colleagues who the job pressure made patients of terminal diseases. Yet he retired strong, healthy, and refreshed.
“Space will not permit me to pour out my mind. Therefore, I say on behalf of my wonderful family; that the good Lord, who has done these beautiful things for us be forever praised. Now, am sure you have understood the reasons for our celebration. IF WE DON’T APPRECIATE THIS AWESOME GOD, WHO WILL?”