Sii Community of Babbe Kingdom in Khana Local Government Area of Rivers State was agog on Sunday, November 5, 2023, following a special Thanksgiving Service held in honour of Senior Catechist, Christ Army Church Nigeria (CACN) and former Chief Security Officer of Ken Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic, Bori, Sir Hon. Lekiah S. Deeyah, JP, AMP, KGB and his family.
The event which held at St. Bartholomew’s Christ Army Church Nigeria (CACN), Sii Town, and brought the high and mighty in the CACN, including incumbent Prelate, His Eminence, Most Rev’D Dappa O. Abbey, and his predecessor, His Eminence, Most Rev. Abel Serebe Vurasi, Prelate Emeritus, was a celebration of multiple milestones in the life of Sir Lekiah Deeyah.
Others who graced the historic event were His Grace, Most Rev (Dr) Monday B. Needom, Pioneer Archbishop, Rivers Province 2, CACN; His Lordship, Rt. Rev’d Macjob Friday Mkjparo (JP), Diocesan Bishop, Bori Diocese of CACN; Sir Joy Inimgba Koko, President, Council of Knights, CACN; Rev. (Priest) Jerry Needam JP, ACACN, Synod Media Communicator, CACN and Sir Nuadum Etukere, a Knight of the Methodist Church of Nigeria, Elder A. L. Eebee; Bori Diocesan Chief Elder, Barr. Dum James, Bori Diocesan Legal Adviser, amongst others.
With hearts filled with gratitude, the Deeyah family, with friends and well-wishers, joined the church to celebrate God’s multiple blessings. It was a fusion of celebrations: 30 years of a remarkably successful and loving marriage with their enduring journey, characterized by love and a steadfast commitment, serving as an inspiration to the entire church and community at large.
Sir Deeyah was in church as his joy knew no bounds with his recent investiture as a Knight of Garrick Braide (KSB). The Order was conferred on him in recognition of his resolute dedication to the betterment of not only his immediate community but also society at large.
In addition to these remarkable achievements, Sir Lekiah Deeyah faithfully served as the Chief Security Officer (CSO) at Ken Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic, Bori for an impressive 12 years. God’s grace and divine guidance saw him through, while he ensured the safety of lives and properties in the institution.
To elevate the celebration, a new SUV car was dedicated by Sir (Hon) Lekiah Deeyah, symbolizing God’s blessings, success and prosperity. The elated congregation trooped outside to witness the unveiling and dedication. They celebrated the milestones, many touching the new vehicle as ‘point of contact’ to reinforce the values of unity and festivity within the CACN and Sii Community.
The Thanksgiving Service was filled with prayers, songs of praise, and heartfelt speeches that highlighted the importance of family, dedication, and service to the community. Sir Lekiah Deeyah was lauded for his significant achievements and contributions to society. The event showcased the power of love, hard work, and a strong sense of community in the heart of Sii Community.
It was not only a solemn occasion but also a vibrant celebration filled with singing and dancing. The St. Bartholomew’s CACN Sii Parish musical band thrilled the congregation ceaselessly with popular Ogoni native songs. The rhythmic beats and melodious tunes resonated through the church, filling the air with an atmosphere of joy and festivity.
Members of the congregation, young and old, couldn’t resist the infectious rhythms of the Ogoni traditional songs. They joyfully joined in, showcasing their best waist dancing moves. The church echoed with excitement and cheers as the congregation moved in harmony with the music, celebrating the milestones and achievements of the Deeyah family.
The combination of uplifting music and enthusiastic dancing added an extra layer of jubilation to the special Thanksgiving Service, making it a memorable and heartwarming experience for everyone in attendance.
In his speech at the occasion, Sir Lekiah Deeyah, supported by his wife, Lady Catherine Deeyah told the congregation that they are gathered not only to celebrate his journey, but to acknowledge the divine grace that has protected his family.
“We are also gathered to celebrate the enduring love that has sustained our 30-year marriage, the honor of being invested as a Knight of Garrick Braide (KGB), the privilege of serving as the Chief Security Officer of Ken Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic for 12 years, and the blessing of our new SUV car”, he said, adding that “in all of this, let us give thanks, for it is only through faith, love, and God’s grace that we stand here today”.
In a brief sermon which he titled, ‘Thanksgiving’, Prelate and President of Synod, His Eminence, Most Rev. Dappa O. Abbey described thanksgiving as an aspect of praise that gives thanks to God for the good works He has done.
The Prelate who expressed sincere appreciation to his predecessor, Prelate Emeritus Abel Serebe Vurasi for honouring the event, said sincere gratitude should come from a grateful heart.
The Prelate, who also acknowledged his visit to Sii Community as his first Episcopal visit to Bori Diocese of CACN after his elevation, said the story of ten lepers as captured in Luke 17 presented an example of gratitude to God.
“These ten men were afflicted with a terrible disease, an ailment that isolated them from society, from their loved ones, and from the temple of God. Their cry for help reached the compassionate ears of our Lord, and He did a remarkable thing – He cleansed them, setting them free from their affliction.
“But what happened next is a stark reminder of human nature. Out of the ten lepers who received this incredible gift of healing, only one returned to thank Jesus. Just one! Can you imagine the heart of Jesus at that moment? He asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?”, the Prelate narrated, adding that the story teaches Christianity a profound lesson about gratitude.
The highlight of the ceremony was Sir Lekiah Deeyah’s generous donation of a solar light generator to the church. He also took the lead in rallying the congregation to raise funds for the church floor’s tiling.