Why I Built a Cathedral – Ifeanyi Ubah
Senator Ifeanyi Ubah, who represents Anambra South, also challenged Governor-elect Professor Charles Soludo last November. In this interview with ECHEZONA OKAFOR in Nnewi, he talks about the cathedral he single-handedly built and gave to the Catholic Church in his nativity
What inspired you to build the Cathedral of the Catholic Diocese of Nnewi?
When you take a look at my story from childhood to my days as a child who made the decision to temporarily drop out of school and go in search of greener pastures in order to ease the burden of my parents, until I became an apprentice (what we call Nwa Boi in the Igbo language) until I broke the chains of poverty as a teenager,
So had the presence of mind and divine guidance to enter the institution of marriage at 22, you will clearly see the hand of God on my life.
You see, I have a special relationship with God and therefore have made myself available as His vessel. Whatever God commands me to do; I launch into it without question or iota of fear?
When I made the decision to take over the Cathedral project on my own, I knew exactly what I was about to undertake. Not just the hundreds of millions it will gobble up, but also the spiritual aspect?
I am sure you are unaware that at different phases of the building process I had to fast and observe certain ordinances directed by God.
I firmly believe that the covenant I have with God is that of service to humanity and I have since devoted my life to it and also knowing that by resuming the construction of the Cathedral, I have saved several parishioners their widowhood shells that they spent on contributions to the project also gives me special joy.
Many people around the world are still amazed that as an individual you were able to take on the construction of this cathedral, what was your driving force?
Well, as I said earlier, I was very clear about the huge responsibility that comes with this project. However, I was not discouraged because I have implicit faith in the God I serve.
It is to the glory of this God alone that the cathedral is today 80% complete and (fast forward) in the number of years it has taken, especially when you compare this with the number of years that It usually takes when funded by the collective effort of the parishes under each cathedral. My motivation remains in the service of God and humanity, especially Ndi Igbo. I strive to achieve heritage projects that touch and survive generations.
That’s why I also have an international stadium and an upcoming games village. I have an unabashed inclination to enter the fray whenever an issue regarding Igbo man comes to the fore. I believe we are a special race and descendants of the Israelites and, as you may recall, the Israelites have enjoyed a special covenant with God from the days recorded in the Bible until today.
It is recorded that you wrote your name in the sand of time after building this cathedral, how do you feel?
I can’t wait to enter the cathedral when it’s finished and have a special personal conversation with my God. This will be a very fulfilling time for me for the scriptures in 1 Chronicles 22:10, says “He shall build an house in my name, and he shall be my son, and I shall be his father, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever .
What is your advice and watchword to MPs in your constituency in this new year?
I wish the good people of Anambra South Senatorial District and indeed all of the Igbo race and Nigeria a wonderful year 2022. I advise that every hand be on deck and be part of the conversation on leadership building selfless as we enter the presidential and other 2023 elections.
The idea that a few decide for the majority who rules them must be thrown into the dustbin of history.
Our people, especially our youth, must realize the importance and implication of participating in the election of leaders who have the required skills as well as the good conscience necessary to lead the development of the people.