Pioneers of Ndokwa Christian Union
HISTORY OF NDOKWA CHRISTIAN UNION
There was an unprecedented gospel revival in Nigeria from 1973 to 1985. The great revival resulted to multiplication of Church
denominations and non-denominational organisation. The impact of the revival was more felt in the city of Lagos, then the capital of Nigeria, Christians bombarded the city with the gospel of Christ and many, including Ndokwa people, repented from their sins and joined the multitude of believers to attend major events like crusades, seminars, retreats, conventions and thanksgiving services. This unprecedented revival gave birth to Ndokwa Christian Union.
Ndokwa Christian Union was formed by a few Christian brethren of Ndokwa origin who, like the biblical Nehemiah, felt very concerned about the spiritual and physical welfare of his people – the Israelites (Neh. Chapter 1 and 2). The Union was formed when the quest for a forum for Ndokwa believers gathered momentum in Lagos. God gave the pioneers of the Union the wisdom to mobilize believers of Ndokwa origin for the great task ahead.
Generally believers felt very free to attend non-denominational eventsas the churches gave their support and right hand of fellowship to inter-denominational programmes. The non-denominational Organizations, on the other hand, encouraged their converts to be well committed in the church denomination they belong, so believers interacted with each other freely without biased mind. In most of the Gatherings and places of worship, the ministers of God spoke in English while their messages were interpreted in various languages either in the main auditorium or by the sides of the halls to make sure everyone benefit from their messages. For example, at Deeper Life Christian Ministry retreat held at Ayobo in 1980, messages were interpreted in Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo, Efik, Edo, Urhobo, Isoko, Ijaw, Tiv, Kanuri, Calabari, Twi and some other languages but it was Surprising to note that Ukwuani, the main language of Ndokwa people was not interpreted in the retreat ground or any other place in Lagos State. Some brethren later tried to introduce interpretation of Ukwuani language in one of the ministries in Lagos but it did not last Long.
Against this background, some Ndokwa brethren sought for a way to mobilize believers of Ndokwa origin to create a platform to plan and discuss issues of common interest.
The issue gathered momentum in 1979 and the Late Bro. Peter Emekume, one of Ndokwa believers at that time visited Ebedei-Umuezeogoli, his home town and came in contact with some ministers of God of other tribes in Ndokwa land and those of Ndokwa origin. He sought for their cooperation as they exchanged views on the idea of mobilising Ndokwa believers in diaspora to form a formidable organization for the progress of God”s work.
Prominent among the home based brethren he earlier met were Bro. John Uwe and Bro. Edward Oyita both from Ndemili but based at Agbor as of then. Bro. Oyita was the first Ndokwa brother to bring out an Ukwuani gospel album in 1981.
When Bro. Peter Emekume returned to Lagos he discussed the issue with some Ndokwa brethren worshipping at Revival Gospel Group, Amukoko and a few brethren around Badia and Iganmu areas where he was living. The brethren supported the idea to have an Ndokwa Christian non-denominational organisation. This took place towards the end of 1979.
While the late Peter was thinking on the possibility to get in touch with Ndokwa brethren in other areas in the large city of Lagos, God, in his own way of doing things, was preparing some believers in some parts of the city for the formation of the organisation.
In early 1980, an Ndokwa believer who hails from Ezionum and lived Lawanson, Surulere, came to the printing office of Bro. Vincent Oludare Obielum then at No. 20 Onitire Street, Itire, Surulere to print invitation cards for Ukwuani Evangelical Association. As he was about to go Bro. Obielum sought to know more about the Association and the Bro. invited him to attend their next meeting which would be held at Assemblies of God Church, Amore, Olodi in Apapa to see things by himself.