VERY REV. FR. EMMANUEL MATHEW PAUL EDEH CSSP. OFR
HIS LIFE AND WORKS AT A GLANCE
1. He was born on May 20, 1947 at Nkanu West, Enugu State, Nigeria. There was something extra ordinary about the preceding night especially with the appearance of a glow of light flashing across the sky (a comet). The elders believed it is a sign heralding the birth of a great man or the death of a great man. This is akin to the event of Jesus’ nativity when the Magi were led to the new born child by a star. The next day (20th May 1947), Omeogo went into labour while processing palm nuts, and without prolonged labour, gave birth to a baby boy to the delight of all and sundry. They were still rejoicing when darkness suddenly descended on earth in the middle of the day – in total eclipse of the sun. There was utter perplexity and confusion all over. The people were relieved after the eclipse and all believed that even the sun bowed in reverence to the child with a golden heart. The child was a real comfort especially to the mother who has suffered the pain of losing her previous children to the cold hands of death.
2. He grew up under a charitable and peace-loving mother, Mama Omeogo.
3. Studied in America and majored in Philosophy with his Ph.D. in Metaphysics (1984).
4. Highlights of Igbo Metaphysics include: Mma-di, Caring/charity, empowerment and peace.
5. The after-effects of Nigerian Civil war and the goal of EPTAISM (Edeh’s Philosophy of thought and action)
6. Establishment of Centre for Peace, Justice and Reconciliation, in 1984.
7. Centre for abjectly poor (Umuogbenye).
8. Catholic Prayer Ministry of the Holy Spirit and Medicare centres spreading all over the world.
9. Establishment of various self-help projects/skill acquisition centres
10. Founding of the National Pilgrimage Centre Elele
11. Establishment of schools from Nursery to Tertiary institutions.
12. Scholarship programmes for less-privileged and handicapped students
13. Employment and empowerment of the young people of this generation
14. Specificity of his Private Institutions due to their background in his philosophy of Mma-di cum thought and action all the way. The success stories of Madonna University and other institutions of higher learning, some spectacular and significant achievements of his schools in the National and International scenes.
15. Projection, popularization and perpetuation of Prof. Edeh’s peace-project through the four flourishing Religious Congregations who will continue the programmes that engender peace in the hearts of people.
16. Various awards and recognitions given to him as a result of his labour to recover peace in the hearts of people and in the world.
17. The crown of Fr. Edeh’s contribution to world peace is the establishment of the Madonna International Charity Peace Award (MICPA) in 2006.
18. Edeh’s Charity Peace Model
19. Edeh as Servant Leader (Flipped Pyramid Structure)
20. Millennium Development Goals, Edeh as Pacesetter:
- Eradication of Extreme Poverty and hunger
- Women/Youth Empowerment
- Health care delivery and capacity building.
SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS
FOUNDING OF MADONNA INTERNATIONAL CHARITY PEACE AWARD
The Madonna International Charity Peace Award (MICPA) was founded by Very Rev. Fr. Prof Emmanuel Edeh. The award institution was inaugurated on 19th November 2006 during Madonna International Convention held in Madonna University Elele Campus. The inauguration of this institution is one of unflinching efforts to encourage the perpetuation of Mama Omeogo charity through practical and effective charity which have brought peace to millions of suffering people of God all over the world. So, the inauguration of MICPA has a motivational undertone for the charitable people not to relent but to do more. The Peace Award International Institution has a decision making body with Rev. Fr. Prof Edeh as the head. They decide and nominate awardees and their terms of reference among other things include:
· To determine the criteria for choosing those who are qualified for the award
· To determine the level of one’s achievements in the area of practical and effective charity especially at the grassroots level.
· To determine the monetary valuation of each awards to the awardees.
It took the decision making body three good years of brain-storming to come up with effective, efficient and a well articulated criteria for the award presentation. The presentation of the first formal charity peace award was done on 9th January, 2009 at Elele Campus of Madonna University during the first Theological Convention jointly organized in preparation of the second African Synod of Bishops. But one may wisely ask “how did it all start?” To attempt the question, let us look at the background to the Charity Peace Award.
AWARDS GIVEN SO FAR
Since its inception, Madonna International Charity Peace Award has been given out to the following deserving persons:
1. Mrs. Chris Mary Maduka, the director Omeogo Charity Home Makurdi in Benue State who is deeply committed to gathering and looking after children abandoned in Makurdi Barracks by soldiers. She received an award of fifteen thousand Dollars ($15,000),
2. Most Rev. Rene Maria Ehouzou, the Bishop of Port- Novo, Benin Republic who cares for the destitute and Homeless in Benin Republic. He also received a sum of fifteen thousand Dollars ($15,000).
3. Archbishop Kelvin Felix, who received the sum of sixty thousand Dollars ($60,000) for the care of the suffering children and people of Haiti following the devastating incident of earthquake in the Island in 2010.
4. Archbishop Fernando Cappalla who received the sum of forty thousand Dollars (
$ 40,000) for the care of
suffering children of Vietnam and some parts of the Philippines.
5. Chief Christopher Ezekagu received $20,000 for the abjectly poor children to go to school in 2011.
6. Mr. N’Jok Bibum Aloysious & Mrs. Magarete Anne Bibum, Cameroon for the Deaf & Dumb School in 2011 received $20,000.
7. Madame Ngo Djob Marie Catherine for handicapped children in Bepanda Cameroon in 2011 received $20,000
8. Leanghoin Hoy, a Buddhist from Cambodia for helpless children collected floating on the sea following the catastrophic flood in Cambodia in 2011 received $40,000.
9. In 2012 the Missionary Sisters of Charity, Calcuta in India for the poor they look after received $40,000.
10. Also in 2012 Emmanuel Komoda received $10,000 from Yenegoa Bayelsa State to help the flood victims.
11. In 2012 Deaconnes Debora Aguty received $10,000 from Yenegoa Bayelsa State to help the victims of flood.
12. In March 2012 family of Mr./Mrs. Emmanuel Obiukwu received cash of =N=200,000, Jeep and full Scholarship at Madonna University to the two of the children remaining (Maureen and Celestine Obiukwu) after bomb blast in St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, Madalla, Niger State that killed four of their children.
CHRONOLOGY OF AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS RECEIVED BY REV FR PROF EMMANUEL EDEH
In order to avoid distractions from the real motives of his activities, Rev. Fr. Prof Emmanuel Edeh has always avoided attracting unnecessary attention. That is why he had abinitio shunned the idea of snapping pictures or media publication of his works. All he is doing is for the sake of peace to humanity and for the glory of God. Be that as it may, no one can ever cover the moonlight with his palms. People of the world are watching and making assessments of all the works and achievements of Rev. Fr. Prof Edeh and how they are meeting the felt needs of people.
Rev. Fr. Prof, Edeh allowed the publicity of his works, and achievements and also acceptance of awards and recognitions for the reason of encouraging other people in the society to emulate his examples. He has through his work of charity received local and international awards and recognitions, some of which involve the following:
· On 16th May, 2001. The International Biography Center, Cambridge, England, honoured Rev. Fr. Edeh with “Outstanding People of the 21st Century Award” in recognition of his outstanding contribution to Religion, Education and care for the handicapped.
· On February, 2003, International Biography Center, Cambridge, England also selected him for his outstanding contributions to the Church, Education and the suffering as an “outstanding person of the 21st century” (1st edition 2003, pp 4-5, 173-174)
· On May 20th 2003, the same International Biography Center, Cambridge, England, honoured him with “outstanding people of the 21st century” in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the development of the Church, Education and the suffering.
· On June 7th, 2004, the Governing Board of editors of American Biographical Institute: recognized him as one of the “Genius Elite” for his remarkable achievements in the field of Religion, Education and care for the suffering. This award and recognition was documented in the “Leading Intellectuals of the World (3rd Edition published in 2004).
· On March 2005, Onitsha and District Society of ICAN, honoured very Rev. Fr Prof Emmanuel Edeh (the father founder, Madonna University, Okija, the first private University in Nigeria) with “Excellent Merit Award” in recognition of his commitment to improving the standard of education in Nigeria.
· On 24th September, 2006, “Proclamation of Rev. Fr Prof Emmanuel Edeh’s Day” of the city of North Miami Beach, Florida. The very words of the mayor of the city of North Miami Beach are:“...I, Raymond .F. Maria, Mayor of the city of North Miami Beach, Florida, do hereby proclaim September 24TH 2006 as VERY REV. FR. PROF EMMANUEL EDEH DAY, and know that my colleagues, administration and residents join me in recognizing him for translating his incredible thirst for knowledge and understanding, indomitable spirit and abiding love for humanity into meaningful action.”
· On the 24th September, 2006, “Proclamation of Rev. Fr. Prof Emmanuel Edeh Day” by the city of Miami Gardens, Florida. The very words of the mayor of the city of Miami Gardens are: “…Be it resolved, that I, Shirlly Gibson, Mayor of the city of Miami Gardens Florida, on behalf of the city council and the residents, do hereby proclaim Sunday, September 24th, 2006, as: “REVEREND FR. EMMANUEL EDEH DAY” in the city of Miami Gardens, Florida. We further urge all citizens to join with us as we recognize Rev. Fr. Prof Emmanuel Edeh on this momentous occasion.
· On November 30th, 2008, His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI through the Apostolic Nunciature in Nigeria at Corpus et Sangius Christi Cathedral Port Harcourt, Rivers State conferred a papal Honour – “pro Ecclesia et Pontifice” on Very Rev. Fr. Prof Emmanuel Edeh, C.S.SP for his outstanding contributions in the service of God and humanity.
· On December, 18th, 2008, the Committee of Face of Nollywood Award conferred the recognition of “Face of Nollywood Giants of Peace in the Modern World” on Very Rev. Fr. Prof Emmanuel Edeh for his contributions to development and peace in the modern world.
· On the same December 18th, 2008, His Excellency, President, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua GCFR, President and Commander in-chief of Armed forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria conferred the honour /Award, Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic “(OFR)” on Very Rev. Fr. Prof Emmanuel Edeh for his contributions to the development and progress of the country in many fields of human endeavors
· In March, 2009, Very Rev. Fr. Prof Emmanuel Edeh was proudly recognized as an “Ambassador for Peace” Federation Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace.
· On October 23rd, 2009, the African Film Festival and Academy Awards London (ZAFAA AWARDS) awarded Very Rev. Fr. Prof Emmanuel Matthew Paul Edeh the “Zafaa Patrons Award as a result of his contributions to peace in Africa.
· February 28th, 2010, Teachers without Borders proudly recognized as Worthy in Characters and Career and Commissioned Fr. Prof E.M.P Edeh as “Millennium Development Ambassador”.
· September, 11th,2010, the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Enugu State council conferred the honour of “Pillar of Education in Nigeria” on Very Rev. Fr. Prof Emmanuel Edeh (Founder of OSISATECH Polytechnic and college of Education, Madonna and Caritas Universities and other educational Institutions) for his contributions to the development of Education in Nigeria (Onyewuenyi 2010)
· On December 2nd 2011, the University of Nigeria Nsukka, conferred the Honour/Award “Great Articulator of African Philosophy” on Very Rev. Fr. Prof. Emmanuel M.P. Edeh.
· December 13th, 2012, the Global Educators For All Initiative conferred the Honour “Extraordinary Role Model” on Very Rev. Fr. Prof. Emmanuel M.P. Edeh for his contributions towards the realization of the Millennium Development Goals.
· December 18th, 2012, Peace and Conflict Resolution Caritas University, Amorji-Nike Enugu conferred the Award of Excellence to Very Rev. Fr. Prof. Emmanuel Mathew Paul Edeh as a distinguished Lover of Peace/First Articulator of African Philosophy.
· May 16th, 2013, the Faculty of Bio Ethics, Pontifical University Regina Apostolorum, Rome, Italy conferred an Una Vita per la Vita (a life for life) Award on Very Rev. Fr. Prof. Emmanuel Mathew Paul Edeh for his incomparable contributions to the preservation, protection and promotion of human life in the modern world.
His works and achievements are summarized
in his mission of practical and effective charity developed from his personal prayers for the transformation of the lives of the sick, the suffering, the handicapped, the abjectly poor, the abandoned and troubled youths of the society. The contributions which this mission has made to this effect cannot be over emphasized.
Numerous people who have in one way or the other encountered him through his mission of practical and effective charity confessed that he is peaceful, loving, compassionate, charitable, consistent and persistent, painstaking and intelligent, innovative, and also a disciplinarian.
He actually ramified into different socio-economic aspects of human endeavors during the practical implementations of his mission of effective charity. This effective charity is rooted in his African Philosophy that man is the greatest among God’s work of creation, because he is created in God’s image and likeness as a “good that is” or “mma-di”. His kind of charity work, exemplifies the practical manifestation of God’s care for humanity through man. He has through his charity works brought peace; healing and succor to the minds of people especially the sick, the poor and the suffering. He achieved all these through the Catholic Prayer Ministry of the Holy Spirit and its offshoot, the Pilgrimage Centre of Eucharistic Adoration and Special Marian Devotion, Elele. People from all over the world now swarm there to find solutions to their spiritual problems.
The faith of the people of God has also been strengthened through the establishment of a museum of charms and fetish objects. Renounced charms and fetish objects surrendered by people are made impotent by sprinkling of Holy Water by him. Afterwards they are kept in the museum for people to see the supremacy of the power of God over that of Satan.
In educational sector he is a guru. He has contributed greatly to the educational sector through the establishment of many schools spanning from kindergarten to the university level. His Madonna University is one of the best in Africa, a corruption free institution. Caritas University is the same. The Polytechnic & college of Education are special.
His conflict management strategy is practically wonderful. Through his Center for Peace, Justice and Reconciliation, peace has returned to the hearts of men and to the society. Just as Plato and Aristotle articulated Western Philosophy through Greek Metaphysics, he articulated African philosophy through the articulation of Igbo metaphysics. The first of its kind in the history of thought. That is why he is popularly called the “Father of the African philosophy”. If “The world could practically implement the dictates of the African philosophy of being, the chances of engaging in wars with each other will be drastically reduced to the advantage of the world peace.
He has also made tremendous achievements in the care for the poor through his Umuogbenye Center, Motherless Babies Home, rehabilitation center for the troubled youths, medical care for the aged Bishops and priests, scholarship to the handicapped and indigent students to mention but a few.
Madonna International Charity Peace Award (MICPA)
As a motivational strategy, he established a peace charity award institution – the Madonna International Charity Peace Award which he employed as a means of recognizing the efforts of other people who are emulating him in the area of practical and holistic care for the needy- the sick, the suffering, the abandoned, the handicapped, etc.
He established some congregations of religious men and women who from time to time are sent for further studies both in the country and overseas for the purpose of management and administration of the establishments.