Very Rev. B. N. Eze, "A Brief Biography," - Onyeji Nnaji

On my wedding day, people who saw you did not hasitate to say that my brother had come to wed me. That was the day it occurred to me that my tarrying discussions and ceaseless relationship with you on the kingdom business has created certain reflections that appeard to make us look relatively/somewhat alike. It was quite exotic to me that, in the band of ministers who featured that day, our guests could spot you  without difficulty.

The news of your pathing came so sudden such as could make gullible minds like mine disbelieve it's content. I never heard you were bedridden and, just like a wondering star, the radiance that accompanied you abruptly weathered away and you followed suit. All your ceaseless strife to enhance Christ's reign on earth and plans for your dear community just ended like that. I do not need anyone to tell me how much you loved Nkalaha, for I was there on that faithful night in 2002 when you intoned thus, 

"I am going to Nkalaha tomorrow morning to meet with the elders; if I die, I die!"

Those were your exact words before you set out for the journey that finally restored the community's unity. 

Light & life of Rev. B. N. Eze

The Very Reverend Benjamin Nnaji Eze, natively called Nnaji nwa Odo, was the only person fulfilled and knowledgeable enough to ink his esteemed biography. We that passed under his shepherding could only but flicker our tinsil wings speaking about him succinctly, from our little knowledge about him.

Born in 1964 into the family of Late Elder Eze Chime of Umuezeneye, Umuobeye Umulesha Nkalaha in Ishielu, Ebonyi State, B.N. Eze was named after his maternal grandfather, Nnaji nwa Odo. He was a consolation jewel to the wealthy mother after several loss of different twin children to the prevailing Igbo tradition of old. His growth was miraculous like a dream child. He developed himself bodily and outgrew his mates, for he took after the obvious height of his mother.

Due to his size, he was fortunate to timely begin his education in the prestigious Obodo-Ato Community School Nkalaha where he fell in the first group that historically completed elementary six in the school. His set and the set immediately before him were the most influential sets from Obodo-Ato Community School Nkalaha with reputable representatives in almost all walks of life since then till now. They had served as the pillars upon which certain classical influences found in Umulesha had depended for years now. After graduation, they dispersed divergently, but strictly maintaining their friendship remarkable with the pseudonym each of them had adopted for himself.

Benji (as he was shortly called) chose the path of priesthood. Perhaps, he saw himself as a child of Providence as the men who took his elder siblings were prepared to take more lives, was he a twin. He chose to serve the God who showed him mercy, went through the training processes required for such a profession and was declared a Reverend Minister at the prestigious Methodist Theological Institute (MTI) Umuahia. His graduation was received with such conviviality that characterized the homecoming of the Achebe modern hero, Obi Okonkwor.

Benji's Contributions to Kingdom Business

In the night of 27th August, 2001, as I went for a personal night prayers at the Trinity Methodist Church Nkalaha where Benji and the host of other firebrand mates had contributed greatly in making disciples for Christ, I was led to the memorable pulpit he placed beside the holy ultar. Unlike other gifts presented to the church, the pulpit did not have any inscription denoting who gave it. This was just one aspect of his characters.

Rev. B. N . Eze (Reverend) had always been at the forefront of every donation made in the church as well as those of his village in general, each time he was at home. His attitude towards giving was quite challenging such that, each time he headed the conduction of fund-raising, he had always begun with himself donating the highest amount before others. Benji had shown commitment to duty and service to both human and God. This uncommon abtitude was the main reason why he had been continually on transit from one Methodist Church to others.

In his service to the Almighty, Rev. Benji had never left any church without leaving landmarks behind. He planted 10 Methodist churches in Nnewi, he built and completed a cathedral whose foundation had lasted for over 23 years at Ihube. The ceaseless hunger in Rev. Benji, each place he was posted to, to raise an army for Christ and set up solid structures for the worship of Christ was, supposedly, what had led to his several transfer to churches. Perhaps because God saw the mind with which he answered His calling and had decided to show him favour, Benji's success in the Kingdom work outweighed those of his contemporaries. 

The Mission and the Persecution that Follow

Just as we speak of his roles towards expanding God's kingdom among men and the accompanied success, it is pertinent to note that these successes were not without their accompanied persecution. Yes, he took his own share of the persecution due to every Christian. How did I know this? In November 3rd, 2013, as I was returning from Ida, I passed the night at his residence inside UNN. The following day, as we drove to Abakaliki together, we dived into issues about the 2002 religious crisis in Nkalaha; then he told me his story.

Rev. B. N. Eze had been double-crossed by a collection of his village Omaba cultists in the early part of the morning, during morning cry. As they enclosed upon him, they warned him severely never to preach that way again. This was the beginning of his pain as a desciple. He also had been lured to Enugu from Nnewi where he was made to drink acid by hired assassins and many other life threatening attempts which time won't permit me to state here. But in them all he was more than the conqueror.

The very one that greatly amazed members was the event at Christ Methodist Church Mkpor, in Onitsha. People could speak and testify about this because the attack took place during a Sunday service. A Man was sent from the Northern part of Nigeria to the church to attack the man of God. Behold, it came to pass that as the man of God was preaching, something was taking place from the last pew in the row. When the man of God switched to prayers, something miraculous happened. The Holy Ghost lifted the man from the back and landed him at the open space before the ultar, thereafter came his confession. To prove to the congregation that he was not blabbing, he removed his clothes for members to see the multiple charms he wore with which he had plans to kill the man of God. These are but a few I just feel like mentioning. His challenges are  lessons for Christians to learn to depend on God in earnest, and to know that the God of this great commission does not forsake anyone He actually calls.

We will miss you, the Lord's general. Till when eternity shall hold us all bound, rest in peace. Good night senior brother from another mother

Adieu God's own!
Adieu mother's father!!
Adieu the great one!!!



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