Silent Achievers

Meet Rev. Fr. Iornumbe who rehabilitates state road with his own one million naira in Benue

By Igbashangev Paul

The Priest-in-Charge of Our Lady of Consolation Rectory, Ge, Rev. Fr. Donald Gandepuun IORNUMBE, with the Christian faithful of his pastoral unit has spent over one million naira (#1000,000) on Lessel- Ge-Ihugh Road rehabilitation project and they promised to continue with their kind gesture.

Speaking with THE NEWS GRIP, Rev. Fr. Iornumbe said the estimated amount he has spent so far  was over one million naira. ‘’It may even cost more, since we are still rehabilitating Ge-Lessel Road’’ He said.

Fr. Iornumbe with his people during Lesssel-Ge-Ihugh Road rehabilitation

Seek to know what prompted the man of God to embark on such a gigantic project, Fr. Iornumbe said it is simply a community service; their little way of complementing government’s efforts.  He advised that each of us could and should do our little best to augment the efforts of the government.

‘’In fact, the people are actually the government itself. We must no longer wait on government to do what we can and should do. We can ensure the longevity of our roads by patching the pot holes as soon as they begin, rather than wait until they become death traps to be fixed by the government.’’ He added.

When asked to know  where he got such huge amount of money from in executing his plan, Fr. Iornumbe answered ‘’the monies are largely my own goodwill from the kindness of others, especially my parishioners to me. A few persons have also contributed various sums as a way of appreciating what we are doing, especially those who ply the road; Tiv, Udam, Igbos, Hausa, etc. ‘’

‘’My parishioners and some other members of the community, Christians of other denominations and even unbelievers have passionately supported the project with their energy, time and talents and by accompanying me to comb the bushes for the stones we are using. Some others donated even the stones and sharp sand they gathered for their personal use.’’

Men at work with Fr. Iornumbe

‘’It is actually a Christian community project under my guidance. It will amaze you to know that even children as little as 3 years old have been gathering stones, aged men and women have not excluded themselves in gathering stones, fetching water, supplying food and drinks, etc. The youths of this community are just a wonder! They have freely accepted to use their energies for the right cause.’’

‘’From this ineffable experience, even though little, I believe a new and better Nigeria is not only possible but nearer than ever.’’ Fr. Said.

It has been gathered that Lessel-Ge-Ihugh Road is just like a death trap for users of the road. Oral history has it that it is one among the bad roads in the state which claims lives daily. Ge and Lessel are towns in Ushongo Local Government Area while Ihugh is a town in Vandeikya Local Government all in Benue State.

Lessel-Ge-Ihugh Road during  rehabilitation exercise

The Silent Achiever’s Profile

Rev. Fr. Donald Gandepuun IORNUMBE was born on 13th March, 1988 into the family of Mr & Mrs Boniface IORNUMBE of Kendev-Tiev, Turan, Kwande LGA, Benue State. He is the second born and the first boy from a family of four boys and three girls.

Rev. Fr. Donald Iornumbe started his primary education at RCM Primary School, Jato-Aka from 1994-98 and continued at NKST Nursery/Primary School, Anzwar, Gboko-North from 1998-2000.  He also studied at St. James’ Minor Seminary, Yandev, Gboko from 2000-2006.

While beginning his priestly training, he attended St. Charles Lwanga Preparatory Seminary, Aliade in 2007. In 2008, Fr. Donald continued with his discernment to the Catholic priesthood at St. Thomas Aquinas’ Major Seminary, Makurdi and graduated in 20016 with degrees in Philosophy and Sacred Theology

On 9th January, 2016, he was ordained a deacon by Most Rev. William Avenya, Bishop, Catholic Diocese of Gboko at St. Martin’s Parish, Mbape. He served as a deacon at St. George’s Rectory, Tyobo from 2016-2017. He was ordained a Catholic priest on 10th June, 2017. He worked as an Assistant Parish Priest at St. Winifred’s Parish, Ihugh from 2017-2018. He is currently the Priest-in-charge of Our Lady of Consolation Rectory, Ge in Ushongo LGA.

Fr. Donald loves Christian music, reading, making and interacting with friends; playing and watching soccer. His philosophy of life is, “do the good you can, while there is still time”

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Igbashangev Paul

Paul is a versatile journalist to the core with a critical and curious mind. He is a confirmed Media Literacy Ambassador by NFVCB. He can be reached via mpaul2807@gmail.com

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