Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State yesterday urged the 300 Christian pilgrims from the state to the Holy Land of Israel and Jordan to pray fervently for the state and the incoming administration of Dr Peter Ndubuisi Mbah.
The pilgrims were sponsored by the Governor Ugwuanyi-led administration.
Governor Ugwuanyi who spoke when he saw off the pilgrims at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu also urged them to be decorous while in the Holy Land and focus on experiencing the teachings in the Bible during and after the life of Jesus Christ.
The governor pointed out that his administration since its inauguration in 2015 handed over Enugu State to the hands of God, disclosing that “God in His infinite mercy guided the administration and Enugu till date remains the most peaceful state in the country.”
Governor Ugwuanyi stated that the 300 Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land of Israel and Jordan went there “to give glory to God for His love and mercy for the past eight years” stressing that as a true Christian, his administration has walked the talk.
The governor recalled that the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC) in December 2021 conferred the Best Pilgrimage Governor Award on him in recognition of his administration’s outstanding performance in enthroning peace in the state, and support for pilgrimages.
Governor Ugwuanyi, who was hailed for his consistency in sponsoring Enugu residents to pilgrimages, further disclosed that his administration sponsored 300 pilgrims to the Holy Land of Israel and Jordan in July 2022, 30 pilgrims to the Holy Land of Rome in October 2022 and another 300 pilgrims to the Holy Land of Israel and Jordan in December 2022.
He said that the current 300 pilgrims are in the Holy Land of Israel and Jordan “to give glory to God for using us as an instrument to change the lives of the citizens through the provision of primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare services to the people of Enugu State; transformation of the education, agricultural and the judiciary sectors, and the revolution in rural infrastructural development, to mention but a few.”
Governor Ugwuanyi used the opportunity to commend the organisers of the religious exercise “for recording zero abscondment during the December 2022 pilgrimage, urging them to put all necessary measures on (the) ground to ensure that all pilgrims return back.
“As you embark on this spiritual exercise, we urge you to pray for our dear state and the incoming government,” he stressed.
Speaking, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC), Rev. Dr Yakubu Pam, expressed delight at Governor Ugwuanyi’s commitment to the religious exercise since the inception of his administration, adding that the governor’s active involvement in ensuring that Enugu State is the first to start the pilgrimage during each batch is the secret behind the success story of the programme in the country.
Describing Governor Ugwuanyi as a friend of the commission, the NCPC Executive Secretary thanked him for his immense contributions and support.
Rev. Dr Pam equally commended the Executive Secretary, Enugu State Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, Barr. Nestor Ezeme, for his diligence and dedication to duty.
He said that Ezeme is one of the best and most hardworking State Executive Secretaries of the commission in the country.
The NCPC Executive Secretary advised the pilgrims to take precautions and avoid any act that could tarnish the image of the country or the state.
In his brief remark, Barr. Ezeme applauded Governor Ugwuanyi for being consistent in sponsoring the pilgrimage since he assumed office as well as his great interest in the things of God, revealing that this is the first time one-half of the pilgrims are priests “and we are proud and happy to have them in our midst.”
The Chairman of Enugu State Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board and State Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Emmanuel Edeh, Bishop Godwin Madu, and Dr Tony Okam, were among the dignitaries at the event.
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