Outstanding commitment by Ugwuanyi to strengthening the faith of the Enugu people—Pilgrims Commission

Enugu State Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has received praise for his commitment to strengthening the faith of the state’s citizens through his administration’s ongoing sponsorship of locals traveling to the Holy Lands of Israel and Jordan.

Additionally, Governor Ugwuanyi received praise for consistently elevating Enugu to the top of the list of States traveling on Christian pilgrimages.

The remarks were made on Friday in Enugu during the National Flag-Off of the December 2022 Christian Pilgrimage, which saw the airlifting of 300 pilgrims to the Holy Lands of Israel and Jordan, sponsored by the Governor Ugwuanyi’s administration. The Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC), Rev. Dr. Yakubu Pam, made the remarks.

Speaking at the occasion, the NCPC Executive Secretary noted that Enugu State has consistently ranked first nationally and that the state is the first in the nation to start the December Pilgrimage.

As “the governor of the masses, who brought Israel and Rome to Enugu State, a man of peace and a guy that his people adore so much,” Rev. Dr. Pam characterized Governor Ugwuanyi.

Enugu State, he insisted, “would always be number one.”

The first airplane that would transport passengers to the December Pilgrimage “touched down first in Enugu and it is in the airport today waiting for you (pilgrims),” he revealed.

The Executive Secretary praised Governor Ugwuanyi for his dedication to religious practice and its beneficial effects on the residents of Enugu State, saying that the governor had shown “dedication of faith to your people.” He continued, “It is not every governor that will realize the blessings behind building the faith of your people.

“Many of us here are traveling there with prayer requests, thanks to you who have authorized this trip. Their supplications will be granted.

“I want to promise you from the bottom of my heart that the God who has given you this insight will never leave you in this life. He’ll keep you and be at your side forever.

Despite the state’s limited resources, Governor Ugwuanyi has consistently sponsored Christian pilgrims to the Holy Lands of Israel and Jordan, according to Executive Secretary of the Enugu State Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, Barr. Nestor Ezeme. It was for this achievement that the NCPC awarded him the title of “Best Pilgrimage Governor in the South East Nigeria” in 2021.

The beneficiaries, who included professors, physicians, teachers, tricycle (Keke) riders, market ladies, and other individuals from all walks of life and all Christian denominations in Enugu State, expressed their gratitude to Barr. Ezeme and promised to do so again when they returned.

He assured Governor Ugwuanyi that they all resolved to be good ambassadors of Enugu State in Israel and Jordan and will not do anything to undermine the integrity of the state.

Governor Ugwuanyi welcomed the Executive Secretary of NCPC to Enugu and expressed his happiness that Enugu State had been chosen to host the historic occasion.

The governor, who acknowledged with deep sense of appreciation, the award of the ‘Best Pilgrimage Governor in the South East Nigeria’ conferred on him last year by NCPC, implored the pilgrims to pray for President Muhammadu Buhari, all the governors of the 36 states of Nigeria “and indeed all those in authority in the country whom God has anointed to manage our affairs.”

Governor Ugwuanyi equally urged them to pray for God’s intervention in the affairs of Nigeria, especially the ravaging insecurity and economic hardship; pray for a peaceful 2023 general election and a successful transition; pray for more love and tolerance among Nigerians as a new paradigm that will underpin the full restoration of peace, unity and progress.

Enjoining the pilgrims to be good ambassadors of the state, and to exhibit high sense of decency and decorum while in the Holy Land, the governor beseeched God to grant them “His journey mercies to the Holy Land where God has revealed himself”, saying: “Most importantly, may you truly encounter God through the Holy Spirit on this journey.

“Our administration entrusted the state and its affairs to the Hands of God at inception (2015) and we have continued to see His Hands in all we do. Every year, Christians in our state, irrespective of their denomination, are sponsored on pilgrimage to the Holy Land within the limit of our state resources.

“It is usually an opportunity for our Christian faithful to indulge in quiet introspection, deepen their faith and pray for the state and their families.

“Our effort in this regard was acknowledged by the Nigeria Christian Pilgrims Commission on 21st December, 2021 with the conferment of the award of the ‘Best Pilgrimage Governor in the South East Nigeria’ on my humble self, an award I dedicated to the Body of Christ in the state whose prayers have kept us going.

“Today, three hundred (300) Christian Pilgrims will be airlifted to the Holy Lands of Israel and Jordan sponsored by the state. I urge our Pilgrim Managers to ensure zero abscondment of our Pilgrims as we need to protect our reputation as responsible and honest people,” the governor said.

Dignitaries at the event included the State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Hon. Augustine Nnamani, the Member representing Enugu East/Isi-Uzo Federal Constituency, Hon. Prince Cornelius Nnaji, Chairman, Enugu State Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board and State Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Emmanuel Edeh and the President, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Enugu State Chapter, Prof. Fred Eze.

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