As Nigeria celebrates her 57thIndependence Anniversary, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has reassured residents of the state of a visible increase in critical infrastructure across the state “now that the rain is fast receding”, adding that “more contractors will return to old sites, while work will commence at new sites”.
Mr. Ugwuanyi spoke at the holy mass/march past held at the Michael Okpara Square, Enugu to commemorate Nigeria’s 57th Independence Anniversary celebration.
The rich and colourful ceremony, which was attended by the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, and other members of the National Assembly from the state; the Deputy Governor of the State, Cecilia Ezeilo; Speaker, Enugu State House of Assembly, Edward Ubosi and other members of the House; members of the judiciary led by the state’s Chief Judge, Priscilla Emehelu; all the heads of security agencies in the state; past governors as well as the religious leaders, witnessed, for the first time, the coming together of all the bishops in the state to celebrate a Holy Mass.
In his address, the governor reiterated his administration’s commitment to peace, national unity and safety of all Nigerians and foreigners residing in Enugu State, saying that “As a people renowned for their peaceful and hospitable nature, we remain committed to the peace and safety of all Nigerians, and foreigners alike residing in the state”.
He noted further: “We assure and indeed reassure you of your safety. This is not a privilege; it is your constitutional right inherent in your membership of the Nigerian commonwealth and, above all, a resident of Enugu, a state securely in the hands of God.
“Like every family, we are bound to have our disagreements, but what divides us is far less than what unites us”.
Mr. Ugwuanyi congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari, state governors, members of the National and State Assemblies, the judiciary, past presidents and former heads of state and indeed all Nigerians “on this great accomplishment of 57 years of nationhood”.
He paid glowing tribute to the founding fathers of the nation for their “enormous sacrifice and unassailable patriotism,” which he said were instrumental to the freedom we enjoy today, stressing that the leaders such as “Herbert Macaulay, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Sir Ahmadu Bello, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, and a host of others nurtured the dream of a free Nigeria to fruition”.
The governor also appreciated the people of the state “for continually upholding the ideals of our fathers, especially the ideal of one nation bound in freedom, peace and unity, thanking them for making peaceful co-existence the hallmark of the state. He noted that the gesture has continued to stand Enugu out as a safe haven and ultimate destination for tourism and investments.
“Let me also seize this opportunity to enjoin all Nigerians to continue to be their brother’s keeper. Like every family, we are bound to have our disagreements, but what divides us is far less than what unites us. Let us continue to emphasise those things that unite and make us great and eschew those that divide us.
“Let peace, equity, and justice reign in the heart of every citizen and government at all levels. Every Nigerian deserves justice irrespective of his or her ethnic, political, and religious background. Do justice to your brother and sister. Do justice to your neighbour. Do justice to the stranger and it shall be well with us.
“As a people renowned for their peaceful and hospitable nature, we remain committed to the peace and safety of all Nigerians, and foreigners alike residing in the state. We assure and indeed reassure you of your safety.
“This is not a privilege; it is your constitutional right inherent in your membership of the Nigerian commonwealth and, above all, a resident of Enugu, a state securely in the hands of God.
“As a government, we listed our efforts at massive and equitable development in Enugu State during the last Democracy Day and second anniversary of the administration in May this year. We also highlighted our development trajectory for the years ahead. I want to assure you that we are indeed on the right path to secure for us and for posterity the fruits of the freedom we celebrate today and the blessings of democracy which many paid the ultimate prize to enthrone.
“There will be a visible increase in construction works across the state now that the rain is fast receding. More contractors will return to old sites, while work will commence at new sites” Mr. Ugwuanyi stated.
In his sermon, Obiora Ike, commended Governor Ugwuanyi for his uncommon leadership style anchored on peace, vision and good governance, saying that the governor “has succeeded in bringing all the church leaders together to celebrate for the first time, the Holy Mass at Okpara Square, Enugu on October 1”. He stressed that it is “a gesture that we must take note of for it symbolises a lot.”
The senior cleric thanked all those who came to worship and celebrate Nigeria’s Independence, noting that the galaxy of personalities that graced the occasion indicates that Mr. Ugwuanyi is a man of peace and goodwill.