Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has applauded the leadership qualities of the First Lady, Aisha Buhari, in promoting and identifying with persons with disability, through sports.
Governor Ugwuanyi, who spoke during the dinner organized by the Para Powerlifting Federation, with the support of Mrs. Buhari, to raise funds for the “Abuja 2020 Para Powerlifting World Cup”, coming up in February, in Abuja, described the president’s wife as “a pacesetter”.
The governor expressed gratitude to Dr. Mrs. Buhari, who is the Grand Patron of the “Abuja 2020 Para Powerlifting World Cup”, for nominating Enugu State to host the fund raising dinner.
Reiterating his administration’s commitment to the wellbeing of the people including the physically challenged, Governor Ugwuanyi disclosed that the Enugu government has been in the vanguard of protecting the rights of people with special needs, optimizing opportunities for them to be productively engaged while living fulfilling lives.
He added that the state government is proud and has continued to encourage its daughter, the Nigeria Powerlifting legend, Lucy Ogechukwu Ejike, as a worthy ambassador and great inspiration to persons with disability.
According to him, “Enugu State government granted automatic employment to fifty (50) graduates with special needs in the year 2017 amongst other deliberate measures that ensure adequate integration of persons with special needs in our state”.
Declaring his administration’s support for the upcoming sporting event in Abuja, Governor Ugwuanyi urged the people to donate generously towards Abuja 2020 Para Powerlifting World Cup, which he described as a laudable project.
In her speech, Mrs. Buhari, represented by the wife of former Governor of Nasarawa State, Mairo Al Makura, thanked Governor Ugwuanyi for “hosting this event today towards a successful Abuja 2020 Para Powerlifting World Cup”.
Mrs. Al Makura stressed the First Lady’s passion for the wellbeing of the less privileged in the society as well as her commitment to the successful hosting of the event in Abuja.
She, therefore, noted that the donations will go a long way to ensure the successful hosting of the international sporting event in the country, which the First Lady holds in high esteem.
Her words: “As we are all aware, Her Excellency, the First Lady is the Grand Patron and she is so passionate about the less privileged in the society. Her total commitment to this course was shown when she hosted the team at the Presidential Villa.
“She will continue to solicit support from both public and private donors as Nigeria has been given the hosting right for the World Cup. It is going to be an achievement for all and we should therefore, do everything possible to make our country and Africa proud.”
Earlier in his goodwill message, popular Nigerian politician and former Senator who represented Kogi West Senatorial District, Senator Dino Melaye, commended Governor Ugwuanyi for his good governance initiatives and commitment to the wellbeing of the people of the state.
Mr Melaye specially thanked Mrs Buhari for identifying with persons with disability and the vulnerable in our society.
He also applauded Governor Ugwuanyi for hosting the dinner and identifying with the physically challenged, “particularly those who have brought glory and honour to the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.
Describing Ugwuanyi as “the performing Governor of Enugu State”, Mr Melaye told the governor that “I am particularly impressed with your good works in Enugu State, more particularly, the stability and low crime rate in the state”.
Expressing his delight at participating in the fund raising dinner, Senator Melaye pointed out that the event was able to hold in Enugu, out of the 36 states of the federation, because of Governor Ugwuanyi’s heart of gold in identifying with persons with disability.
Also present at the event were the State Deputy Governor, Cecilia Ezeilo, who is the Grand Matron of Para Powerlifting Federation; the Speaker of the State Assembly, Edward Ubosi; the Chairman, Enugu State Council of Traditional Rulers, Lawrence Agubuzu and other royal fathers; the Chairman of the Occasion, Tony Eze; Anayo Onwuegbu (Omeiheukwu), among others.