The Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Governing Council, State University of Medical and Applied Sciences (SUMAS), Igbo-Eno, Enugu State, Msgr. Prof. Obiora Ike, on Sunday, said that history will be kind to Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for entrenching peace in the state when security challenges were being experienced in other states of the South East geo-political zone.
Ike extolled Governor Ugwuanyi’s virtues as a peacemaker and unassuming leader who accommodates everybody irrespective of political or religious differences and goes extra mile to dialogue with people and make peace, stressing that “history is in the future, history is in the past and history in the present is not correct.”
In his sermon during a Thanksgiving Mass for Governor Ugwuanyi and his deputy, Hon. Mrs. Cecilia Ezeilo, for the successful completion of their eight-year tenure, the cleric also commended Ugwuanyi, the founder of SUMAS for investing heavily in education by empowering people during the establishment of the university, among other interventions in the sector.
The Thanksgiving Mass held at Holy Ghost Cathedral, Ogui, Enugu, was equally to thank God for the emergence of Dr. Peter Ndubuisi Mbah and Barr. Ifeanyi Ossai to serve the people of Enugu State as governor and deputy governor respectively, from May 29, 2023.
Ike disclosed that the influx of people into Enugu State and high cost of house rents were because of the peaceful atmosphere in the state made possible by Governor Ugwuanyi’s uncommon leadership style and his commitment to the affairs of God.
“Jesus said to his apostles ‘today I give you peace’. Lawrence Ugwuanyi you tried by God’s grace to give us peace. May peace be with you, may peace stay with you. History is in the future, history is in the past and history in the present is not correct.
“We shall have one day to look back and say Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi did this. We want to thank you. You said, as the bishop announced here, Enugu State is in the hands of God.”
The cleric pointed out that Governor Ugwuanyi’s administration encountered so many unforeseen challenges such as the nation’s economic recession (twice), the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, the EndSARS protest and the Obidient Movement that affected the outcome of the last general election especially in the South East zone.
He stated that despite all these setbacks, Governor Ugwuanyi ensured that Enugu remains peaceful and progressive in terms of development in education, health, infrastructure, workers’ welfare, security, among others.
Earlier, the Bishop of Catholic Diocese of Enugu, Most Rev. Dr. Callistus Onaga, disclosed that Pentecost Sunday Mass was a big celebration of the universal church and also a big celebration in Enugu Diocese “because this is a Holy Ghost Diocese.”
Bishop Onaga said: “Today, the Enugu State government is saying thank you to God because for the past eight years, they (Ugwuanyi and Ezeilo) have piloted the affairs of this very state and God has been with them because Enugu State is in the hands of God. God has done it, from a very turbulent period to a very wonderful and great period. So, God takes all the glory for everything.”
Bishop Onaga appreciated Governor Ugwuanyi and his deputy, Hon. Mrs. Ezeilo for deeming it fit to come and thank God for the successful completion of their tenure, stating that “eight years is not eight days.”
He said that God blessed the Governor that his choice successor, Dr. Mbah and his deputy, Barr. Ossai will be inaugurated as governor and deputy governor respectively on May 29, adding that the development also calls for thanksgiving to God.
The Thanksgiving Mass was attended by Dr. Mbah and his wife, Mrs. Nkechinyere Iheoma Mbah, Barr. Ossai and his wife, Mrs. Adaeze Ifeyinwa Ossai, the Speaker of Enugu State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Edward Ubosi, the Chief Judge of the State, Hon. Justice Afojulu Raymond Ozoemena, the President, Customary Court of Appeal, Enugu State, Hon. Justice George Nnamani, former Governor of old Anambra State, Senator Dr. Jim Nwobodo, his wife, Mrs. Pat Nwobodo, former Governor of old Enugu State, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, his wife, Dr. Mrs. Dorothy Nwodo, Bishop of Nsukka and Awgu Dioceses, Most Rev. Prof. Godfrey Igwebuike Onah and Most Rev. Dr. Ifeanyichukwu Okoye respectively, the Auxiliary Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Most Rev. Dr. Ernest Obodo, the Bishop Emeritus of Enugu Diocese, Most Rev. Dr. Anthony Gbuji, among other dignitaries.
Shortly after the Mass, Governor Ugwuanyi inaugurated the administrative building of the Enugu State House of Assembly, the first ever flyover bridge to be constructed by Enugu State Government, located at T-Junction, Nike Lake Road, Enugu East Local Government Area, a befitting event hall at Nike Lake Resort, Enugu named “Udulekenyi Hall”, among other projects marking the successful completion of his tenure.
Inaugurating the flyover bridge, Governor Ugwuanyi said the event was very fulfilling to him, revealing that his administration, regardless of the austere times, approved the design and construction of the project to tackle the menace of traffic gridlock at the Nike Lake Road/Nike Road T-Junction.
“I must pertinently remark that this project is the first ever flyover bridge, properly so called, to be constructed by any state administration in Enugu State,” the governor disclosed, expressing confidence that the incoming administration of Dr. Mbah will embark on similar interventions in some other parts of Enugu metropolis with similar traffic challenge.
In their separate speeches, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ubosi, Senator Gil Emeka Nnaji, the lawmaker representing Enugu East/Isi-Uzo Federal Constituency, Hon. Prince Cornelius Nnaji, the outgone Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Greg Nnaji, the Chairman of Enugu East LGA, Hon. Livinus Nze Anike and Igwe Barr. Julius Nnaji celebrated Governor Ugwuanyi for his laudable achievements in the state especially in the council area.
They stated that it was symbolic that the governor started his project execution in 2015 in Enugu East LGA and performed his last inauguration of projects as governor of Enugu State in 2023 in the same council area.
The people reassured Governor Ugwuanyi of the unceasing prayers, solidarity and support, informing that he will remain one of them and also be indelible in their hearts.