Cardinal John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan, Archbishops and Bishops of the Catholic Church in Nigeria, yesterday, visited Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State at the Government House, Enugu, where they prayed at the newly constructed Christian Chapel of Worship at the state’s seat of power.
The Cardinal, Archbishops and Bishops are in Enugu State for the Second Plenary Meeting of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), holding at Holy Ghost Cathedral, Ogui, Enugu.
It is expected that the leadership of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) and Methodist Church of Nigeria, will also visit the Enugu State Government House Chapel to offer prayers.
Welcoming the Catholic clergymen, Gov. Ugwuanyi described the visit as both historic and spiritually elevating, stressing that “it is a rare privilege that will remain evergreen and most treasured in our hearts”.
The governor, who pointed out that the magnificent edifice is the first Chapel built within the precincts of Enugu State Government House, thanked them for offering prayers for the government and good people of Enugu State.
Speaking on behalf of the Bishops, Bishop George Dodo from Zaria, Kaduna State, commended Gov. Ugwuanyi for his good working relationship between the state government and the Church, stressing that they are very pleased and will continue to offer prayers for him and the state.
According to Bishop Dodo, “there is very good working relationship between you (Ugwuanyi) and the citizenry to the extent that a lot of the citizens do not approach you with fear and intimidation because they see in you a brother; they see in you a son; they see in you a caregiver.
“You have gone into politics to ask for the worth of trust and confidence that the people gave you. You have also proven to them and the Church that you did not just go into politics and left the Church behind. But you went in full swing along with this Church.
“That is exemplified by what we witnessed this evening. That is a wonderful achievement, a wonderful structure and I feel that for everybody who is overloaded with fatigue, once you go in there, you feel whole in the presence of God. I pray that as you continue to use that Chapel that God will cover the government functionaries and the citizens of this state”.
Also in his address, Gov. Ugwuanyi implored the clergymen to continue to pray for his administration, the state and Nigeria, for more grace of God, adding that the state government is profoundly grateful to God for his innumerable blessings.
“Please accept my deep appreciation for your spiritual leadership, the enthronement of moral standards for humanity, the pursuit of world peace and the building of a better society. I pray that Almighty God continues to give you the strength, wisdom and discernment for your herculean assignment on earth”, the governor said.
Dignitaries at the event include the President, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria, Most Rev. Augustine Obiora Akubeze, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Onitsha Ecclesiastical Province, Most Rev. Valerian Okeke; the host Bishop, Most Rev. Callistus Onaga; the former Governor of old Anambra State, Senator Dr. Jim Ifeanyichukwu Nwobodo, the Speaker of Enugu State House of Assembly ably represented by the Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Uche Ugwu, the Chief Judge of Enugu State, Hon. Justice Priscilla Ngozi Emehelu, the President, State Customary Court of Appeal, Hon. Justice George Nnamani and the member representing Enugu East/ Isi-Uzo Federal Constituency, Hon. Prince Cornelius Nnaji.
Others were the State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Hon. Augustine Nnamani, former President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, former Minister of Aviation, Amb. Mrs. Fidelia Njeze, the Chairman, Enugu State Traditional Rulers’ Council, HRH Amb. Lawrence Agubuzu, Honourable Members of the State House of Assembly, State Executive Council Members, Judges of the Enugu State Judiciary, the President, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Enugu State Chapter, Prof. Fred Eze, etc.