As Christians commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, has called on Nigerians to take advantage of the religious event to offer special prayers for sustained peace, unity and progress of the country.
Gov. Ugwuanyi, in a message, felicitated with his fellow Christian faithful, wishing ‘Ndi Enugu’ and indeed all Nigerians Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
This is as indigenes of the State residing in other parts of the country who returned home for the festive season through the free transportation programme offered to them by Governor Ugwuanyi’s administration have expressed deep appreciation to the governor for his magnanimity and commitment to the wellbeing of the people.
A cross section of the beneficiaries who returned safely from Zamfara and Jigawa States, said they were delighted and proud of Gov. Ugwuanyi for extending such a rare gesture to them to celebrate the festive season with their loved ones.
In his Christmas message, the governor noted that the festive season offers yet another opportunity for the people to promote peace, good virtues, love and unity as well as dedicate their lives to the service of God.
He, therefore, thanked Ndi Enugu for their love, unceasing prayers, goodwill, solidarity and support, reassuring them of his firm resolve to sustain the tempo of peace and good governance in the state as well as continue to serve them with the fear of God.
The jubilant Enugu state returnees disclosed that they had lost hope of coming home for the festivity because of economic challenges and high transport fare until they received the news of the state government’s free transportation offer.
They stated that Gov. Ugwuanyi’s administration has been consistent with the free transportation programme, stressing that the gesture was a demonstration of his unique leadership style, benevolence, caring spirit and commitment to the wellbeing of his people.
The visibly excited indigenes, who said they had a smooth journey, appreciated God for the safe trip, asking Him to continue to bless the governor and enrich him with more wisdom and grace to take the state to greater heights.
Speaking, Mrs. Mary Udeh, a returnee from Zamfara State said: “We are grateful to God Almighty for a safe trip, all the way from Zamfara State. It was a long journey and the transport fare from Zamfara to Enugu is very high. So, most of us had no hope of returning home for this Christmas and New Year.
“But as God may have it, our caring governor remembered us as usual and made it possible for us to be here to see our family members and celebrate this Christmas with them. It is a good thing that Gburugburu (Ugwuanyi) made us to feel at home. We are grateful to him and the people he used to make this possible. May the good Lord continue to bless him and his family. We will continue to pray for him and speak well of him.
Another beneficiary, Mr. Joseph Mbah, a returnee from Jigawa State, while thanking the state government for adding the state to the benefiting states said: “This is a great surprise to all of us here who returned from Jigawa State. We did not pay any transport fare to arrive here. It is a surprise because we have not heard of any state that is offering such free transportation to their people who are residing with us in Jigawa State.
“Our governor, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, has proved to us that he is a caring governor; that he is a kind-hearted leader who thinks of the wellbeing of his people everywhere they are. He has saved me over sixty thousand naira (N60, 000), which I would have spent to transport my family back home.
“It is not even about the money alone, it is about his concern and the sense of belonging he has given to us, that even though we are not here physically, his government recognizes us. So, on behalf of everybody in this bus, I say a very big thank you to Gburugburu, our good governor”.
According to Mrs. Ngozi Eke, another returnee from Zamfara State, “we are so happy and thank him (Ugwuanyi) for assisting us come back home for Christmas. We have heard a lot about his good works and kindness to people. The free transportation has been a great help to me and my entire family. We say a big thank you to him. May God continue to bless him. Amen”.
Speaking on the success of the exercise, the Managing Director of Enugu State Transport Company Limited (ENTRACO), Mr. Bob Itanyi, disclosed that beneficiaries from other states such as Abuja, Kebbi, Kano, Jos, Gombe, Lagos, Kaduna, Minna, etc, have also returned.