The Apostolic Nuncio to Nigeria, Archbishop Antonio Guido Filipazzi has applauded Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State for his closeness to God and exemplary leadership style, which had brought peace and good governance to the state.
The Apostolic Nuncio spoke in Enugu, when he led a delegation comprising a Cardinal, Archbishops, Bishops and Priests of the Catholic Church to pay a courtesy visit to Gov. Ugwuanyi at the Government House.
The clerics were in the state for the Episcopal Ordination of Most Rev. Ernest Obodo as the Auxiliary Bishop of Enugu Diocese, which took place on Friday at St. Paul’s Parish, Ozalla, Nkanu West Local Government Area.
Most Rev. Filipazzi, who was received by Gov. Ugwuanyi, commended him for his faithful service to the church and to the residents of Enugu State, irrespective of religion, state of origin and ethnicity.
He described Ugwuanyi as “a good governor” and “a father of the family”, adding that he was inspired by the governor’s good works in the state and his commitment to the development of the church.
His words: “You have faithfully served the church; you are a good governor; you are a governor for everyone living in this state, Catholic and non-Catholic; from every group you are the father of the family for everybody and of course things are not separated. I think you have found inspiration in your work as a governor; I also feel you belong to the Catholic Church”.
Archbishop Filipazzi, equally appreciated the collaboration between the governor and the Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Most Rev. Callistus Onaga, stressing that the emergence of the first Auxiliary Bishop of the diocese would enhance the evangelical duties of the church in the state.
In his goodwill message, Gov. Ugwuanyi thanked God for the success of the event and equally expressed gratitude to Pope Francis for finding Most Rev. Obodo worthy of elevation to “this important position”.
The governor, who welcomed the Apostolic Nuncio to Nigeria and other revered clerics of the Catholic Church to the state, expressed joy that the Episcopal consecration was one of “the most glorious and significant” of all the many outstanding events that have happened in the state, saying that the reason was because “it is all about God”.
“As a Catholic and a member of the laity, I feel personally honoured and inspired that this event is taking place under my watch as the Chief Servant of the people of this state and it actually goes to strengthen our conviction that Enugu State is truly in the hands of God,” he said.
Congratulating Bishop Onaga and the entire Catholic Diocese of Enugu on this milestone achievement, Gov. Ugwuanyi stated that it “is another testament to the remarkable growth and progress that the diocese has made since its creation in 1962”.
He therefore, thanked the Catholic Church in the state for the spiritual support, wise counsel, encouragement and leadership that it has offered his administration since inception, pledging to continue to rely on the prayers, solidarity and goodwill of the church “as we work to fulfill the mandate graciously given to us by our people”.