Akwa Ibom Deputy Governor Lauds Obiano’s Giant Strides in Two Years

By Emeka Ozumba

More commendations and accolades have continued to trail Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano who is on the verge of marking two years in office by March 17, 2016 with the latest coming from the Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Moses Ekpo who described the development strides of the governor as "achievements designed to fulfill the work of mercy."

Deputy Governor Ekpo made the assertion, Sunday, at St. Patricks’ Cathedral Awka, Anambra State after a special Mass to Flag-off of the 2016 National Laity Week of the Catholic Laity Council of Nigeria.

According to the Deputy Governor who was also Chairman 2016 National Laity Week Flag-off, “I have seen developments in Anambra and I was privileged to watch a one-hour Documentary which portrayed the work of mercy done in this state by Governor Obiano in two years. I wish to thank governor Obiano and his wife for their dedication in meeting the needs of the widows and the less privileged. I have no doubt that they kick-started the process of these achievements which clearly meet the theme of the Laity Week, “Merciful Like the Father,” when they came into office two years ago."

Deputy Governor Ekpo who recalled pleasant memories of his time in Anambra as a broadcast journalist and public servant said that God must have influenced the choice of Awka for the 2016 National Laity Week and thanked the Laity for giving him the opportunity to visit Awka after many years.

He also thanked God for the victory of his Governor and himself at the Supreme Court, which he noted afforded him the opportunity to fulfill the promise of attending the Laity Week, and pledged to continue to support the‎Catholic Laity Council.

In his own remarks, the host governor and Chief Guest of Honour of the 2016 National laity Week, Chief Willie Obiano thanked Deputy Governor Ekpo for his kind words and expressed happiness that the Catholic Laity Council had found Anambra a worthy host for this important event.

Said he:“I believe that God guided you alright to come and enjoy the peace and tranquility we have here. Anambra is the safest state in Nigeria and I know you will be at home among us as you deliberate on the work of the laity. The Laity is a very important arm of the Church. As the Bishop said, the clergy cannot do without the Laity and the Laity cannot do without the clergy. “

Governor Obiano also thanked the Catholic Bishop of Awka and the congregation for being good hosts to members of the Laity, and called on all to pray for Nigeria and Anambra state.

Earlier, the Catholic Bishop of Awka, His Lordship Most Rev. Dr. Paulinus Ezeokafor underlined the importance of the National Laity Council, stressing that the clergy and Laity are very important because they make the church. He told the congregation that "we are very fortunate to be in a position to close the lent in a unique way, knowing that God is always there for us."

The Bishop stated that in Anambra State the church and the state are working together and defined the Governor’s responsibility as that aimed at improving on the lives of the people and thanked God for governor Obiano, whom he told, “you are doing well.”

Furthermore in his Homily, the Bishop established the link between the church's 2016 Year of mercy and the Theme of the Laity Week, “Merciful Like the Father." He noted that God does not want the death of the sinner, but his repentance. He therefore cautioned the tendency by some to wallow in sin in the belief that God will forgive, and told the congregation not to forget that God remains God of justice.

In his 2016 Message, National President of Laity Council of Nigeria, Barr Chizoba Nnagboh, said that the theme of the Laity Week was chosen in line with the Year of Mercy to enable the “lay faithful effectively key into the activities of the Extraordinary jubilee Year of Mercy so as to reap its abundant spiritual fruits. “

He commended governor Obiano, his wife and the Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom state for gracing the Flag-off amongst many other dignitaries including the former National Chairman of APGA, Chief Victor Umeh who is standing election for the Anambra Central Senatorial Zone.