“Maka Odinamma Anyi”
1. The forty-day long Lenten Season has gradually come to an end, ushering in Easter, when we join fellow Christians the world over to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. On your behalf, I glorify the God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, and the awesome God of David, who gave His only begotten son as atonement for our sins and preserved us to witness yet another celebration of His resurrection, our reassurance and hope for eternal life.
2. However, I must acknowledge that this is an unusual Easter, not only for us as a people but also for the entire humanity as the world currently grapples with the COVID-19 Pandemic. The Coronavirus is by far the worst global health challenge in recent history as it continues to wreck public health, human lives, economies, and social wellbeing of nations, from one end of the earth to the other. Expectedly, the entire world is fighting back in solidarity and in determined effort to contain the pandemic.
3. Unusual times demand unusual measures. Consequently, the Government of Enugu State, in reinforcing the protocol released by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and in response to our local peculiarities, has put in place policies and precautionary measures to prevent communal spread of the deadly virus in our dear State. We are not unmindful of the difficulties and inconveniences that these measures present but they are undoubtedly in the best public interest. Global experience shows that with the Coronavirus Disease, prevention remains the best option, hence the need for social distancing and drastic reduction in the movement of people. I must, therefore, appreciate you all for your understanding and cooperation so far.
4. Meanwhile, going forward and in our collective interest as a people, maka odinamma anyi, all the precautionary measures put in place to mitigate the pandemic remain in force during the Easter celebration and until the government directs otherwise. It is my utmost belief that there will be light at the end of this dreadful tunnel if all of us work with one mind to confront the pandemic. I, therefore, crave your understanding as you bear the temporary inconveniences with calmness and good spirit, cooperating with relevant authorities to ensure full compliance and smooth enforcement of all government directives and measures.
5. Let me commend the 17 Local Government Councils of Enugu State, for showing leadership at this critical time. I commend you for complementing the State Government’s efforts by taking both awareness campaigns and palliatives to our rural communities. Likewise, I commend our traditional rulers, Presidents-General of town unions as well as the town criers for the great job they are doing at enlightening our people at the community level. Commendation also goes to the various security agencies and other relevant public institutions, which have been working hard to enforce compliance and the security of the lives and property of our people at this time.
6. Enugu State is one big, peaceful family and I appreciate our stakeholders and political leaders for reaching out to our people, for being their brothers’ keepers in the spirit of Onye aghana nwanne ya. To our various religious groups and all our revered religious leaders, who have continued to support us with prayers, I say a big thank you for your encouragement.
7. I must single out for special commendation our health workers, who are in the frontline of the war against the Coronavirus Disease. Your love for humanity and your sacrifice to keep Ndi Enugu safe from the pandemic stand you out as true patriots. May our good Lord continue to strengthen and protect you. As a government, we will continue to accord you all the necessary support and encouragement to discharge your duties.
8. Let me conclude by emphasising that the times may be challenging, but we are reassured of victory by the resurrection power of our Lord Jesus Christ and by the fact that Enugu State remains firmly in the hands of God. All we need do is to play our parts as responsible government and citizens at these unusual times. Let us celebrate this Easter in supplications to God, staying safe, and observing the various guidelines and directives released for the prevention of further spread of COVID-19.
May our good Lord continue to bless and keep you.
I wish you a spiritually rewarding Easter celebration.
Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, governor, Enugu state
Enugu State is in the hands of God!