Photo Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State (left), receives Souvenir for Ambassador of Pilgrimage 2024 Award from the Executive Secretary of National Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC), Bishop Stephen Adegbite, when the latter led his officials on a thank you visit to the Governor for sponsoring 1000 Christians on pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 2023 at Government House Owerri... Monday

We are partners in progress, Uzodimma tells National Christian Pilgrims Commission

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…Gets Award as ‘Pilgrimage Governor of the year 2023’

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Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State (left), receives Souvenir for Ambassador of Pilgrimage 2024 Award from the Executive Secretary of National Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC), Bishop Stephen Adegbite, when the latter led his officials on a thank you visit to the Governor for sponsoring 1000 Christians on pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 2023 at Government House Owerri… Monday

The Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodimma has told the leadership of the National Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC) that they are partners in progress with him in the service to God and humanity.

He made the remarks on Monday at the Government House, Owerri while playing host to the Executive Secretary of NCPC, Bishop Stephen Adegbite, who led his top officials on a thank you visit to Governor Uzodimma for sponsoring a historical 1000 Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land in 2023.

The Executive Secretary and his team did not come empty-handed as they presented the Governor with two souvenirs from NCPC, with Bishop Adegbite announcing him the “Pilgrimage Governor of the Year 2023” and consequently, the ‘’first Pilgrimage Ambassador of the Commission in Nigeria.”

Making the presentation to the Governor at the New Exco Chambers, Bishop Adegbite explained that “the award was necessitated by the unprecedented sponsorship by the Governor of 1,000 Christians from the State to the Holy land in 2023, which is the first of its kind from any Governor/Government of a State and FCT in Nigeria.”

He further appreciated the Governor for what he described as his “overall support to the National Pilgrimage, the Imo Pilgrims Welfare Board and the Christian Association of Nigeria in general,” and requested the Governor to “do more.”

Bishop Adegbite congratulated the Governor on his re-election for a second tenure, noting that his return by the people of Imo State “is not a surprise looking at the several achievements of the Governor in his first tenure.”

Describing the Governor as “a willing shepherd ready to lead his people, the man with the golden heart and full of expectations from his people,” Bishop Adegbite added that “the Governor has given hope to the hopeless, homeless, and the disadvantaged, as well as lives to the people.”

Bishop Adegbite who proceeded to reel out the things Governor Uzodimma has done in the different sectors of the economy in Imo State used the opportunity to woo the Governor to join in an ‘’Executive Pilgrimage’’ with his wife so that the Governor can experience in Israel, what he has been experiencing in the past 23 years of travelling to the place, and possibly tap from the country’s agricultural potentials, “though a country in the desert.”

He noted that the award to the Governor is to appreciate and encourage him to do more.

Receiving his guests, Governor Uzodimma thanked the NCPC for deeming it fit and necessary to honour him with the Award and right away, dedicated same to the Almighty God.

He recalled how Imo State, before 2023, was besieged by crime and criminality and challenged in all fronts, noting that “after applying kinetic solutions to no avail,  it became necessary to seek the face of God by crying to God as a non-kinetic approach.”

“It is as a result of this that I decided to send 1,000 Christians in Imo State to go to the Holy Land to pray and seek the face of God.  When they came back God heard their prayers and today Imo State is Safe.”

Governor Uzodimma added that “as Christians we must always commit to those activities in the scriptures,” insisting that, “we did it before, we will do it again, God willing.”

Earlier, he described Bishop Adegbite “as a committed and morally guided Christian whose appointment was acknowledged nationally as a round peg in a round hole.”

The Governor however requested the leadership of the NCPC to endeavour to give those who have not been to the pilgrimage before the opportunity to have the experience.

While welcoming the visitors on behalf of the Government of Imo State, the Secretary to the State Government, Chief Cosmas Iwu, said the State was not surprised over the Award to the Governor going by  the unprecedented number of Christians he sent to pilgrimage in 2023. He said the appreciation was an indication that “one good turn deserves another.”

Iwu who joined the NCPC in congratulating the Governor on the Award and honour, described him as “a man of many parts who has carved a niche for himself in law making, governance, religion, education, empowerment, digital-economy and many others,” adding that, “the Award is another feather to the cap of the Governor.”

The Deputy Governor,  Lady  Chinyere Ekomaru, the Chief of Staff, Barr. Nnamdi Anyaehie and other top Government functionaries joined the Governor in receiving the visitors.

The Executive Secretary and his national officers were accompanied on the visit by the Federal Commissioner representing South East in the Commission, Mr. Clement Nweke, the CAN Chairman in Imo State, Rev Eches Divine Eches, the Very Rev. ( John Iwe (Vicar General Okigwe Diocese who represented the Bishop of Okigwe Diocese), the Chaplain, Government House, Rev. Fr.  Gilbert Alaribe and other Christian faithful.

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