Ebonyi: Anyim, Egwu, Umahi, Nwifuru unite at ex-gov Elechi’s birthday

After years at loggerheads, leaders of Ebonyi State including Governor Francis Nwifuru, former Senate President Anyim Pius Anyim, former governors Sam Egwu, David Umahi and Martin Elechi, seem to have settled their differences.

The leaders have not been attending public functions together until Tuesday, when all of them gathered to celebrate the 83rd birthday of former governor Elechi in Abakaliki.

Elechi’s birthday celebration was organised by the Ebonyi State Government.

The event, which took place at the Christian Ecumenical Centre, attracted personalities both far and near.

The former Secretary to Government of the Federation, Anyim, who chaired the event, described Elechi as a foremost, resilient and uncompromising founding father of the state who fought for the unity the state is enjoying.

“it is true that Chief Elechi was the Governor of Ebonyi State but I tell you, that was just a calling to fill a vacuum which he accepted in his usual willingness to make the utmost sacrifice for Ebonyi people,” Anyim said.

Former governor of the state and ex-Minister of Education, Sam Egwu averred that Elechi displayed exemplary leadership as governor of the state and made enormous contributions to its development.

“Your dedication and tireless effort in spearheading the struggle for the creation of the state has left an indelible mark on the history of our beloved state.

“Your resilience in the struggle for the creation of Ebonyi State served as an inspiration to countless individuals, myself included.

“At the end of my tenure as the first democratically elected governor of the state, I felt naturally happy to transmit the administration of the new state to you who spearheaded the struggle of the state creation.

“As a governor, you demonstrated exemplary leadership and made significant contributions to the development of our state,” Egwu said, pouring encomiums on Elechi.

On his part, Elechi’s successor and Minister of Works, Umahi described him as an experienced administrator who taught him administration in governance.

In his speech, Governor Nwifuru said the state had every reason to celebrate Elechi.

Nwifuru commended the former governor for his leadership style and his contribution to the development of the state.

He described Elechi as one of the most respected elders in the state, Igbo land and the nation in general.

“Chief Elechi no doubt remains one of our respected elder statesmen in Ebonyi State who continues to offer rare insights and counsel on how best to organise our state, with the benefits of hindsight, for effective governance.

“I have benefited immensely from Chief Elechi’s knowledge and perspectives on a wide range of issues as they affect our state. As an astute politician, he has been part of every political epoch in our state.

“Beyond his sage contributions to our development and political evolution over the decades, the most enduring aspect of his enviable life is his forthrightness, integrity, reliability and spartan life.”

Elechi, in his remarks, lauded Nwifuru for organizing the event in his honour, describing it as the best gift to him.

He stated that the governor has opened a new chapter in governance and assured of his continued support to his administration.

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