Gov Nwifuru, Anyim, Umahi, Ebonyi leaders, celebrate Elechi at 83

All the leaders of Ebonyi State, including Governor Francis Nwifuru, former Senate President Anyim Pius Anyim, former Governors Sam Egwu and David Umahi, and other leaders of the state, united on Tuesday to celebrate the second civilian governor of the state, Chief Martin Elechi, on his 83rd birthday.

Interestingly, the leaders, who had previously been at odds due to political differences and had refrained from attending public functions together, came together to attend Chief Elechi’s 83rd birthday celebration organized by the state government in Abakaliki.

The leaders arrived at the Christian Ecumenical Centre venue of the event together, marking the first such occurrence in the state in years.

Former Senate President Anyim chaired the occasion and described Elechi as a resilient and uncompromising founding father of the state who fought for the unity that the state currently enjoys.

“This event is to honour the womb that gave birth to the great sons and daughters of this part of the nation called Ebonyi State. By reason of the creation of Ebonyi State, Ebonyi has moved from a rural farming community to a prominent stakeholder in the politics and economy of Nigeria. Today, we celebrate the creation of Ebonyi State. Today, we celebrate the resilience and sacrifices of the founding fathers of Ebonyi State. Today, we celebrate the achievements of Ebonyi as a state. Today, we celebrate H/E Chief Martins Nwancho Elechi, the foremost patriot who fought for the creation of Ebonyi State and secured the opportunities all of us are enjoying today.

“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 the Ebonyi people,” he said.

Anyim also lauded Governor Nwifuru’s style of administration, stating that the governor has proved that wisdom is not a function of age.

Former Governor of the state and former Minister of Education, Senator Sam Egwu, averred that Elechi displayed exemplary leadership as the Governor of the state and made an enormous contribution to its development.

“On his part, the immediate past governor and Minister of Works, Sen. David Umahi, described Chief Elechi as an experienced administrator who taught him administration in governance.

In his speech, Governor Francis Nwifuru said the state had every reason to celebrate Elechi. He commended the former governor for his leadership style and his contribution to the development of the state, describing 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 sagely contributions to our development and political evolution over the decades, the most enduring aspects of his enviable life are his forthrightness, integrity, reliability, and spartan life.

“Those who witnessed the tenure of Chief Elechi as the Governor can attest to the fact that he deployed tact, deft, probity, accountability, respect for the rule of law, and respected the State Civil Service. As a former governor of Ebonyi State, he dutifully served the people with tremendous success from 2007 to 2015. Industrial laxity, disregard for due process, and ethical breaches were all history during his time as governor. He doggedly institutionalised punctuality and discipline in the workplace.

“As a committed democrat, die-hard progressive, and prudent yet compassionate leader of men, Chief Elechi has done much for this state and the progressive family,” he stated.

Elechi, in his remarks, lauded Governor Francis Nwifuru for organising the event in his honour, describing it as the best gift to him. He opined that the governor has opened a new chapter in governance and assured his continued support for his administration. He commended the Ebonyi leaders for the unity among them.



Tribune Online