*says more Ebonyians deserve national honours
By; MKPUMA ENYINNA, Abakaliki
Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State has pledged to carry out more empowerment programmes to take away Ebonyians from poverty.
He noted that he will extend his administration’s empowerment intervention to Ebonyi indigenes living in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja.
Speaking in Abuja on Tuesday during a reception organized for national honour recipients from Ebonyi State, the governor explained that his empowerment programmes are aimed at ensuring that Ebonyi people are lifted above the poverty line.
” We are a hardworking people who deserve to reap the benefits of our labour. I will continue to work for the upliftment of our people,” he vowed.
On the national honours, Umahi thanked the President for the honour given to deserving Ebonyi people, but noted that more Ebonyians ought to have been honoured.
” We submitted fifteen names but surprisingly, only seven were honoured. I have protested and got assured that something is being done. Let us keep the lively and trustworthy Ebonyi spirit alive in us at all times and show the world that we have come of age,” he said.
Also, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) and coordinating commissioner, Dr Kenneth Ugbala in an opening remark, noted that the reception was put together to celebrate the award recipients and enjoined all to keep performing outstandingly in their fields of endeavour to attract the right recognition.
In a goodwill message, the President of Ebonyi community in Abuja, Barr. Cletus Afoke thanked Governor Umahi for giving all Ebonyi people reasons to raise their shoulders high among people of the South East and Nigeria at large.
“Before now, when you say you are from Ebonyi, you will get scornful looks, but not anymore. People now want to associate with us because of what the governor has turned our state into. We are grateful”.
Former Chief Judge of the state, Justice Alloy Nwankwo enjoined Ebonyians to keep working hard to attract requisite recognition and expressed delight that the number of national honours recipients from the state is increasing.
Speaking on behalf of the recipients, General Abel Obi Umahi (rtd) thanked the governor for putting forward their names, noting that the rigorous process that followed, makes the honour well deserved.
The occasion was massively attended by the recipients, the Speaker of Ebonyi State House of Assembly and his deputy, top government officials, prominent Ebonyians living in Abuja and beyond and friends of Ebonyi State.