The Chairmen of the seventeen (17) Local Government Areas of Enugu State, under the aegis of the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), said they paid over N6.7 million hospital bills of discharged indigent patients and donated food items to orphanages and correctional centres in the state, worth over N7 million, during Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s 57th birthday, in keeping with the governor’s aged-long tradition of celebrating the annual event.
Throwing more light on the humanitarian gesture, the State Chairman of ALGON, Hon. Solomon Izuchukwu Onah, who is the Council Chairman of Udenu LGA and National Publicity Secretary of the association, pointed out that Gov. Ugwuanyi has consistently celebrated his birthday with prisoners, orphans, the sick and the elderly since he assumed office in 2015. The Council Chairman added that it was a rare display of the governor’s uncommon philanthropy, and identification with the needy and the less privileged.
Hon. Onah explained that the Council Chairmen visited Bishop Shanahan Hospital Nsukka; Children’s Orphanage in Ibeku Opi; Enugu Correctional Centre; Nsukka Correctional Centre; Ezeagu Correctional Centre; Mother of Christ Hospital in Enugu and Enugu Cheshire Home, among others.
He disclosed that they paid the hospital bills of twelve persons who had been discharged from Bishop Shanahan Hospital, Nsukka but were unable to offset the bills, to the admiration of doctors, nurses and the beneficiaries.
At the orphanages, the Cheshire homes and the correctional centres, the council chairmen donated various food items to the inmates.
“We are here as ALGON, Enugu State chapter to identify with you in honour of our dear governor, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi who is celebrating his 57th birthday.
“As you all know, he has always been here on the occasions of his birthday celebrations to ask after your wellbeing, to pray with you and to rejoice with you. It is in the same spirit that we have come here today”,” Hon. Onah told the inmates.
Leading his colleagues from one place to the other, the ALGON boss had the same message: “Our governor is not used to throwing parties and dining with the wealthy during his birthdays. Rather, he often prefers to be with the less privileged. We (ALGON members) have decided to follow the footsteps of the governor and to be with you. We have also come to ask you to always remember him in your prayers”.
An elated Bishop Shanahan Hospital Administrator, Rev. Fr. Greg Onah was full of praises that the Council chairmen settled the bills of twelve discharged patients, saying that it was a thing of joy that they were emulating Gov. Ugwuanyi.
According to Rev. Fr. Onah, “what you people have done as Enugu ALGON members is quite remarkable and commendable. Gov. Ugwuanyi has not failed to identify with the less privileged in the society each birthday circle. That singular act has distinguished him as a rare humanist and philanthropist. So, I thank you (ALGON members) for emulating him and settling the bills of these persons in honour of our governor’s birthday.
“I must tell you that the governor has been surprising us each year. This year’s own is not an exception. Our prayers are that the Almighty God will continue to bless him and his family, give him sound health and the resources to continue to deliver good governance to our people.”
At the Enugu Correctional Centre, the Deputy Controller, Mr. Kolawole lauded Governor Ugwuanyi for associating with the poor in the society. As he put it, “I’ve been here for more than one year, and I am happy to note that Governor Ugwuanyi has kept faith with visiting us and donating vital items to us on the occasion of his birthday. He did it last year and today, you people (LG Chairmen) are here on his behalf. Do extend our gratitude to him as we wish him a momentous birthday”.