God Almighty, the maker of the universe, is a Spirit. He created man in his image. So, man is a spirit. However, unlike God, man is a spirit but dwells inside a body. The physical man is made up of the body, the spirit and the soul. The body is like the clothes we wear to the spirit, which is the image of God. The soul is the seat of intellect and emotions. A corrupt soul seeks to please the body. The body, the carnal flesh, is at war with the human spirit,that is, the spiritman. When the soul feeds the flesh with its many desires, it produces a carnal man. Carnality cannot please God because God is a Spirit. The works of the flesh as we read in Galatians 5:19- 20 are manifest in adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, to mention no more. The bible is careful to say that they in whom the works of the flesh are manifest shall not inherit the Kingdom of God. But they who manifest the fruit of the spirit, the true worshipers of God in truth and in the spirit, are headed for the kingdom.
By their fruits we shall know them. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi undoubtedly manifests the fruit of the spirit. This even begins with the love he has for God and which also finds expression in his love for men. Governor Ugwuanyi loves all in equal terms, both friends and foes. He is a child of God in whom the spirit of God fully dwells. Little wonder he manifests love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, faith, meekness temperance and goodness (These are the sure signs the spirit of God dwells in him). Even a particular song often rendered in Igbo, “Ifeanyi bu onye udo O’; Ifeanyi bu onye udo O’; Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi bu onye udo O’,” speaks volumes about His Excellency’s peaceful disposition. Ugwuanyi is also called the gentle lion and this is evident of his geniality. Ugwuanyi is also celebrated for his humility. He is meek-hearted, loving ad caring and the joy he exudes crystalizes in his dimples and smiles that flow through his gap-toothed dentition. Need more be said about Ugwuanyi bearing the fruit of the spirit? Of course no!
When Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi came into power, the very first thing he did was hand Enugu State into the hands of God as reflected in the mantra: Enugu State is in the hands of God. The bible records that anything handed into the hands of God, He is able to keep. And God has continued to keep Enugu State for the last six years of Ugwuanyi’s reign. It is also a well-known fact that Ugwuanyi places God first in all he does. Before he makes a speech in public gathering,he would first acknowledge the Almighty God thus: ” God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, the awesome God of David. These are the great ones in the cloud of witness who so much pleased God that he attached Himself to their names and told the children of Israel these would be His names forever. Besides acknowledging God with the names that pleases Him, Ugwuanyi would allow a long time of praises and worship to pass before his speech.
Forgetfulness is a sin which many an insensitive folk may not so acknowledge. It is a sign of pride and disloyalty. It is an act of ingratitude. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has shown the world how to be grateful to the Almighty God. Ugwuanyi had on many occasions remembered from where the rains started beating him,as Achebe would say, for there is no living soul whom the rains of life had not beaten.. He would remember that he had a humble background and had wondered at the goodness of the Almighty God who raised the lowly humble to the unexpected heights. He, would bless God thankfully for making him a governor despite his background. This is also a sure sign of humility. All that Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi does is to please God. So he rules Enugu State with the fear of God.
Few days ago, the Ugwuanyi administration sent Christian pilgrims from Enugu State to Jordan, the newly approved destination for Nigerian Christian pilgrims.Incidentally,Enugu State is the first to send pilgrims to Jordan. This is in Ugwuanyi’s clear understanding of the spiritual essence of pilgrimage. Ugwuanyi has the understanding that the spiritual controls the physical. Things first take place in the spirit realm before they manifest in the physical. The onerous task of governing Enugu State in the present circumstance of COVID-19, insecurity in the nation, blighting economy and political uncertainties, requires the seeking of the face of God,for by strength shall no man prevail. So, it is worth the while to send Christians of Enugu. extraction to visit the holy land and seek spiritual solutions to the myriad of challenges facing the state and the nation, Nigeria.
This can only be done by a spiritual person who can rise above the carnality of office perquisites and vainglorious power at one’s disposal.It takes a lot of sacrifices and self-denial to attain spiritual heights and Ugwuanyi is mindful of this and faithfully inclines himself and his administration to pursue that which is good.
At the holy land, the pilgrims would fast and pray and visit monumental sites. Such visit to monumental sites of antiquity has a way of buoying up the faith of the pilgrims and bring out their commitment to the spiritual essence of the pilgrimage. It will also help them in mind renewal and moral regeneration which would have a way of rubbing off on the people of the state spiritually.
Some social media folks had queried the importance of the pilgrimage and had attributed it to waste of funds. Besides their lacking in the spiritual and moral value chains of the exercise, it has both political and economic implications. The Executive Secretary of Enugu State Scholarship Board, Barr. Levi Abonyi and his counterpart Executive Secretary, in charge of Privatisation, Barr. Forster Aniebolam Ugwuoke, who were among the pilgrims, were sighted holding talks with the vice chancellor of a foremost university in Jordan on the possibility of awarding scholarships to Enugu State locals to study in the university. Besides this, the pilgrimage has the capacity to enhance diplomatic ties with Jordan in terms of trade partnerships which could enhance exchange programmes in skills acquisition, franchise and international marketing benefits across the two divides. So, it is ignorant, perhaps mischievous, of anyone to doubt the benefits of the pilgrimage.
In all, Ugwuanyi places God first. He is deep in spirituality and this has to a large extent enhanced his sterling performance in all developmental sectors of Enugu State. Indeed, Enugu State is in the hands of God.
By Reuben Onyishi