The opposition All Progressives Congress in Ebonyi State has been challenged never to pre-judge the outcome of 2019 elections in the state based on the recent Ekiti State governorship election experience.
Governor David Umahi, leading the Peoples democratic Party government in Ebonyi State, gave the challenge on Friday during his valedictory address and flag-off of Basic Travel Allowance presentation to Ebonyi State Pilgrims in Abakaliki.
Umahi, who derided the opposition for thinking that they would win the election by use of military power as displayed in Ekiti State, noted that there was great difference in both the spirit and leadership personality between Ekiti and the State, adding that no mortal man has the power to upturn a divine commission.
Speaking on the general condition of the country under the All progressive Congress, Umahi decried that Nigeria more than ever was troubled and bedevilled by so much suffering, insecurity, oppression, hatred, division and segregation, adding that mutual suspicion abound, even among the leaders.
He tasked the pilgrims to be fervent in praying for the nation while in the Holy Land, maintaining that the country at this time required those who would doggedly stand in the gap to avert the seemingly divine judgement passed against Nigeria.
Umahi said: “This is very, very important.
“It is in the situation we find ourselves in Nigeria that Esther said I will go and if I perish, I perish.
“We are seeking for men and women that would stand in the gap for this nation.
“The nation is troubled.
“It is as if judgment has come upon our nation.
“That is why I feel excited that in a time like this, you are going to the Holy Land.
“It is very important that you say like Esther if I perish, I perish; that in the presence of God that you get lost and begin to talk to God about this nation.
“There is judgment upon the nation.
“There is so much suffering, so much oppression, so much hatred, so much division, so much segregation and suspicion, even among leaders
“So we must know that our nation is troubled and I feel very bad when people talk like gods.
“Some people said they will use Army, they will use Police, they will do what happened in Ekiti.
“I want to let them know that the spirit of Ekiti is different from Ebonyi.
“The grace in Ebonyi different from the grace in Ekiti.
“A child of God is on the throne and I came by the finger of God.
“So our confidence is in the Lord.
“The Bible says who is it that speaks when the Lord has not spoken.”
Umahi further urged the pilgrims to show great deal of integrity and moral values while they also “pray for our party primaries…pray for our election, pray for our finances…that the good Lord would continue to bind Ebonyi State as one united family.”
Addressing the pilgrims earlier, the Chairman, Ebonyi State Pilgrims Welfare Board, Rev. Father Abraham Nwali, expressed optimism that they would come back with the much required spiritual transformation and rejuvenation.
Nwali noted that pilgrimage to Israel reminds Christians that “we are sojourners in the world”, adding that pilgrimage is a fulfilment of age long Biblical prophesy and advised the pilgrims to be disciplined, careful, show contentment and avoid all acts of abscondment while in the Holy land.
In a goodwill message delivered by the Federal Commissioner of the Nigeria Pilgrims Welfare Board, South East zone, Rev. Emmanuel Ebomuche, he eulogized Umahi for both his infrastructural innovations in the State and his goodwill in sponsoring the pilgrims, adding that Ebonyi State was the first State at the moment to sponsor pilgrims to the Holy Land.
The pilgrims, who would be airlifted on Monday, are to combine the pilgrimage to the Holy Land with agricultural tour of Israel as explained by the State Chairman of the Pilgrims Welfare Board.