The Rivers State Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has conferred award of Excellence on three best Council Chairmen in the State in recognition of their fight against the dreaded global pandemic, COVID-19.
Those honoured included Hon. Samuel Nwanosike of Ikwerre Local Government Area, Hon Hope Ikiriko of Ahoada West Local Government Area and Hon Philip Okparaji of Eleme LGA. Presenting the awards which held at the Ecumenical centre, Port Harcourt, the Christian leaders said that the awards came through the findings of its COVID-19 implementation team led by Senior Amb. Ekiye C. Ekiye.
“This Committee worked assiduously and religiously from one Local Government Area to the other enforcing the rules, implementing all the directives and as well monitoring the various Local Government activities in handling of the COVID-19 matters.”
The outcome, they said, was the final assessment and analysis of the CAN state executives on the 23 Local Government Councils reports.”
In his speech, the CAN chairman Most Special Apostle, Stanley Dimkpa pointed out that the efforts and activities of the honoured chairmen attracted the Christian body to bestow the awards of excellence on them.
He encouraged them not to deter but continue in their commendable activities, adding that CAN and other well meaning entities are observing and taking notes and will always be there to support, encourage and even criticize when necessary.
The CAN chairman used the opportunity to appreciate the almighty God for the protection of the people, congratulate the best performing council chairmen and as well commend the Rivers State governor in the fight against the spread of the disease.
Apostle Dimkpa appealed to Rivers people and residents not to lower their guards as according to him, the pandemic is very much around.
“We should know that the pandemic is still with us and so ensure that we take responsibility to fight the spread,” he warned.
He equally used the chance to reel out the achievements of the CAN administration since it came on board more than one year ago amidst challenges to include the consolidation of the body to the glory of God. He however appealed to well-meaning stakeholders to support the Christian body for the propagation of the gospel.
Responding, Kelga Chairman, Hon. Nwanosike thanked the organizers for the recognition. He also thanked the governor for the opportunity and training he gave them to show-case their talents. He promised to partner with CAN in their activities and to concretize this promise, the chairman pledged a monthly subvention of N100,000 to the Christian body from the Ikwerre Local Government Council.
In his part, the Ahoada West Local Government Council, Hon. Hope Ikiriko while also expressing appreciation, promised the support of the council to CAN in any way possible.
He used the opportunity to advised the Christian leaders to work in unity in their various ways with their resources.
“You don't need to be the chairman of CAN to serve God or humanity. This should be the end of court cases among the children of God, especially in the Christian body,” he declared.
The Eleme LG Council chairman, Hon. Philip Okparaji who dedicated the award to his Eleme people thanked CAN for the recognition, adding that it will spur them to do more.
He maintained that despite all odds, Eleme people remained peaceful and understanding.
He reassured the Christian leaders of his commitment towards ensuring that the people of Eleme remain free from the COVID-19 disease.
Okparaji stated that Governor Wike's proactive leadership and dogged response against the Coronavirus inspired the 23 LGA chairmen to follow suit. He also made an undisclosed commitment to support the body.
The award presentation was preceded by a brief praise and worship, singing of hymns as well as bible readings by the recipients.
All the Rivers State officers of CAN were present at the event including Monsignor Cyprian Onwuli, Vice Chairman; Archbishop Emmanuel Ogu, Secretary; Pst. Amb John Odinichi, Asst. Secretary; Dame (Dr.) Sotonye Donbraye, Treasurer; Rev. Fr. Michael Akere, Esq, Director, Legal/Public Affairs; Sir Dele Wickliffe, Director, PRS, Apostle (Dr.) B. A. Isaac, Director, Ecumenical/Inter-faith; Elder Apostle Timothy Ogbu, Director, Youth, Women and Edn, and Mrs. Jamila Danladi, Director, State issues.