Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) at the opening ceremony of its two-day 16th Biennial Conference in Enugu, yesterday, conferred Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State with the ‘Grand Defender of the Faith’ and ‘Defender of the Faith’ awards, respectively.
Speaking at the occasion, newly elected National President of PFN, Bishop Wale Oke, stated that the separate awards conferred on Prof. Osinbajo and Governor Ugwuanyi were in recognition of their dedication to the service of humanity, the nation and state, respectively.
Bishop Oke described the Vice President as “a scholar and lawyer of the first class order, an outstanding pastor, a politician of the new order and a man that enjoys uncommon grace and divine favour.”
He also commended Ugwuanyi for his uncommon leadership qualities and expressed delight at the governor’s simplicity, generosity to PFN and other churches in the state, and disposition as a peaceful and God fearing leader.
“We are sitting here waiting for His Excellency to come in with pomp and pageantry; but all of a sudden, I discovered that they were around; they began to disappear one by one and then somebody just came in, very simple, greeting people.
“I was asking myself could that be the governor? I mean the simplicity? It shows how God fearing and peaceful this man (Ugwuanyi) is.
“And of course, two days ago, as soon as we drove into Enugu, we saw everywhere with the inscription, Enugu State is in the hands of God. Every delegate at Enugu and the nation, repeat after me that Enugu State is the hands of the Lord,” the bishop said.
Vice President Osinbajo who was Special Guest of Honour, expressed gratitude to PFN for the award given to him.
“There can be no more coveted preferment than that conferred by one’s brethren. I pray that you all will receive not just honour from men here on earth, but in the end also from the Lord God Almighty in Jesus name,” he said.
The vice president also congratulated Bishop Oke for his emergence as National President of PFN, stressing “this nation is the apple of God’s eyes and this journey will end in praise to the glory of His name.”
Governor Ugwuanyi welcomed the Vice President to Enugu for the occasion and congratulated the new PFN National President and wished him a successful tenure.
The governor, who was accompanied by his deputy, Mrs. Cecilia Ezeilo, also congratulated the PFN for the successful election of a new National President of the organisation, and thanked the body for choosing Enugu for its 16th biennial conference.
He urged PFN to continue to pray for the peace, security and progress of Enugu State and Nigeria in general.