GOVERNOR Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State at the weekend boosted the chances of ordinary citizens of the state to go on pilgrimage to Israel, when he offered to pay for raffle tickets for 9,100 persons wishing to win free tickets for the trip.
Ugwuanyi announced the gesture at Michael Okpara Square, Enugu, during a special day of prayers for the state and its leadership, and launching of Win-A- Trip-To- Israel (WATTI) promo organized by the Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Board in conjunction with the National Lottery Regulatory Commission.
The governor drew applause from the huge gathering during the prayer session when he announced that he would purchase raffle tickets for 35 persons in each of the 260 electoral wards in the state.
The announcement meant that a total of 9,100 persons would get the raffle tickets at the cost of #500 each, which would amount to #4,550,000.
Governor Ugwuanyi charged them to pray constantly and intensively for the nation’s leaders to enable them discharge the affairs of government with the fear of God, as well as initiate and implement human-oriented projects and policies for the benefit of all.
He commended the organizers of the event led by the Executive Secretary, Pilgrims Welfare Board, Mr. John Kennedy Opara, for their interest in providing succor for the public through the event.
Speaking , Mr. Opara and the Director General, Nigeria Lottery Commission, Abuja, Mr. Adolphus Joe Ekpe, said the exercise was put in place to diversify the sponsorship of the trip to Israel to other areas, including individuals , corporate organizations and churches rather than focusing on government alone for sponsorship.
The governor further disclosed that he paid for the tickets to enable ordinary people of the state participate maximally in the exercise despite the present economic crunch.
Addressing the crowd from various Christian denominations that converged on Michael Okpara Square, the governor told them that the various beneficiaries would be drawn from 260 wards of the state bringing the total number to about 9,100 persons.