Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State has empowered about 5,000 Ministers of God in the State with grants totaling over N500 million.
The Ministers of God comprised 2,500 Pastors under the umbrella of the “Divine Mandate pastors”, a spiritual arm of the Governor’s Campaign Organization, and other men and women of God drawn from the five main blocs of the Christian Association of Nigeria.
Flagging off the distribution of the grants at the Pa Ngele Oruta Township Stadium, Abakaliki on Tuesday, Governor Umahi explained that the act was part of the divine instruction he received for the prosperity of the State.
He noted that inasmuch as the Ministers of God were not excluded in the challenges and vicissitudes of life, it was also pertinent that they be provided with means of creating additional wealth for their wellbeing.
He stated that one of the sure ways of eliminating poverty and corruption in the country was for all and sundry to get involved in agriculture and other businesses capable of creating employment and self sufficiency.
Umahi, who described the fund as a mustard seed, projected that it was capable of yielding over N4 billion into the economy of the State in the next two years and admonished the pastors to put it into effective use.
Appreciating the Christian Association of Nigeria in the State as well as the Divine mandate pastors, Umahi emphasized that their collective prayers were responsible for the peace and stability of his administration.
He further announced that the campaign for his second term election would be flagged-off on November 19 with general fasting and prayer involving all the Ministers of God under the divine mandates platform.
Umahi said: “Christianity and ministering God’s word is a very difficult walk because every step you take will always be analyzed.
“It was in my interaction with this multitude of God’s people that I realized that pastors and Bishops are not insulated from temptation and the challenges of life.
“So today, we are here to prove that temptation, poverty, idleness, loneliness, lack of knowledge, they do not know who is a pastor and who is not a pastor.
“The challenges of life are basically the product of our environment.
“So, every pastor must have something doing.
“When you get involved in business, you now realize and get more experience and training on how to mediate among brethren and you can get involved.
“So, it is God’s instruction that we invest this knowledge in our men and women of God and I know with their prayers, these monies will become mustard seeds in their hands and it will prosper, benefit the Church, their families and society.”
In her remarks, the leader of the Divine Mandate pastors and the Senior Pastor of Christ Embassy Church, Abakaliki, Eunice Oyeyemi, explaimed that organization was borne out of Governor Umahi’s absolute confidence in God as the ultimate source of all powers and positions.
Oyeyemi noted that the empowerment was a demonstration that it is better to teach a man how to fish rather than giving him fish always.
The Chairman of the occasion and the CAN Chairman in the State, Rev. Father Abraham Nwali, as well as the State Commissioner for Economic Empowerment and Job creation, Uchenna orji, chronicled the various empowerment schemes of the Governor, describing them as quite unique and in tandem with the vision and mission of his administration to change the fortunes of the State for the better.
The sum of N1.5 million has also been approved for the empowerment and training of the Ministers of God to equip them for effective management of the grant.
The training commences on Wednesday.