By Aplefe Ojong
The Governor of Cross River state, Senator Ben Ayade has been commended for appointing a son of Utukalu, Mr. Martin Orim as his new Chief of Staff.
Coordinator, Utukalu Elite Forum, Comrade Cosmas Okiri, who gave the commendation during a courtesy call of the group on the Chief of Staff in his Office in Calabar on Thursday, said that the group is happy with the appointment of Mr. Orim as the Chief of Staff by the governor, Senator Ayade.
He explained that the essence of the visit was to express solidarity with Orim and appreciation to Governor Ayade over the appointment, adding that the Forum comprising of persons from the five political wards of Utukalu made up of Alege/Ubang, Ukpe, Utugwang North, Utugwang Central and Utugwang South Wards of Obudu Local Government Areas.
“We thought it wise to come around to encourage you, appreciate you and let you know that you have brothers and sisters out there who are very happy with your appointment, the honor with which the governor has done you and the entire people of Utukalu, and be rest assured that we will always be there for you”.
Another member of the group and Director with the CRBC, Mr. Agba Ekunkeogah said that the visit was meant to show solidarity with the Chief of Staff and expressed appreciation to the Governor, Senator Ayade for honoring the Utukalu people with the appointment of Mr. Orim as the COS, and for keeping faith with his promise to the people, adding, he assured the Chief of Staff of the unreserved loyalty of the people of Utukalu to the administration of Ayade.
Responding, the Chief of Staff to the governor, Mr. Martin Orim said that Governor Ayade has fulfilled the promise he made to the people of Utukalu that the first major appointment was going to come from the five wards of Utukalu by his appointment as the Chief of Staff by the governor, and assured the people that Ayade will equally fulfil the other promise as well as take care of the interest of Utukalu in subsequent appointments.
He stressed the need for the entire people of Obudu to give unreserved support to the administration of Governor Ayade, now that the mantle of leadership is on the shoulder of the son of the area, asserting that the entire state is watching Obudu and that if Ayade is successful, the entire Obudu has succeeded, and history will remember that when we were given opportunity, we made good use of it .
The Chief of Staff equally explained that the administration is currently concentrating on laying a solid economic foundation for the state and that presently the governor is in Ireland meeting with investors who are coming to invest in Cross River State.
“As of Friday last week, I met with the investors who want to establish a refinery in the state and we have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the people and the documents have been submitted, while the process is almost 30 percent completed and the project will take up soon” the Chief of staff stated.
Orim lauded the members of the Utukalu Elite Forum for the visit and described it unique because “It is a visit from my immediate constituency cutting across the five Wards of Utukalu. I know that a politician who does not have a base is not a politician, as the strength of any politician lies with the people. I’m so honored by the visit because I also see it as a new beginning of stronger support from the people of Utukalu to the administration of Governor Ayade”.
Other members of the forum on the visit were the former Chairman of Obudu, Hon. Tony Ador Adah, Oli Olowhu Oli, Agbor Emma Jerry, Eneji Sam Ashibi, Boniface Ewhe, Victor Necus-Agba, Oliver U. Ally, Richard Ekonesi Orim, Aji Odili Opoh, Dr. Ekwuore M. Ushie, Agba Ekunkeogah, and Mary A. Ogem.
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