By Jonathan Ugbal; Government House Correspondent
Cross Riverians Tuesday, in Calabar planted trees to celebrate Governor Ben Ayade as he clocks 48 with heads of media outfits operating in the state also felicitating with him.
The Information Commissioner, Rosemary Archibong led staff under her ministry to a park behind the Nigeria Red Cross office in Calabar to plant 48 trees, each signifying a year in the governor’s life.
According to Archibong, the gesture was to give a gift that speaks volumes about the governor’s passion for combating climate change and to orientate the citizenry to join hands and support the Ayade led administration by planting a tree.
“We know that his Excellency is very particular about forest regeneration and climate change. That is the reason why he has christened our Carnival the Green Carnival.
“It is ideal to give someone the gift that he or she appreciates the most on his or her birthday, and we in the information family feel that our governor who is very concerned about greenery and climate change should be given something unique and that is why we are planting 48 trees, each marking one year of his life.
“As an orientation message, we are asking people to celebrate his Excellency by keying into his policies and his passion which one of them is planting a tree. Wherever you are, plant a tree” she said.
The Editorial Board of CrossRiverWatch in a message wished him many more years while pledging to play the role of an effective watchdog to ensure the successful implementation of positive policies and programs of the state government under Governor Ayade in a bid to secure a better future for Cross Riverians.
In a short statement, the organization said, “We in CrossRiverWatch wish the governor 48 hearty cheers and wish him well as he strives to reconstruct Cross River’s socio-economy and further the course of mankind positively.
“As gentlemen of the fourth estate of the realm, we will continue to report ethically, his administration’s activities, policies and programs as well as give every necessary support to see to the success of his administration.”
The General Managers of the State owned media outfits, Cross River Broadcasting Corporation (CRBC) and Cross River Newspaper Corporation (CHRONICLE), Theresa Essien and Emmanuel Akpong respectively in their messages wished the governor long life while lauding his policies.
“We are taking a cue from you, you have a passion for the earth and for greenery, for continuity because we know that the color green signifies a rebirth, rejuvenation and all the positive things of life because once you have a green color around you it signifies life” Essien said.
“This is the most symbolic gesture that a set of people, especially the media can show to him on this special occasion. The planting of trees, a project that the governor himself is so passionate about, I want to say that for the Commissioner to initiate this, I think she is the best facilitator of that project.” Akpong added.
Also, the Chairman of the Nigeria Labor Congress, Cross River State chapter, John Ushie said the idea of planting trees to mark the governor’s birthday is laudable even as he hoped workers in the state will enjoy a cordial relationship with the governor.
“Though this is celebrated by the information ministry family and being a member, however, on behalf of the workers of this state, I want to say a happy birthday to our digital governor and wish him well and many more years to celebrate. We know that the governor has come and he has passion for the workers and I know that when he settles down, the workers will enjoy him”
John said, Ayade, a native of Kakum in Obudu local government area was born on March 2, 1968 to the family of the Ayade’s.
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