By Inyali Peter
The Cross River state government has lauded the impact created by the humanitarian gesture of the state command of the Peace Corps of Nigeria across the state.
The state governor, Senator Ben Ayade who made the commendation when he joined the command to present gift items worth millions of naira and cash donations to an orphanage home located at Uwanse in Calabar yesterday, said that the passion of members of the organization to touch lives despite their lean resources is “unbelievable”.
Items presented includes bags of rice, over ten cartons of indomie, bags of detergent, kerosene, cartons of bathing soap, cartons of baby foods, rolls of tissues amongst other things.
Ayade who spoke through the state Youths and Sports Commissioner, Comrade Asu Okang maintained that the government will continue to partner with the organization to maintain peaceful and serene environment in the state especially during the festive period.
According to him, “As a government, we are amazed by the passion and magnanimity of the state command of the Peace Corps. Barely few months ago, we read on paper how their state commandant doled out gifts to two of his former schools and today the command is here again to celebrate Christmas with these children. This is how it should be; this is the complete definition of patriotism.
“What they are doing here today is a huge relief on the part of government and it’s what every Nigerian should commend and encourage especially when you consider that they are still a Non-Governmental Organization without funding from government.
“I want to encourage other paramilitary and security agencies in the state to key into this drive because it represents the hallmark of our administration. The governor’s commitment to ameliorate the sufferings of Cross Riverians is not because as a state we have so much but because he cares enough. You see this through his prompt payment of salaries and as we speak, salaries for December have been paid to enable people prepare for Christmas”.
While presenting the items, the state Commandant of the organization, Patriot Dominic Okweche said that touching lives positively has been a passion and his personal drive which the corps has given him opportunity to demonstrate.
Okweche said that “Some of the items you see here are products of huge sacrifices by myself, my men and the organization at large. We are not funded by government yet but we believe that with the little we have we should identify with people who may not be as privileged as us to afford these things. They need them more than us and I will say I feel very fulfilled and happy that we are touching the lives of these young ones today because among them lies the future of our great state and country”.
He added that, “We decided to identify with these children for two major reasons. To thank God for sustaining this organization for 18 years. Also, you’re all aware that the bill to establish the organization has just been passed by the National Assembly and we are very grateful to God for this. We don’t have any doubt that with the commitment of the current administration to create jobs for the teeming unemployed youths, the President will speedily assent to the bill when it gets to his table”.
Reacting, Mrs. Isu Denis who represented the head of the home Mrs. Felicia Oti thanked the organization and urged them to make the visit more frequent.
“I want to sincerely thank the Peace Corps for this kind gesture. Not so many uniform people think of doing things like this and I think this unique organization has set a standard for others to follow. But I want to appeal to them to make it more frequent”.
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