Cross River Governor, Senator Ben Ayade has saluted the level of patriotism exhibited by critics of his proposed new logo for the state.
Ayade, represented by his deputy, Professor Ivara Esu at the inter-denominational service held at the Cultural Center complex in Calabar, the state capital to mark the commencement of activities to commemorate the state at 50 years said that Cross Riverians have grown in their level of patriotism over the years and spoke of other challenges faced and the way forward.
“We have a sense of pride. We can see in the social media, so much war more or less as some people want to stop anybody who wants to change the Cross River State flag, or the logo or the anthem because we are so now used to it. That is a deep sense of patriotism which must be saluted,” he said.
He said the state had done well in education, tourism, agriculture and creating a platform for investments to thrive as was evident in the fact the state now has the highest number of investors coming in to “to one thing or the other in our economy.”
Esu who said the state is now the largest producer of Cassava and will soon be leading in Rice and Cocoa production, maintained that the current administration was working hard in the areas of industrialization and said the dreams and aspirations of the current administration may seem “Utopic,” but will eventually lead the state out of its financial challenges
On leadership, Esu said the state has been blessed with a leadership that looks out for the future and sued for renewed faith and prayers for all Cross Riverians, especially the leaders and the state in other to uplift it spiritually for physical manifestations to be effective.
“In Cross River State we have been blessed with leaders who have conscience. Who think that those who are coming should have opportunity to start or continue and therefore the state generally speaking, has been moving in a positive direction,” Esu said.
He slammed appointees for not turning up to the event which had a scanty attendance and wondered why public officials behave in such a way which made him exclaim: ‘wonderful’. Querying the attitude of some appointees, he asked; “What do you expect of people that are looking up to us?” and maintained they were lucky the Governor was compassionate as most were appointed to learn and to be able to put food on their tables to eat.
“Well we still have a lot of problems. We still have so much irresponsibility amongst our people. Look at this hall, the first event for our fiftieth anniversary and we have almost 2,000 appointees in our government and if only our appointees came here, this hall will be full and people will be looking for seats but where are they? They are irresponsible that is why,” he said.
He went ahead to say that it is “I think it is the height of irresponsibility to have this kind of situation. You have an event, they go there lackadaisically, and sometimes they don’t even come at all. Wonderful! It is a shame and we still have those kinds of problems.”
Esu also slammed the idea of communal clashes and called on all parties to desist from such as it will not aid the development of the state after 50 years.
The Chairman of the planning committee for the fiftieth anniversary, Colonel Pam Ogar in a vote of thanks commended all who turned out for the event and called on the clergy who were in attendance to keep praying for the state while advising the leaders not to crumble under pressure.
The Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Calabar, Most Reverend Dr. Joseph Ekuwem earlier in his address called for the return of missionary institutions including schools, hospitals among others to the missionary by the state and stressed the biblical importance of such.
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