By Jonathan Ugbal; Government House Correspondent
The Cross River State Government Thursday planted 50 commemorative trees to celebrate 50 years of the state creation by the then military government on May 27, 1967.
Cross River Governor, Senator Ben Ayade who led the tree planting exercise expressed his feelings about the significance of tree planting and called for a change in attitude as well as streamlined strategies to ensure the state lifts its head high and lead in every positive aspectin the comity of states.
Ayade was joined by 2 former military administrators of the state, Navy Captain Ibim Princewill (rtd) and Colonel Umar Farouk Ahmed (rtd) as well as the former military administrator of Kwara state, Colonel PAM Ogar (rtd) at the Thai Africa rice city project site along the Goodluck Ebele Jonathan bypass in Calabar, the state capital.
“The new trend is greenery, the world has gone green and so, Cross River State being the leading state in Nigeria will definitely have to lead the trend,” Ayade said and maintained that the focus on a green environment was “A cardinal message that Cross River state is again taking the lead.”
Continuing he said: “I will like to be part of history as I do know that in 50 years’ time when Cross River State will be turning 100 years, I will not be here but I pray God that the tree should live so that in my absence the tree will represent me, for as mortals, one day we shall return to our creator.”
He sued for cooperation from the citizenry to maintain a clean and green environment; a policy he said was borrowed from Singapore.
“I believe that beyond 50, everybody owes a duty to the state to plant a tree. You must go out today and plant a tree, if you have not gotten one to plant here, please as soon as you get to your abode, plant one tree,” Ayade said and commended past administrators of the state for laying a good foundation and making it “possible for us to have this pride to celebrate our 50th birthday.”
The Commissioner for Climate Change, Alice Ekwu had earlier said every street has been delineated in Calabar with every appointee given a part to ensure it is clean and green. She said the exercise will be replicated across the state.
Ayade and the Ex military administrators later took turns in planting the trees with his deputy, Professor Ivara Esu, Speaker of the House of Assembly, Honorable John Lebo who was joined by other members, acting Chief Judge, Justice Michael Edem, Honorable Legor Idagbor who represents Obudu/Obanliku/Bekwarra federal constituency in the green chambers of the national assembly, members of the state executive council, Secretary to the state government, Barrister Tina Agbor, Head of Service, Ekpenyong Henshaw, among others joining them.
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