By Ogar Monday
A group that identifies itself as “The Men of Our Times” has donated NGN1 million to an endowment fund set up in honor of Professor Kelvin Eta, the first indigenous Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar.
The donation was made at a retreat organised by the group for past and present union leaders in Calabar the Cross River State capital.
And, the convener, Mr. Odey Adamade stated that the essence of the event was to bring past student’s union leaders together to learn and network for the advancement of society.
“However you turn out after your days in the union determines the character that you are, and in my life time, I have seen unionist who have come out very well.
“So we are sure that in Nigeria and Cross River we can have past union leaders who can contribute meaningfully to the advancement of society,” Adamade said.
Other speakers in the event asked all present to imbibe the spirit of selfless service and see politics as a platform for the elevation of others.
The keynote speaker, Chief Tony Undiaundeye who is also the Senior Special Adviser to the Cross River State Government in his address said that the Governor Ben Ayade’s administration has remained largely misunderstood despite its success in the implementation of projects and the prompt payment of salaries.
He explained that this was due to the fact that: “We have been doing things the same (way) and we have been complaining that we have not been moving forward as (a) state and the Governor came in with a clear vision of industrialising Cross River State, building a bridge between today and tomorrow.”
Also the Vice Chairman of the State Planning Commission, Dr. Francis Ntamu revealed that the state is lucky to have successive administrators since 1999 that had clear vision and knowledge of the possibility of harnessing private resources to develop the state. He maintained that the state despite lean federal allocation is expending billions in the construction of projects.
“Today in Cross River we have taken a leap into the future, we are looking at things ordinarily people will say is impossible; the Deep Seaport, the Superhighway, the Garment factory and others that spawn the state,” Ntamu said.
On his part, a legal practitioner, Mr. Paul Erokoro advised all present to take interest in what is happening at the Presidency and National Assembly because the kind of federal system Nigeria practices has made it impossible for the states to survive without them.
He decried the “over concentration” of government presence in the state capitals and Abuja that has led to massive rural – urban migration leaving the villages in shreds and shadows of their former selves.
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