By Judex Okoro, The Sun
Igbo leaders have hailed Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River for appointing their sons and daughters into the Cross River State government, promising continued support for the administration’s industrialisation drive.
The appointees are Ugoji Nwabueze, Esq, Senior Special Assistant on non-indigenes sffairs, Dr. Nancy Irek, Senior Special Assistant on information and Mr Chidiebere Onyemaizu, Senior Special Assistant on print media.
Speaking during a thanksgiving/award ceremony for political appointees of Igbo extraction organised by an Igbo socio- cultural group, the Igbo Congress, and held in Calabar at the weekend, the Igbo leaders described such appointments as not only a novelty, but a depiction of good working relationship between Igbo in Cross River and their host communities.
Speakers at the event applauded the Governor Ayade for finding Igbo sons and daughters worthy of appointment into his government, commending his administration’s industrialisation drive and pledged continued support for him by the Igbo in Cross River state.
In his address, President of Igbo Congress Cross River Chapter, Prince Raymond Atulomah, said Governor Ayade has demonstrated rare courage and show of love for appointing Igbo sons and daughters into his admiration, adding that the appointments have cemented the age-long relationship between Igbo and Cross Riverians.
Atulomah noted that the group is made up of Igbo professionals cutting across academics, legal, business, the media and public service, stressing that Igbo Congress will strive to ensure that the existing healthy relationship between the Igbo and their host communities in Cross River State continues to prevail.
Prince Atulomah said: “Appointing some Igbo professionals into political offices in Cross River government is novelty. We thank our Professor Ben Ayade for remembering us. We enjoin you to do more as we are solidly behind you, especially, in the area of industrialisation.”
Also commending the governor for giving Igbo sons and daughters the opportunity to serve in his government, Chairman of the occasion, Professor Rufus Okoro, of the department of Physics, University of Calabar, said Ndi Igbo have enormous potentials in every sector and are willing to partner with the government to reposition the state.
Okoro maintained that the group would continue to foster peace and harmony between Igbo and other nationalities as well as explore other areas of possible collaboration to engender development, saying that Cross River is really a home for the Igbo.
The event, which was preceded by thanksgiving held at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Calabar, also witnessed the honoring of Professor Rufus Okoro of the University of Calabar (UNICAL), Justice A. Onyebueke of the Akamkpa division of the Cross River State High Court, as well as Mr Ugochukwu Iheukwumere, Elder Chukwudi Samuel and Ide Chris Azuatalam all from the business sector.
Present to witness the cultural displays by various Igbo dancing groups, beautiful renditions by Igbo women and the display of various Igbo cuisines include a former Vice Chancellor of UNICAL, Professor James Epoke, Professor Chris Nwanmuo, Professor Steve Nwokeocha, Professor Emmanuel Uta, Professor Obinna Enukoha and Professor Mrs Mercy Ugot.
Others dignitaries were Professor Uche Ogbuagau, Professor Bassey Eze, Dr Jenkins Asa Edet, HRM Maurice Okon Eyo, President Calabar South Traditional Rulers Council, HRM Etubom Nyong E. Okon, HRH Etubom Essien E. Efiok, Mr Christain Ita, Chief Press Secretary to Governor Ayade and Special Adviser on Media and Publicity and some Igbo community leaders.
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