By Jonathan Ugbal
Cross River Governor, Benedict Ayade on Sunday was commissioned a Major in the Calabar grand commandery of the Knights of Saint John International (KSJI).
The commandery also initiated 16 worthy brothers including the Head, Department of Mathematics at the University of Cross River State, Dr. Jerry ATSU and a security detail to Mr. Ayade, Spencer Acha.
Mr. Ayade was initiated as a first degree brother in August 2019 without his wife and due to his position, was elevated last weekend to the rank of major which would have taken him up to 10 years to achieve.
His wife, who was initiated on Thursday as a Sister was also elevated to a Lady Knight in the Grand Auxiliary.
Mr. Ayade was exemplified a 2nd degree Knight, commissioned a Major while his wife who was barely 2 days old became a Lady Knight.
He is now in the same rank as his Chief Security Officer, CSP Mark Anyogo and a former political foe whom he accused of fermenting trouble in the run up to the 2019 general elections, Sir Maurice Effiwatt.
Now, Mr. Ayade can be properly addressed as Sir, by the tenets of the order.
He told journalists at the thanksgiving ceremony held at the St. Patrick’s parish, Ikot Ansa, Calabar that his commissioning was an urgent call on him to rededicate his life to the service of God and humanity as the act has imposed a duty on him to ensure justice and fairness to all irrespective of religion and tribe.
He said it was, “about commitment to our God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth,” adding that “in all I do and in all I am going to do, going forward, I shall indeed rededicate and recommit myself to fairness, to justice to all, irrespective of color, religion or belief, ” adding that: “I am today a warrior of God to fight and defend justice and to wrought humanitarian efforts in this world to bring value to mankind and to ensure that all of my talent, my funds, my time, my skills are all committed to the service of God.”
CrossRiverWatch gathered that the event was supposed to hold at St. Joseph’s, UNICROSS chaplaincy, but, the Governor is said to have influenced it’s movement to St. Patrick’s where he donated NGN20 million.
On how he will marry this responsibility with the challenges of his office as governor, Ayade quipped: “As a matter of fact, this is what can actually support my responsibility even as governor of Cross River State because we will ensure fairness and goodness to all. We shall be insensitive to religion and insensitive to ethnicity. My investiture is only to do the work of God and God’s direction is very clear: ‘Do unto others what you want others to do unto you’.”
The governor further assured that he will, “be fair and I will be just and I think that by my being a knight today and my wife a lady, it is obvious that indeed, you are going to find even more goodness in everything about what makes somebody or a family a decent family in government.
“And I am very happy that my wife who is also a devout and strong Catholic has shared with me the aspirations for us to be elevated to this rank and I am totally grateful to God.”
Below are images released by Government House Calabar…
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