By Jonathan Ugbal
In what may be viewed as a show of political force, several bigwigs of the Cross River State chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) are currently in Obudu to celebrate the Chairman, Venatius Ikem.
Mr. Ikem and Mr. Ayade both hail from Obudu Local Government Area and have had a rich history of political consensus and disagreements.
But, on Sunday, a former Governor of the State, Donald Duke; former acting Governor and guber hopeful, Efiok Cobham; Senators Sandy Onor and Jarigbe Agom among others stormed the Great St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Parish in Obudu for the thanksgiving of Mr. Ikem.
Another notable personality was the Chief Imam of the Hausa quarters Mosque, Mallan Yusuf. However, former Governor Liyel Imoke and Senator Gershom Bassey were absent.
In what seemed a twist of fate, the readings of the day spoke of good leadership by example. And, Rev. Fr. Francis Eworo who handled what was a homily and sermon took time to vilify politicians who have impoverished the masses.
He called for politicians to reflect on their choices, asking whether most of them will be able to fuel the vehicles they acquired when they exit office while the people wallowed in poverty and hunger.
In what seemed a jab at current political office holders, especially Mr. Ayade, Fr. Eworo averred that; “Been called to power is not for primitive acquisition of wealth. The time will come when you will answer for that.” He continued by announcing that; “I will start a revolution very soon, operation stone primitive accumulation of wealth.”
He queried why people expect clergymen to be quiet when it relates to governance and administration.
“When things are bad, and you say the Priest should not talk, why not? The Priest has to say the truth,” Fr. Eworo said.
Quoting Exodus, the second book of the Pentateuch, the clergyman charged all present to select leaders that possess the three characteristics mentioned in Exodus 18:21. According to him, leaders selected must be “capable, God-fearing and reliable.”
In his remarks, Mr. Ikem said the thanksgiving was one of the many decisions he took when he decided to contest for the chairman of the PDP. He said Psalm 107 remained his companion throughout the turbulent steps that led to his emergence.
He donated NGN500,000 to support the Catholic Diocese of Ogoja’s decision to construct a school in Obudu for character formation. His allies, friends, colleagues and many invited guests also donated to support the project.
As at press time, the mass was almost over, with a reception billed to hold at the Handmaids International Nursery and Primary School field.
Below are some images from the mass…