It was early this morning I was preparing to step out, when I saw on AIT, live screening of the fifth annual thanksgiving service of Bayelsa State. Through out the time that programme lasted on the foremost TV station, a lot of things went through my mind. Here is a State, that is so blessed with both Natural and human resources deeming it fit to set aside a period to bless the name of God.
For me, beyond the numerous successes the administration of Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State must have recorded in the last five years, if they is anything I believe he will to be remembered for after leaving office, it is the fact that, he recognises God’s supremacy in his Government and God’s hands in the affairs of the State. This singular move you will agree with me, is a deviation from the usual norm of Government where it only concerns itself with addressing the physical needs of its people while their spiritual lives suffer.
But in all, what is more baffling is that, while an oil rich state like Bayelsa recognises the need for an annual thanksgiving to God,In Cross River State, We are yet to think towards this direction inspite of the several misfortunes we have suffered and we are still suffering over the years.
If they is any State in the federation that has witnessed devastating misfortunes in recent times, it is Cross River. From the ceeding of Bakassi to Cameroon to the loss of its seventy six oil wells to Akwa Ibom, it has been one misfortune to another. The result of this and many more is today staring us in the face.
A state that was ranked among the first in virtually all ramifications is now struggling to be seen or heard. Nigeria first capital has loss all its respect. Today, Lagos State is seeking for it to be granted a special status by the federal Government whereas we have a Calabar that commands many first in the country. Our very own Tinapa that was meant to drive traffic to Calabar is in a state of comma if not completely dead. Politics, has more than ever divided it’s leaders to an extend where, ridiculing the State and presenting the State in a bad light to score cheap political points is now a full time job for most of its leaders.
There is therefore an urgent need for the Governor of Cross River State, Sen Prof Ben Ayade to consider sending an executive bill seeking for a day or week to be set aside every year to enable Cross Riverians gather and seek the face of God on the way out of its dwindling fortunes with one heart to the Cross River State House Of Assembly.
This yearly event which will be coordinated and directly under the office of the Special Adviser, Religious Matters or any other person the Governor deems fit can be slated towards the end of every year or during the beginning of a new year with full participation of all the religious leaders and their congregations
The inclusion of such an event in the State Annual Calender will in my mind go a long way in healing our wounds and restoring our pride as a people. Judging by our history as a people and as a state, we are like the biblical David who was was a man after God’s own heart.
Richard Romanus is a public Affairs Commentator from Oderegha in Obubra LGA of Cross River State.