Cross River State Northern Senatorial District is set to hold a grand reception for the state Governor, Senator Ben Ayade.
The Chairman, central planning committee, Chief (Dr) Peter Abang Ojie disclosed this in a press conference in Calabar on Monday that the group had organised similar reception to former Governors of the State.
“We have done similar reception in 2000 for Governor Donald Etim Duke, we did same in 2011 for Senator Liyel Imoke and this is our own and so in keeping with the tradition of the people of the North, to acknowledge the leadership in the State, we are doing this.
He said, “This Governor happens to be the son of the North. It might interest you to know that Senator Ayade ascension to the position of Governor of Cross River State is something that the people of the North had been yarned for over the years.
Interestingly, Dr Ojie said, “If you want to look at the history of Cross River State, whether you are going to look at it from 1967 when it was South Eastern State or you are going to look at it post 1976 when it became Cross River State or post 1987 when it is Cross River State as it is presently constituted, you will agree with me that this is the very first time the Northern senatorial district of the State is producing a Governor of Cross River State”.
Consequently, Dr Ojie explained, “Other Senatorial zones have had enough, both in military and civilian times; they have produced at least two governors. “In the military era, the South produced a governor, Col. Patrick Dan Archibong of blessed memory; the South also produced in the civilian era, a governor in the person of Mr. Donald Etim Duke.
“The central had had the opportunity of producing a governor in the person of Chief Clement David Ebri and had another governor in the person of Senator Liyel Imoke. He said the Northern Senatorial district as integral part of the State had not been so lucky, but for the people of the North to have it now, it calls for celebration.
“We considered it a great reception by the rest of Cross River State and indeed a great achievement for the people of the North to be given the opportunity to administer Cross River State and also bring to bear our own contributions to the development of Cross River.
He noted, “It is for this singular reason that our people deem it necessary to receive our own sons, the Governor of Cross River, Prof. Ben Ayade. And we decided that this should be done on 24th February 2018. It is a decision that we all share and it is the traditional hospitality of the people of the North”.
Furthermore, the Chairman said the reception proper will be chaired by another prominent son of the North, Gen Antony Ukpo, the former military Governor of Rivers State.
“We have very prominent sons of the North who have all agreed to come down, the top among them is 2nd Republic Senate President, Dr Joseph Wayas is coming as a special guest of honour.
“We also have a former Attorney General and minister for Justice, Senator Kano Agabi SAN who is also a special guest of honour, we have Senator Musa Adede, Prof Nicholas Damachi, immediate past permanent secretary in the federal civil service, Chief J. I. C. Egbe, and in fact the lists go on and on”.
The press conference was attended by Chief Tony Undideji, Chief Godwin Iyala, Hon Augustine Anok, Hon Sunny Achinekang, Mr Egbing Odama, Mr Alhaji Abdukarim, Miss Beatrice Akpala and Linus Olago.