The Conversation, an orientation programme of the Ministry of Information and Orientation aimed at creating a mix between the government and the governed, recently held at the Conference Hall of Ogoja Local Government Council, witnessed an outpouring of encomium by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, traditional rulers, private sector players and civil servants alike on Governor Ben Ayade for his visionary leadership.
The Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mrs. RoseMary Archibong, in her opening remarks, said ‘The Conversation’ is her Ministry’s orientation programme aimed at keeping Cross Riverians abreast with the achievements, projects and policies of the Ayade-led administration.
Speaking as one of the panelists at the event, UNHCR representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mr. Antonio Jose Canhandula commended the State Governor Ayade for his empathic disposition and tremendous support towards alleviating the living standards of refugees in Cross River State.
The UNHCR Official also thanked the Governor for partnering with UNHCR in the provision of nursery, primary and secondary schools, medical centre, as well as other amenities.
From the private sector, Hon. Mike Ibiale said it is exciting to note that Governor Ayade has done tremendously well for Cross River; leading the State to becoming a beacon of industrialization in the comity of Nigerian States.
Hon. Ibiale stated that the Ayade-led administration’s agricultural revolution, with emphasis on cocoa and rice production, has made the State a reference point for others to emulate.
Also speaking, the Paramount Ruler of Ogoja described Governor Ayade as a man of impeccable intellectual ability, whose deep vision for the State has culminated in result-oriented projects across the State.
The Paramount Ruler reminded those who are unjustly and greedily vying for the governorship position, that for equity and justice to prevail, the Northern Senatorial District and Governor Ayade must complete a second term in office.
“Let me use this opportunity to remind us that Governor Ayade is our son. So we will do anything possible to remind any person who thinks otherwise that we must give the necessary support to our son. We will be committing a blunder if we do not stand behind him and see to it that he is returned in office in 2019,” the Monarch added.
The Director-General of State Emergency Management Agency, Mr. John Inaku, also a panelist, told participants that Governor Ayade has always responded swiftly to emergencies in the State; from communal crisis, natural disasters, internally displaced persons, and refugee situation in spite of very lean resources.
Mr. Inaku maintained that the provision of amenities and rapid progress of work at the Adagom Refugee Settlement are testimonies of the great synergy that exists between the State Government and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees to bring succor to the settlers.
The Director-General of Cross River Urban Renewal Agency, Mr. Uko Inaku spoke on the his agency’s achievements in giving a facelift to major adjoining towns and other developing areas, while the Head of Local Government Administration, Ogoja, Mrs. Margaret Oyama spoke on the peculiar style of the Ayade-led administration and the adaptation of workers in the State to the governor’s ‘think-out-of-the-box and intellectual money mantras.
Representative of the Hausa Community in Ogoja, Alhaji Umar Adamu, was full of praise for Governor Ayade for appointing 3 Hausas into his administration, saying: “for that, the Hausas would remain solidly behind him.”
The Commissioner for Information and Orientation, who assured people of the Norther Senatorial District of governmtent’s resolve for the speedy completion of the Mfom-Abouchiche-Obanliku-Obudu highway, also answered participants’ questions on the decision to sight the Rice City in Calabar, among other things.