The Cross River State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), has commended Governor Ben Ayade for what it described as his welfarist and inclusive governance.
Making the commendation during a courtesy visit to the governor at the executive council chamber of the governor’s office, Calabar, leader of the delegation and Chairman of CAN, Ambassador Okon E. Ekpenyong noted that Ayade’s reelection for a second term in office was a howling endorsement of his industrialization policy.
He lauded the governor for his development strides in the last five years and his continuous support for CAN.
Ekpenyong said CAN was grateful for the governor’s “commitment and continuous support to CAN. Let me also say that your election was an endorsement of your industrialization drive, welfarist and inclusive governance approach.”
According to the chairman of the Christian body, “For us, this meeting is apt and timely because it affords us the opportunity to say thank you and to honestly commend you for the giant strides and development of the State. Your passionate resolve to put Cross River on the map of Nigeria as a leading state in both infrastructure and human development, especially from our tour of the Ayade Industrial Park is worthy of note.”
Ekpenyong, who was accompanied by the retired bishop of Calabar Metropolitan Arch-Diocese, His Grace, Bishop Joseph Ukpo, Senior Special Adviser to Governor Ayade on Religious Matters, Rev. Fr.Bob Etta as well as other CAN members, thanked the governor for his proactive safety measures in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic.
His words: “The leadership of CAN is indeed very grateful for your profound efforts and proactive safety measures in the management of the COVID 19. We are particularly very grateful for the partnership and synergy that your administration created which enabled CAN to be part of the COVID-19 sensitization and monitoring task force team.
He also acknowledged the role played by the governor in the Christian body’s quest for a secretariat.
Ekpenyong said it was through the magnanimity of the governor “that CAN, Cross River State has been able to own a temporary secretariat after many years which was commissioned by you on 27 may, 2019. And during the commissioning, you donated a 50kva generating set. We sincerely commend you for that show of concern and support.”
The association, therefore, reaffirmed its continuous support and prayers for Governor Ayade as he strives to deliver more developmental projects for the people.
Responding, Ayade who thanked the delegation of the Christian Association for their support during his second term electioneering, said: “I would like to thank you for the great support, the way and manner you came out to support me and campaign for me. I want to specially acknowledge your address which emphasised on the most essential essence of government and describing my government as welfarist government.”
Disclosing why his administration is more focused on the people while at the same time prioritising industrialization, the governor said: “A government can build more infrastructure, skyscrapers, award contracts to multinationals who will take billions back to their countries and leave behind a very beautiful city with the best of roads while the people are poor and hungry. When the emphasis is not on the people, you would have failed in your constitutional, spiritual and moral obligation as governor.
“So it is against that understanding and background that our administration is more focused on the people and because I come from a background that has a clear understanding of poverty because I have also seen wealth at a very early age, I know the difference.”
Against that backdrop, the governor noted that “In my gratitude to God, my commitment has been to lift people from extreme want, hunger and poverty and ensure that if nothing else under the regime of Ayade, kindred and family should have someone in government.”