By Our Reporter
Governor Bassey Otu of Cross River State on Wednesday, conferred awards of recognition/honours on 10 indigenes of the state who have distinguished themselves in public office.
Those honoured at the well-attended event are Sen. John Owan-Enoh, Minister of Sports; Dr Betta Edu, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs; Justice Jane Inyang, Justice of the Court of Appeal; and Maj. Gen. E A. Undiandeye, Chief of Defence Intelligence.
Others include; AIG Okon Effiong Okon, Department of Finance and Administration, ICT, Force Headquarters, Abuja; AIG Echeng Eworo Echeng in-charge of Zone 9 Headquarters, Umuhia; AIG Susan A. Horsefall (Rtd); AIG Paul Ojeka, Zone 11 Command, Osogbo; AIG Patrick Ogon Edung; and AIG Emmanuel Effiom.
At the luncheon at the Transcorp Hotel, Calabar, Governor Otu stated that citizens who have made contributions to state and national development deserve to be commended and appreciated.
“Today is a very important day and a defining moment in the history of Cross River State. The dawn of a new era in purposeful leadership, when the citizens’ little or immense contributions to the development of the State and the nation are recognised and rewarded accordingly.
“Today, we celebrate our eminent sons and daughters whose hard work has elevated them to serve the state and nation at the federal level.
“I am privileged and honoured to be at the helm of affairs in the State at a time when our illustrious sons and daughters were chosen for elevation in their different fields of endeavour and have impacted positively on society.
“They have been part of the State’s development agenda, and we are indeed proud of them. No responsible government will downplay the importance of the distinguished human capital of the honourees, as other development variables are dependent on it for growth trajectory.
“The select few for the grand reception today is just a fraction of those who possess the potential of being eminently qualified to be accorded those recognition, Since everyone cannot be honoured today, one should not relent in his endeavour as tomorrow always beckons,” Otu said.
Gov. Otu urged the honourees to push beyond their boundaries, explore new possibilities, and make a greater impact in their dedication and commitment to serving the nation and humanity, emphasising the importance of not settling for mediocrity but rather striving for excellence in their respective fields.
“To the honourees, they are social responsibilities each of you continually owe the nation, state, and the communities you live in. To serve as role models in terms of mentorship and transformational leadership. You need to replicate the zeal in governance and patriotism to the State and the nation.
“These values will help nurture and spur future honourees to greater service to the point of their recognition by the federal government of Nigeria, there lies the beauty of purposeful leadership.
“I wish to state categorically that the human frontier, rather than geographical is what is what the State needs at a time like this. In order to drive the peoples’ first agenda of the present administration, we are ready to tap from the pool of knowledge and enterprise, which the present honourees possess,” he added.
Addressing the need for unity in the state, Gov. Otu emphasised the importance of peace and collaboration among the people.
The Governor acknowledged that progress and development can only be achieved when everyone works together towards common goals.
He sued for an inclusive approach which is a necessary condition for achieving sustainable growth and prosperity.
His words: “Permit me to use this forum to reiterate the essence of unity, among our diverse ethnic groups and party lines in the State.
“The unity of Cross River State is sacrosanct, it therefore takes precedence over and above other consideration. The challenge of building a peaceful, harmonious and prosperous State rests squarely on everyone’s shoulders, irrespective of tribe or political inclination, we are all strategic stakeholders in the affairs of Cross River State.
“The crucible of leading a state is overwhelmingly daunting, but with the force of our collective resolve, we shall arrive at our desired destination.”
Speaking on his administration’s stride, he said, “Within the few months in office, we already achieved quite a lot, what you are seeing is only the tip of the iceberg. In Cross River, we are building a subnational which shall be self-sustaining. So dear honourees, kindly make yourselves available when duty calls and watch our state grow exponentially to the admiration of all.”
While expressing gratitude on behalf of the honourees, Hon. Justice Jane Inyang conveyed appreciation for the recognition and honour conferred on them.
She acknowledged that being recognised for their contributions and achievements serves as a motivation to continue their pursuit of excellence and to make even greater contributions to society.
She said the recognition not only validates their efforts but also inspires them to push the boundaries and continue their service with even greater dedication and commitment in their respective fields.
In attendance were the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Christopher Musa, senior statesmen, members of the National and State Assembly, and senior government functionaries, amongst others.