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Cross River communities host Sports Minister, Aide in grand style

By Inyali Peter

Three UKALU communities in Obudu local government area of Cross River State, comprising of Ukpe, Alege and Ubang hosted the Honourable Minister of Sports Development, Sen. John Owan-Enoh and his Special Assistant on Administration, Dr Richard Orim on Saturday, 13th April 2024, in grand style.

The event which held at the Government Primary School, Ashikpe, Ukpe and attracted mammoth crowd consisting of people from all spheres of life within and outside the communities was organised in appreciation of the Minister’s appointment of Dr Orim as his senior aide and a grand reception in his (Orim) honour.

Cross River communities host Sports Minister, Aide in grand style
John Owan-Enoh

Speaking, the Honourable Minister who extolled the virtues of his aide said that he was elated at the kind gesture of his hosts and happy to return to Ashikpe, where he started his teaching career almost thirty years ago before joining active politics.

According to him, “I want to thank the UKALU communities for this honour. When a delegation from the communities came to invite me for this event, I told them that it wasn’t necessary but they insisted. I want to say that Dr Orim is not the first person I’ve facilitated appointment for in all my years in politics but this is the first time I’m being honoured like this for helping someone secure appointment.

“This event has reaffirmed what I have always known about the people of UKALU; they’re people of honour and appreciation and I’m happy that Dr Orim has proven to be a good ambassador of the communities. I’m not new to this place because 30 years ago, I started by teaching career here. I have always dreamt returning here to see the good people of Ashikpe but God has made it possible today. I have seen a lot of my former students and former colleagues and I’m very grateful that my modest efforts is being appreciated in this manner.”

Cross River communities host Sports Minister, Aide in grand style
John Owan-Enoh (second right)

The Minister who called on the people to support President Bola Tinubu and Governor Bassey Otu administrations, added that, “the President is working day and night to see that Nigeria changes for the better. Already, some of his policies are yielding results therefore, I appeal to you all to continue to support him because he means well for Nigeria. Also, Governor Bassey Otu has demonstrated that he is a man who knows what he’s doing. Let’s continue to support him. For me, I’m giving my full support this administration and this will go beyond 2027.”

READ ALSO: Cross River fixes date for pensioners’ mop-up bank verification exercise

Member representing Obudu, Bekwerra, Obanliku Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Peter Akpanke, who also graced the occasion commended the Minister for finding one of his constituents worthy to serve as one of his senior aides.

Cross River communities host Sports Minister, Aide in grand style
Peter Akpanke (R)

Akpanke who called for unity in the communities said that “I want to thank our senior brother, the Honourable Minister of Sports Development for finding one of the people I represent worthy enough to serve him as his Special Assistant (Administration). Dr Richard Orim is such a humble person and I’ve no doubt that he is representing us well.”

He maintained that “The reason why we’re in politics is for our people. We need to stick together and unite to attract things to our people. A man’s strength is not tested in how he tries to Lord over everybody in his home but how much he attracts to his people. Now is the time of Dr Orim. I know that if the Minister had reached out to the communities to recommend someone to be appointed, maybe, Dr Orim wouldn’t have been considered but God has made it so therefore, we must support him.

“I know some people who are not happy that someone like Dr Orim has grown to what he is today did everything possible to stop this event but power comes from God and it has pleased him now that Richard should be where he is. Rather than creating division, I appeal to all leaders across political divides to stick together and support those God has selected to lead us at the moment.”

Akpanke who splashed cash to the tone of three million, five hundred thousand naira, to different groups in the communities assured that he has facilitated a number of strategic projects that will start rolling out soon in the area.

Also speaking, Paramount Ruler of Obudu local government area, His Royal Majesty, Chief Felix Abanbeshie Okudare prayed for the Minister and his aide, even as he called for continues support for them and the Governor.

In a brief reaction, Dr Orim who thanked his principal for finding him worthy of appointment against all odds and the UKALU communities for the honour donated 200 wrappers to the communities.

Earlier, Chief Dr Ekunke Obi who spoke on behalf of the communities said that they’ve been marginalised for years in terms of federal appointments and projects but believe that with Orim’s appointment, the Minister has opened the door for more things to come to them.

He announced the donation of a parcel of land, cows and yams to the Minister on behalf of the communities.

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