• Lauds Ayade over Calabar garment factory

Bassey Inyang in Calabar

The Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, thursday at the palace of the Obong of Calabar, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu V, advised against compromising the unity of the country, saying her greatness was derived from its diversity and population.

Osinbajo who paid a courtesy call on the Efik monarch as part of his working tour of Cross River State, said rather than engaging in tendencies that would reduce the status of the country before the international community, it was better for the ethnic groups that make up Nigeria to work together, and be supportive of each other.

The acting president was in the state in continuation of the federal government’s dialogue with the people and communities of the Niger Delta region.

“The country is only great because of its diversity. The reason why the country is great is because of its diversity. It is because we have here people of every race, people of every tribe, bringing in their different cultures, their different strengths; all of these things that make each one of our ethnic groups great comes together in one country.

“We are greater when we are together than when we are apart. This country is greater together than apart. Everyone of our ethnic groups needs the support of the other. When people speak of Nigeria, and respect this country, it is because of the diversity,it is because of the strength in the numbers that we are considered great. That is why the whole of Africa looks to us for direction. If we were one small enclave nobody will look at us with the seriousness they look at us today.

“And so unity is absolutely important, unity is absolutely important. We must be prepared to work with every other ethnic group and be united.”

Drawing example from the scripture to buttress his call for unity, Osinbajo said: “God himself wants us to be united. That is why in the scripture, He says there is neither Greek nor Jew, neither male nor female; all of us children of the Almighty God, and we must come together. If we are much stronger, we are greater when we come together than when we are apart.”
Osinbajo said he was convinced the state processes qualities that promote unity.
“And I know that Cross River State, possibly being one of the friendliest states, if not the friendliest of all that brings in everybody….

“Just coming through the city, one is so impressed by the cleanliness, the friendliness of the people, and I pray that all will go well,” Osinbajo said.

The acting president who was accompanied by many dignitaries to the palace, promised that the administration would do everything possible to ensure the successful construction of the Odukpani – Itu-Ikot-Ekpene federal road, and the control of various erosion sites in the state.

He also said the federal government would support the state towards the realisation of the proposed 260 kilometres supper highway, from the South to the North of Cross River State, and the proposed Bakassi Deep Sea Port.

Commending the state Governor, Professor Ben Ayade, for the services he has so far rendered since assuming office as governor, Osinbajo said: “I think here is a very creative, a very forward-looking and great achiever of a governor. I want to commend him for a great work that I he is doing, but more importantly for inspiring a whole generation of young men’.

Speaking during the visit, the Efik monarch said the people were happy over the acting President.
The Obong appealed to the federal government to ensure all projects they have initiated in the state were completed.

“Your coming here will be something for us to remember. All I am appealing to you is that let whatever project, let whatever promises that is made to the people be fulfilled”, Otu said.

The Efik King who gave pass marks to the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, said it has brought a new sense of purpose, and hope to the country.

After the visit to the palace of the Obong of Calabar, the acting president and his host,
and members of their entourage proceeded to the President Goodluck Jonathan Bye-Pass where he inaugurated the Calabar Garment Factory constructed by the Ayade administration.

Osinbajo, also performed the ground-breaking of the Ayade Industrial Park in Calabar as part of his working visit to the state.
The acting president who described the park as an industrial hub in Nigeria and Africa, commended Ayade for initiating the product, and for embarking on aggressive drive to industrialise the state.

“It tells us of what the future holds for the people of this state. It is really going to be a major industrial hub in Africa,” he said.