It was a moment of hand pumping and high fives in Calabar, the Cross River State capital as the state exploded in ecstatic celebration as news broke that finally, the Federal Ministry of Environment has handed over the final copy of the approved Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report to the Cross River State Government.
Almost immediately, the state Governor, Senator Ben Ayade smarting under the influence of the federal government approval and his moment of triumphalism immediately broke the news to his cabinet members, declaring that the contractors would immediately return to site to commence work.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr. Bukar Hassan, thursday handed the approved EIA report to the state Deputy Governor, Professor Ivara Esu, who represented Ayade in Abuja with an assurance that the federal government would not renege on its promise to support the state in ensuring the successful completion of the project.
While reacting to the development, an elated Ayade told a gathering of his close aides that he was grateful to his detractors who actually propelled the government to work harder in order to achieve the feat.
â€œI want to use this opportunity to congratulate Cross Riverians and indeed all the detractors of the super highway for their opposition to the project, which actually propelled us to work harder to achieve this.
â€œFor those who have been worried about where the money will come from, I have insisted repeatedly that that has been taken care of. I want to assure Cross Riverians that equipment are returning to site and work will commence immediately as earlier planned.
â€œWe give all thanks to God and to all Cross Riverians who abided with us in prayer and assure everyone that we will continue to work hard to achieve our set goals regardless of the obstacles,â€ the governor said.