By Akanimo Kufre
The Catholic Archbishop of Calabar, Most Rev. Joseph Ekuwem has drummed his support for the speedy actualization of deep seaport and superhighway proposed by Gov. Ben Ayade of Cross River State.
The Metropolitan Archbishop enlisted the support of Cross Riverians for the projects which he noted are catalysts for economic emancipation of the state.
The revered clergy also muted the idea of establishing airport project in Ogoja, the Northern senatorial district of the State, to ease the hardship faced by commuters and tourists who spend long hours from the State capital to the northern part of the state.
Archbishop Ekumem disclosed this during a “holy visit” by the state governor, Prof Ben Ayade, at his residence in Calabar.
“On the deep seaport, we don’t need to tell the world what benefits will come to Cross River if we have the port. Wars have been fought on this globe for people who want to have access to the sea. So if you have a God-given sea, you can improve upon it to allow big vessels berth,” Ekuwem said, adding that “I wouldn’t hide my support for such a project when we have a governor who wants it done.”
On the superhighway, Ekuwem said: “Even if it is not super, provided it is a highway that can take us to Ogoja and the middle-belt and to the north and back. Who gains? We gain,” pointing out that, in view of the long distance from the state capital to the northern and central senatorial districts, it was imperative to cite an airport in the axis.
His words: “If you have an airport in that axis, those who are more interested in tourism can move on straight up to the Ranch. And of course, all these will mean dealing with the issue of good education so that you have the best for your people in the case of human development.”
While praying for the success of the present administration and the state to achieve these lofty programs, the Archbishop maintained, “I will like to be associated with what is good.”
Earlier, the Prof. Ben Ayade, disclosed that he was on the “holy visit” as the first Catholic governor of Cross River State to get divine blessings and to share with the Archbishop his ideas for the future of the state.
Ayade said: “As you can see, I have just come back from the hallowed sanctuary where I have taken so much of his blessings and I have had the opportunity to hear his word of advice which will go a long way to improve my contributions to the service and progress of Cross River State. I prayed for the state as well and our discussion centred on the prayers, ideas, action plans and suggestions that can lead to a better Cross River.”
The governor who thanked the Archbishop for offering special prayers for the deep seaport and superhighway and the citing of an airport in Ogoja in a bid to ensure that the state becomes more integrated, affirmed that “his prayers have edified my soul, given me strength and I am going back enlivened, emboldened and more prepared with the spirit of God and Jesus Christ for a better service.”
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