Ayade celebrates 49th birthday with Bakassi IDPs
True to his promise, Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State thursday marked his 49th birthday with the displcaed people of Bakassi.
The governor had a week earlier during the ground breaking ceremony for the construction of 5000 housing units for the displaced Bakassi promised to mark his birthday with them.
Ayade, who chose Ikpang Nkanya camp of the IDPs as venue for the occasion, personally serve the people meals. He was assisted by his wife, Dr Linda Ayade.
Ikpang Nkanya, Akpabuyo Local Government Area is the proposed site for the 5000 2-bedroom housing units for the displaced people of Bakassi.
Speaking at the occasion, Ayade said “spending my time with them, as I join to serve them is to reassure them that there is hope in the horizon and at the fullness of time, they shall overcome because God is with the downtrodden and the oppressed.”
He said has a moral responsibility to provide the IDPs with a shoulder to lean on, in spite of their neglect by the international community, “We can reduce the pain by providing happiness and basic amenities like water, housing, opportunity to go to school in order for them to realise their potential.”
Ayade lamented that it was a shame that in the 21st century and in a leading nation on the African continent, the Bakassi IDPs are living in an open hall in primary schools along with mosquitoes.
Accordingly, Ayade said: “I will never be Ayade if this project of resettling them is not complete. “Of what value is life when you are not adding value to another life? Of what value is money or political position for being a governor when back in your home state you see people living in this sub-human condition and you pride yourself as a governor?”
The governor who also presented bags of rice, beans, garri, indomie, toiletries and insecticide treated nets and a cash of N3m, announced that he had set aside N500m to commence the construction work, adding that “I don’t do this because I have enough but because I care enough and as I care enough.”
Continuing, he added: “My wife has decided to support the women in the IDP camp with a lorry load of wrappers and an additional N2 million. This is the beginning of good things for Bakassi.”
In an emotion laden voice, Ayade said: “Because I have seen 49, I will not see 50 unless I see smiles on the faces of the Bakassi people. It is a commitment to God, not politics. I don’t do politics, it is not by politics that I got here but by good conscience and fear of God. I do things with emotions and passion based on reasons and fear of God, that is why I take this commitment very spiritual.”
Earlier, an illustrious daughter of the area, Senator Florence Ita-Giwa, lauded the governor for his intervention, love and care for the displaced people of the area.
Ita-Giwa said: “This is the first time in the history of Cross River State and in the lives of the displaced people of Bakassi that we have a governor that is on the same page with us.”
According to her, “political leaders had in the past divided us, using us for their political gains. At my age, you have given me political peace of mind, let us therefore as Bakassi people come together and speak in one voice.”
The event featured gift presentations, dances and music renditions including presentation by the Tiger Cultural Dance Troupe of Benue
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