BY Olanrewaju Arotimi, Calabar
President Mohammadu Buhari, the former governor of Cross River State, Mr. Donald Duke, among others, were on Friday nominated to receive the ‘Life Time Achievement Award’, as part of the activities to commemorate Cross River State 50th anniversary.
Cross River State was created on May 27, 1967, from the former Eastern Region of Nigeria, by the General Yakubu Gowon’s led regime.
According to the Project Director of Cross River at 50, who is also the CEO of Profiles and Biographies, Mr. Kammonke Abam, in a press statement, president Buhari was selected for the award because of his invaluable contribution towards the development of Cross River State and her people, particularly, for imprinting the state in gold through the appointment of eight eminent Cross Riverians to different positions of authority in his administration.
All these and his antecedent as a distinguished young military officer in the state singled him out among his contemporaries, for this award, the statement indicated.
The statement, which contained details of the grand finale of the 50th anniversary celebration, also listed the name of the eight Cross Riverians currently serving in strategic positions in the Buhari’s led administration.
These include: Justice Walter Onoghen, Chief Judge of the Federation; Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, Head of Service of the federation; Rear Admiral Ibas Ibokette, Chief of Naval Staff; Pastor Usani Usani, Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs; Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, Chairman, NDDC; Mr. Anthony Ayine, Auditor-General of the Federation; Chief Okoi Ofem Obono-Obla, Special Assistant on prosecution to Mr. president, and Mrs. Mary Ekpere-Eta (Esq), Director General of National Commission for Women Development.
“The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Mohamadu Buhari, is to be honoured with the Life Time Achievement Award, as part of the activities to mark the 50th anniversary of the creation of Cross River State.
“President Buhari has etched the name of Cross River State in gold by appointing 6 eminent Cross River to different positions of authority in his administration.
“Significantly too, is the fact that this is the first time Cross River State would be privileged to have six men and women from the state playing key and strategic leadership roles in Nigeria”, the statement read in part.
Some patriarchs and matriarchs of the state including Prof. Eyo Ita, Dr. Okoi Arikpo, Chief I. I. Morphy, Mr. Donald Duke, Senator Liyel Imoke among others, would also be honored at the event, scheduled to hold on Thursday, May 25, 2017 at the prestigious Transcorp hotel, Calabar, the statement added.