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April 23, 2024
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Cross River to become Nigeria’s tourism hub – Official

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By Angela Atabo

Mr Emmanuel Ogbeche, the Special Adviser on Media to Gov. Bassey Otu of Cross River, says the government is putting measures in place to make the state a tourist destination.

Ogbeche said this at an event organised by his friends and media practitioners tagged: “Celebrating Our Star Boy’’ to celebrate his appointment in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that before his appointment, Ogbeche was the immediate past chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).

The special adviser said that although, the first few months in office were challenging but today, the state was fast becoming the safest in Nigeria.

“There are no kidnappings for the past seven months. Robbery and other criminal activities are on the downward trend because Gov. Otu  is committed to building a state that is the tourism destination in Nigeria.

“We have been building the Obudu cattle ranch. The airport at Bebi is soon to be completed and quite a number of other incentives that are happening.

“Besides, we are the first state to pay salary or wage award to workers before the Federal Government imbibed that idea, so crossover is working, it is our commitment to build a viral  and sustainable economy,’’ he said

Ogbeche said that Otu met a civil service that was corrupt, adding that he undertook verification and audit of staff .

The special adviser said the report was mind boggling as it revealed situations where one worker in the state had four different accounts in four different ministries.

He said that the report also revealed cases where one individual was receiving salaries for 10 persons to five persons.

He, however, said that the government was able to weed out quite a significant number of the corruption including that of pensions.

Ogbeche said that the government also undertook the ease of doing business to attract investors among others.

He commended his friends and colleagues for the initiative to celebrate him, adding that he was just wholly committed to journalism not knowing that it would pay off and translate into appointments.

“I was the Chief Press Secretary but later deployed as special adviser on Media for good reasons, the Governor of Cross Rivers is committed to rebuilding a state of our dreams.

“So, I just want to thank every one of you and to assure you that I am here to work with you to support our little interventions.

Emmanuel Ogbeche celebrating with friends and family

The Chairperson of the Planning Committee, Ms Lydia Samson, said the event was aimed at celebrating Ogbeche and his legacy as a true comrade.

She said that Ogbeche led by example as the chairman of NUJ, FCT Chapter and carried everybody along so members needed to imbibe that model and always let love lead.

“It is not a coincidence that Ramadan and the Lent season are going on simultaneously.

“What God is telling us as a people who believe in different religion is that it is time to forgive, to build bridges and to move forward.’’

She described Ogbeche as a man of peace with a heart of gold reaching out to everyone in brotherhood and love.

The President of NUJ, Mr Chris Isiguzo, said it was an interesting time for the union because in the last couple of months, a good number of journalists had been appointed to different positions of service.

“This speaks volumes to the place of journalism in the Nigerian polity; it simply means as a union, we are not doing badly.

“One man stands out in this, because within a few months, having been appointed as the chief press secretary to the governor of Cross River state; he has been promoted to a cabinet position.’’

He encouraged journalists to keep abreast with global best practices and imbue the habit of carrying out solution and development journalism and cease from magnifying the challenges and failures.

“Let us begin to advance solutions, fresh strategies on how to address our problems. That way, we will be building a more formidable structure that will be the envy of all,’’ he said

Dr Jummai Ahmadu, the President Helpline Social Support Initiative who described Ogbeche as the gender chairman, thanked him for championing the course of women.

She called on citizens to keep praying for the nation, adding that nobody can save Nigeria but Nigerians so citizens should be more patriotic and bless the nation not curse it.

“Let us see how we can contribute by reporting accurately so that the government will know that the  fourth estate of the realm who are the most important people that can make this country function well are doing their best to ensure that Nigeria takes back her glory.’’

Mr Yusuf Alli, the Regional Editor, Nation Newspaper, commended Ogbeche for the feats attained, adding that he deserved to be celebrated.

“Being called a Star Boy is not by age but by what you represent. You are a blend of the old, the new, the young and the future.

“You are a symbol of humility and a servant leader who made a difference in NUJ as chairman, that record spoke volume that is the root of these appointments.’’

Mr Patrick Osadebamwen, NUJ Chairman, FCT, chapter, described Ogbeche as a son of grace, very accommodating and a unifier.

“I just cannot help but to recognise the fact that there is a special kind of grace that works in his life and it is foolish to fight it.

“We are here today to identify with his qualities; friendly, endearing, strength and loving, they are good qualities.’’ (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Ese E. Eniola Williams

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