The good people of Eniong Abatim Community in Odukpani Local Government Area on Monday held a surprise welcome back ceremony for their son, Commissioner for Finance, Asuquo Ekpenyong and a new year get together event to mark a successful 365 days of love, oneness and unity in the Community.
The ceremony served as a rallying point and mass return for the community and also brought together illustrious sons and daughters of Eniong and beyond to show appreciation to Governor Ben Ayade for all the good things he has done for them.
Chairman of the reception organizing committee, Mr Toni Ikpeme said the essence of the ceremony is that Asuquo Ekpenyong, by virtue of his reputation and political position as a member of the APC National Youth Lobby Committee and scion of the Asuquo Ekpenyong Dynasty is well loved by his people while the entire Eniong Abatim community also holds the Governor in high esteem hence the decision to come together and accord both a deserved reception.
He said appreciation goes to the Governor from Eniong Abatim people for nominating their son at the relatively young age of 30 as Commissioner and honoring their son with a two term appointment as Commissioner For Finance with additional brief as MD Tinapa (2016 – 2017) as well as a brief stint as Commissioner for Transport & Marine Services in 2018.
The Chairman of Odukpani Local Government Area, Hon Mrs Justina Edem in her remarks disclosed that the new year get together was necessary for the people to merry and interact with their leaders. According to her “This also forms the nucleus of the reception for the Commissioner and a job well-done by the Governor for showing faith and believe in Odukpani people serving in his government. She noted the developmental strides of the Governor in Odukpani LGA.
Also Speaking, Commissioner for Transportation, Hon Oqua Edet Oqua commended the State Governor for finding them worthy to serve in his government while also eulogising him for publicly declaring support for power rotation to the South.
He described Asuquo Ekpeyong as “the man with the right credentials, capacity and intellectual sagacity to liberate Odukpani LGA towards peace, love and unity”.
The former Nigeria Ambassador to Uganda, His Excellency, Etubom Nya Asuquo said he had over the years observed that young people do better with power hence his resolved to support Asuquo Ekpenyong succeed. According to him he has performed creditably well as Commissioner of Finance, Cross River State. Responding, Mr Asuquo Ekpenyong expressed gratitude to the people of Odukpani for the confidence reposed on him but stated, that the vote of confidence rather belongs to the Governor who identified him and appointed him at the young age of 30 to serve in his cabinet in a technical capacity.
Responding to the call to contest in 2023, he politely but firmly stated “That the APC was a party with a mandate to govern and as such his focus was on his assignment as commissioner and his only task remains aiding Governor Ayade to deliver on his mandate as He may continue to direct.”
He tasked Odukpani people to continue to support His Excellency, Senator Prof Ben Ayade to complete his mandate by allowing the Governor to focus on delivering good governance. He commended the organizers for starting the year right by taking time to come together to thank God and plan for the new year. He thanked the community for pooling their resources together to organize & host the event as he noted that he wasn’t even notified to contribute.
The Honorable Commissioner out of his generosity for his people, donated 2 million Naira for the Eniong Abatim Community and Odukpani Local Government Area.
The event was witnessed by APC National Youth Leader, Barr Ishmael Buba Ahmed, Leader of the Cross River State House of assembly honorable Peter Odey, DG Cross River State Electrification agency Mr Stanley Nsemo, MD Summit hills Mr Joseph Edet and other staunch party stalwart from Odukpani LGA and beyond.