*GOV BEN AYADE COMMENCES RENOVATION OF STATE HERITAGE BUILDINGS; RENOVATES MISS MARY MITCHELL SLESSOR RESIDENCE AT AKPAP-OKOYONG.*
The Cross River State Governor Prof Ben Ayade has commenced the renovation of the State heritage buildings. The most recent is the renovation of the Mary Slessor Residence at Akpap-Okoyong in Odukpani Local Government Area.
Speaking during the inspection tour, the Honourable Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Hon. Eric Anderson, expressed his satisfaction at the level of work done. He stated that “as a Ministry, it is our responsibility to promote Culture and Tourism, it is also overtly important that we are able to sustain what we have by taking care of them.
What’s happening here today is courtesy of His Excellency, Prof. Ben Ayade’s drive to continually reposition Tourism as a boost to the State economy”. He opined that his ministry has been on the renovation of state’s heritage site and today, Mary Slessor Residence is captured in this phase. He appreciated the community for the warm welcome accorded them while calling on the Community to take complete ownership of the property by ensuring that it is well secured.
The Honourable Counsellor representing Akamkpa Ward in Odukpani Local Government Legislative Council, Hon. Nkoyo Obo who was visibly happy, commended the governor for approving the renovation of the building, also appreciated Hon. (Mrs.) Justina Edem for always supporting development and most importantly the honorable commissioner for his visit to Akpap-Okoyong to ensure the building is renovated.
In her speech, “When Chief. Akiba Ekpenyong told me that you are coming, to my council ward, i decided to come and welcome you and your team. I love development which is what I had been yearning for. Akamkpa Ward is so happy for this gesture of your ministry.” she said.
In an interview, Chief Akiba Ekpenyong who is also a Chieftain of the community and Odukpani LGA Chief Press Secretary expressed his satisfaction at the ongoing renovation work. He thanked Prof Ben Ayade for approving the renovation of the building and Hon. Eric Anderson for remembering his promise to him. According to him, “Each time i see Hon Anderson, my word is Oga no forget Mary Slessor Residence. The last time we did a live video on the situation of the building with The Daily News, i tagged him and his response was we would do it. Today, it’s a done deal hence my coming here to say; Ete thank you for keeping to your word”.
He thanked Mr. Eyo Akiba Etim and Miss Ekpoanwan Andong of “OKOYONG FORUM” Association for accompanying him to the inspection visit.
Members of the communities were elated to see such development. The Village Head of EfeEne-Okoyong and Iyamba Ewe Kiong HH Deno Enuo Obo Effiom was happy to receive the team, stated that since the team came and informed him about commencement of the renovation, the community had been in a joyful mood. He informed them that the entire Okoyong Community is happy with what’s going on at the building while assuring them of their security and that the community is ever ready to secure the facility and the workers at the site, while urging the workers to obey all laws of the land and remain focused on what brought them. He extends his special appreciation to the State Governor and the LGA Chairman for creating an enabling peaceful environment in Odukpani Local Government for development to thrive.
The Inspection visit also had in attendance Mr. Effiong Ekpenyong, SSA Carnival Planning; Mr.
Effiom Bassey, SA Entertainment; Mr Eyo Akiba Etim (Secretary OKOYONG FORUM) and Miss Ekpoanwan Andong.