By Emma Una & Ike Uche
CALABAR—COLONEL Pam Ogar, Chairman of the 50th anniversary of the creation of Cross River State, said, yesterday, in Calabar that though the state lost Bakassi Peninsula and 76 oil wells, there was still reason to celebrate its creation.
Ogar, who spoke with journalists, said that infrastructures such as the University of Calabar, Cross River University of Technology and Margaret Ekpo International Airport, were glaring examples of the growth the state has witnessed over the past 50 years.
His words: “We thank God that we are alive and have been together as a state even with the loss of our oil wells and the ceding of Bakassi. We still feel happy that we have witnessed 50 years of statehood. There is a lot for us to celebrate and be happy about, especially for the fact that we have gone through many ordeals, yet we are still standing and waxing strong even though some people think we have nothing to be joyous about.
“The creation of the then South Eastern state as Cross River was then known was borne out of the cry of majority groups of the then south eastern region of Nigeria who had persistently cried out over the marginalization of the minorities by the majority group in Nigeria.”
They cried out over the limited political opportunities and public service positions, cried out over the lopsided location of infrastructure led to the demand for the creation of states to allow the aggrieved people to dwell on their own the way they deemed fit by General Yakubu Gowon.”
He said South Eastern State as Cross River was earlier called became a haven for peace and unity of purpose in development even a the people were made of different tribal nations the state has been united despite the diverse cultures and tradition.
Speaking further he said that Cross River has moved from agrarian and civil service to tourism and hospitality state, adding that growth and development cannot be achieved in one day but a continuous process though great strides have been recorded so far.