By Peter Duru, Makurdi
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has urged the Catholic Church to establish a university in Makurdi to immortalize the late Rev. Fr. Michael Murphy.
Rev. Fr. Murphy, a member of the congregation of the Holy Spirit, (Spiritans) died last November at the age of 90 after spending his priestly life in Nigeria.
The Governor who made the call in Makurdi during the commissioning of some township roads including one constructed in honour of the late priest situated around a secondary school he built, said Fr. Murphy had confided in him about his desire to build a Catholic University, hence his call on the Diocese of Makurdi to ensure the fulfillment of that dream, in honour of the late missionary priest.
According to the Governor “We don’t have a Catholic University yet in Benue State and I think it will be a legacy in honour of Fr. Murphy and the entire Catholic mission to establish a university here in the Diocese of Makurdi.
“It won’t be out of place, because our population is growing and there is a need for more educational facilities to help curb youth restiveness in our state and beyond.”
Governor Ortom who pledged his readiness to support the university project if taken up by the Diocese of Makurdi said “whether I am in office or out of office, anytime this project about building the university is initiated I want to assure you that wherever I am, in or out of office, I want to be part of it.”
He noted that Fr. Murphy sold himself to Christ, stating that he committed himself to serving God for over 62 years as a priest before passing on.
The Governor noted that his encounter with Fr. Murphy was that of encouragement and excitement, noting that Fr. Murphy was always willing to make life meaningful for others and not for himself.
Commissioner for Works and Transport, Engr. Jude Uungwa who explained that the roads commissioned were part of the six roads whose contracts were awarded at the cost of over N4.8billion said some of the roads had been completed and others were at various stages of completion.
The Contractor, Engr. Stephen Akange of Privent Construction Company, appreciated the state government for its patronage, assuring that the company would continue to justify the confidence of the government in his firm by ensuring the timely completion of quality projects in the state.
District Head of Ugondo, Chief Justine Ihwakaa expressed appreciation to Governor Ortom for the several projects his administration had executed in his domain, pledging their support to his government.
Bishop of Makurdi Catholic Diocese, Most Rev. Wilfred Anagbe who commissioned the road named the Rev. Fr. Michael Murphy crescent described the honour accorded the late priest as deserving, stating that Fr. Murphy’s 62 years as a priest were eventful given the unprecedented impact he made in all the places that he served as a priest.
The Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Benue State Chapter, Rev. Akpen Leva commissioned another named Mrs. Victoria Azamber Puusu crescent.
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