Following Bishop John Ayah’s decision to reject a package presented to him by the State Governor, Ben Ayade, at the Thanksgiving Mass for Justice Emmanuel Agim Akomaye’s elevation to the Supreme Court, the Cross River State social media space has been awash with various responses over the past 24 hours.
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The Holy Mass was presided over by Bishop John Ayah, the Catholic Bishop of Uyo Diocese. The thanksgiving Mass coincided with the Unveiling programme of the Parish.
The governor was invited to make a donation to support the harvest unveiling which he gave N25’000,000 (Twenty-five million naira) on behalf of the state government, his family and the judiciary arm of the government and before leaving for his seat, he faced the direction of the chair of the Bishop, he said ” for our pride, the pride of Cross River North, the son of the soil, Bishop John Ayah, I will whisper my package to him later.
Bishop Ayah in response to the donation rose and said “I want to talk. The governor is my brother, we are both from Cross River North. I want to appreciate the governor and tell him to package whatever he has for me, add to it and use it to pay the salaries of the workers“.
Hearing this, the whole congregation burst into shouts of endorsement of Bishop Ayah’s statement followed by a thunderous applause that lasted for a while.
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The governor took the microphone once more to defend his government, that the salaries of the workers are already ready, adding that his government has been faithful to in paying salaries for seven years upward, that the people will appreciate Ben Ayade when he leaves office.
The Church is indeed a prophetic Church that should not mince words when speaking to the civil authorities and more importantly should speak truth to power.
The thanksgiving Mass had in attendance the executive governor of Cross River State, Sen Prof Ben Ayade, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, the Chief Justice of Cross River State, Hon Justice Akon Ikpeme and his counterparts from Plateau and Sokoto states, few Justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Cross River state, the Accountant General Cross River state,the VC of University of Calabar, Prof Florence Banku Obi, the APC and PDP parties chairmen, Barrister Alphonsus Ogar Eba and Barrister Venatius Ikem respectively, the APC governorship candidate in Cross River state, Distinguished Senator Prince Bassey Otu,many politicians of different party divides and the people of God.
The Parish Priest, Fr Cletus Udoh SPS thanked God and all men and woman of goodwill that graced the Holy Mass for their generosity towards the advancement of the kingdom of God.