Nigerians have been urged to compliment government’s effort in tackling environmental challenges.
Professor Ben Ayade, the Governor of Cross River State, southern Nigeria, gave the charge when he led past military administrators to plant trees at a designated area known as Ayade Industrial Park in Calabar, the capital city.
Governor Ayade enumerated the values of sustainable green environment to include aforestation, cleaner air, prevention of erosion, safeguarding biodiversity as well as provision of green employment opportunities.
“Planting trees, grasses and flowers in our environment not only helps us tackle climate change; it mitigates erosion and Cross River State has a challenge in that area. We must fight off these problems”, Professor Ayade noted.
According to him, “the new trend is greenery. The world has gone green and we must take the lead in Nigeria. We are focusing on green environment as a cardinal message”.
The Governor remarked that as Cross River turns 50, the people must change their attitude by adopting strategies which will redefine the State and Nigeria in general.
“I believe that beyond 50, everyone owes a duty to the state to plant a tree. I urge you to key into this green policy of ours to make the State enviable and Nigeria a point of reference globally”, said Ayade.
He said “when you get home, make it a commitment to plant at least one tree to help us maintain our God given green environment. Cross River has many potentials to develop our State and country, opportunities for creating wealth abound, we must be creative to tap into what nature has given us and improve our economic status”.
Senator Ayade used the opportunity to appreciate the presence and contributions of former military administrators, Colonel Umaru Ahmed and Navy Captain Ibim Princewill, who took turns to plant trees at the industrial park.
“I am thankful for the efforts of past administrators of this State, who made it possible for us to have this pride to celebrate our 50th birthday”, stated the Governor.
Created on May 27, 1967 from the former eastern region, by General Yakubu Gowon regime, Cross River State is located in south-south Nigeria and was christened in 1976 after River Cross ,which passes through the state from the Cameroon mountain on the east side.
Cross River State has 18 Local Government Areas and these are Abi, Akamkpa, Akpabuyo, Bakassi, Bekwarra, Biase, Boki, Calabar Municipality, Calabar South, Etung, Ikom, Obanliku, Obubra, Obudu, Odukpani, Ogoja, Yakurr and Yala.
Though, there are more than 117 languages and dialects spoken in the State, the major ethic groups are the Efik, Bekwarra and Ejagham communities.