23rd May, 2011
Calabar South Local Government Chairman, Hon. Ekeng Henshaw has expressed the readiness of his administration to partner with the church in various ways that will bring about meaningful development in the area and to the people.
Henshaw spoke while receiving in audience a delegation of the Apostolic Church leadership led by the General Secretary, Pastor Dominic Effanga on a courtesy call in his office at Anantigha.
The Council boss commended the exemplary leadership approach of the Apostolic Church as instituted by the late National President, Pastor E.E. Okon and also commended the church faithful for giving their late National President a befitting burial.
He noted that his predecessor renamed some streets in the local government area and one of the streets was renamed in honour of the Apostolic Church and the late National President, adding that his administration has received many correspondences in that regard, some supporting the re-naming exercise and others asking for revert to the old name.
But in commitment to doing things the proper way, he said he has conferred with the Council Legislature on the need to take the constitutional steps over the renaming exercise such that an acceptable outcome will be reached on the matter.
According to him, there is no way anybody would disagree with the need to immortalise late Pastor E. E. Okon and the Apostolic Church.
The leader of the church delegation on the visit and the General Secretary, Pastor Dominic Effanga in his address earlier, said they came to Calabar South Local Government to particularly thank the Chairman and the entire government for the support and cooperation given the Apostolic Church during the funeral obsequies of their late founder Pastor E. E. Okon who was laid to rest last December.
He congratulated the chairman on his assumption of office and for a successful general elections in the local government area as it was in many other parts of the country; free and fair as claimed by both international and local observer groups.
The highlight of the visit was the offer of prayer for the chairman and the entire local government administration.
Meanwhile, Hon.Henshaw has charged the contractors responsible for the erosion control and embankment work at the Henshaw town market by Hawkins road to urgently return to site and help prevent further disaster in the area.
The council chairman who undertook an on the spot assessment of the landslide in the area as a result of the heavy rain last Wednesday noted that the landslide would have been avoided in the area if the contractor had been more careful.
He called on the relevant Federal Ministry and Federal agency supervising the contractor to ensure that the contractor returns to site and do some correctional work to prevent any further slide that may claim human lives.
Hon. Henshaw put a call through to one of the officials of the contract firm who claimed that non-payment and release of funds was responsible for their absence at site as well as the half-work done.
His words, â€œthis situation is very unfortunate and it is avoidable if the contractor had carried out his job according to specification. He is supposed to have observed the terrain properly knowing that the area is like a water way. An outlet would have been provided for the water. If not, the lives of people living down are in danger. The local government is ready to assist in any way we can to ensure that the lives of our peoples are serve but it is very important that the supervising Ministry of Environment should release funds to get the contractor back on site.â€
One of the residents of the area affected by the disaster, spoke in vernacular and disclosed that the pressure of the earth movement and water from the slide and the heavy rain entered houses in the area and nobody could rescue anything including electronics, credentials and household items.
Hon. Henshaw further declared that agricultural development is one of the areas he will use in combating the menace of youth restiveness and unemployment in his area.
He said already, his administration has identified sites for establishment of fish farms and other livestock all of which have been captured in the 2011 budget which he only recently signed into law.
Speaking while receiving in audience a delegation of the executive members of All Farmers Association of Nigeria, (Aqua-culture subsector), Henshaw noted that agriculture has the potential of economically empowering the teeming youths of Calabar South, as such he welcomes any collaboration or partnership that will bring visible and appreciable result and benefits to the people.
He welcomed the suggestion from the farmersâ€™ association for investment in the cultivation of the plant Moringa Oleifera commonly called the Miracle Tree.
He noted the importance of the Miracle Plant as explored by the Raw Material Research and Development Commission which is said to have not less than 300 medicinal uses for human and also useful in fish and shrimp nutrition.
In their address earlier, the state Chairman of All Farmers Association of Nigeria, Aqua Culture Subsector, Mr. Francis Ukpanyang noted that his association strongly believes that focused farming is a bed-rock to sustainable development especially in the local government area.
He identified poverty as the crux of the predicament plaguing the youths and dislodges the structure of advancement amongst the youths and even the elders.
Ukpanyang pledged to partner with the local government in the development of Aqua-Culture and hinted that they can offer some agricultural by-products for presentation by Calabar South LGA during the World Food Day Anniversary coming up later in the year.