Cross River, Akwa Ibom Governors attend Ordination of Auxiliary Bishop in Calabar

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The governors of Akwa Ibom and Cross River State, Pastor Umoh Enoh and Senator Bassey Otu have attended the episcopal ordination of the first indigenous auxiliary Bishop of Calabar held at Saint Paul’s Parish, Calabar NEGROIDHAVEN has confirmed.

The governors, who were amongst prominent dignitaries at the event, were accompanied by a cross section of the political class from the two states.

Shortly after the ordination of Bishop Christopher Naseri-Mutiti Naseri, the governor of Cross River State, Senator Otu said he was determined to make the church an integral part of his government.

Governor Otu said, “the only constituency that we have few men of conscience is the church and that is why we want to make the body of Christ an integral part of our administration. Nigeria is passing through very difficult times, very precarious moments, but it is the spirit of our resilience and God that is going to see us through.”

According to him, through his ‘People’s First’ mantra, his government has “ushered in the season of sweetness; and with God on our side, not too long from now, we will begin to sing a different tune.

“Time has come for us to begin to take responsibility and move in the direction God wants us to move. So, I want us to understand that this event is very important in the calendar of Cross River State and please note that God has given us a mission.

“This simply means that we are ready to move to the next level. So, church, we need your prayers to pass through these difficult times because as a song writer says, “what God cannot do does not exit, so we need your prayers,” the governor urged.

(From right to left) Governors Umo Eno and Bassey Otu

Being part of history of the ordination, Otu remarked, “we are very happy and privileged to be part of history because it is going to go down in our books, especially as it is coming at a time where we are trying to bring the church closer to government than it used to be.”

Continuing he said, “let me use this opportunity on behalf of all Cross River people and those residing in the state to congratulate our Bishop Christopher Naseri on his ordination as the Auxillary Bishop of Calabar.

“God has a reason for bestowing this crown on you and I know that he has deemed you fit to serve him. All that we owe you as the people of Cross River State is to add you in our daily prayers for you to succeed in this apostolic responsibility,” governor Otu prayed.

Excited about the presence of his Akwa Ibom State counterpart at the ceremony, Senator Otu said, “let me thank my brother and friend, Pastor Umoh Eno for the team he has brought from Akwa Ibom State. You have come to show that we still remain the same. There may be state boundaries, but we are the same.

“I schooled in Akwa Ibom State throughout. So, if you want to check carefully I am also an Akwa Ibom man,” Otu stated.

The Bishop of Ikot Ekpene Diocese, Bishop Camillus Umoh charged the newly ordained bishop to be diligent is his episcopal calling by not allowing material benefits to be determinant of his service to God and man, noting “God, who called you will empower you with his spirit so that you serve his people in accordance with His will.”

The preacher also used the occasion to advise political officer holders to be realistic in dishing out promises to their subjects by avoiding frivolous pronouncement but focus and embark only on programmes that would have socio-economic impact on the citizenry.

In a message to the gathering, Bishop Naseri thanked all those, who turned out to witness the ordination and urged the congregation to always include him in their prayers.

The occasion climaxed with the administration of the Oath of Office and presentation of paraphernalia of office by the Archbishop of Calabar, Archbishop Joseph Ekuwem on the auxiliary, Bishop Naseri.

Other dignitaries were the Consul General of Equatorial Guinea and his Republic of Cameroon counterpart, Mr. Salvador Mangue Edjang, and Mr. Patrice Onana, the Governor of Centre Region of Yaounde in the Republic of Cameroon, Mr. Paul Naseri Bea including senior Bishops from Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon.

Catholic bishops from across Nigeria and traditional rulers led by the Obong of Calabar, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu the fifth were also present at the ceremony.