From Judex Okoro, Calabar
It was a mild drama of sort as the Catholic Bishop of Uyo Diocese, John Ayah, subtly rejected Governor Ben Ayade’s undisclosed largesse to him during the thanksgiving Mass for Justice Emmanuel Agim Akomaye.
Obudu-Obanliku Elites Forum had organised the Mass and civic reception at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Ikot Ansa, Calabar, in of honour Justice Agim, who hails from Obanliku following his elevation to the Supreme Court.
The Mass, officiated by Bishop Ayah, also from Obanliku, coincided with the unveiling of the this year’s harvest theme.
However, drama ensued when Ayade was invited to make a donation to support the harvest. He gave N25 million on behalf of the state government, his family and the judiciary arm of the government.
After the donation, he turned in the direction of the Bishop and 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.”
Immediately, Bishop Ayah rose, collected the microphone 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 salaries of the workers.”
Bishop Ayah’s reaction was greeted with loud ovation and shouts of “Correct Bishop, “God Bless you” by the congregation.
Ayade also collected the microphone replied: “The salaries of the workers are already ready. Let me say this government has been faithful in paying salaries for seven years upward. The people will appreciate Ben Ayade when he leaves office.”