• Buhari, wife for Calabar garment factory, monorail commissioning
The people of Gakem community in Bekwarra Local Government Area of Cross River State at the weekend staged a rally in support of the 260km superhighway being constructed by Governor Ben Ayade.
Gakem is the boarder town between Cross River and Benue states where the road is expected to link the northern part of the country.
The rally brought together the people of the community, including old and young at the Gakem village square.
The community threatens to march to Abuja to ensure the release of approvals by the Federal Government for the commencement of the construction of the road.
Speaking on behalf of the community, the Clan Head of Gakem, Ushiekalpa Opah Ushie, commended Governor Ayade for the initiative.
He said his people on whose land the superhighway passes are grateful to the governor for embarking on the project, which he reasoned will open up the community to rapid development.
Similarly, the youth leader, Mr. Peter Olofu said the youths had concluded plans to march on the streets of Abuja soon to ensure that Federal Government gives the necessary approvals for the commencement of construction of the road.
Olofu said it was the first time the community had witnessed any form of development since after the civil war.
“The first bullet that was fired to signal the beginning of the Nigerian civil war took place here in Gakem. Since the war ended, our community has suffered utter neglect.
“This superhighway is the fist major project that is coming to the area. So, we will do everything humanly possible to ensure its actualisation,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, Governor Ayade has disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari and his wife, Hajiya Aisha will commission the Calabar Garment and Textile Factory as well as the monorail in the coming weeks.
While President Buhari will commission the first monorail in sub-Sahara Africa, his wife, Aisha will commission the Garment Factory located along the Goodluck Jonathan By-pass.
Ayade, who disclosed this after an on-the-spot inspection of ongoing work at the Garment factory said: “The president was quite enthused with the project and has offered to be here in person, in company with his wife, Aisha.
“President Buhari will be commissioning the monorail which is the first in sub- Saharan Africa while his wife, Aisha will be commissioning the garment factory for the good of women and as part of her Future Assured Programme.”
The governor said the garment factory which is the biggest in Africa, will be fully automated and is expected to employ about 3,000 people, with 80 percent of them being women.
He said skewing the employment in favour of women, especially widows was informed by the fact that “these are people that have been neglected, they are people that have lost their loved ones, they have kids without income, they are the most vulnerable in our society today,” adding , “most widows are in a state of need in body, spirit and everything. That is why we focus on them.”
Ayade described Buhari as a president who “identifies with anything good irrespective of party lines and ethnic background.”
Also speaking, a Director with Lilleker (Nig) Ltd, the firm handling electrical installations at the garment factory, Mr. Thorpe Steward said everything is in a state of readiness for the commissioning.