Profiles & Biographies, a biographical and supplemental information management company, is partnering with the Cross River State Ministry of Information as well as other top media organizations within the state to execute some of the activities to mark the 50th anniversary of Cross River State.
In a statement released recently, the CEO of Profiles & Biographies, Mr. Kammonke Abam, disclosed that Calabar’s leading blog, Calabar Blog has confirmed this partnership which will see the blog start-up broadcast content from the different activities and lead the process of the digital marketing of the project.
Abam said his firm is taking the initiative to mark the anniversary because of it is a year of jubilee for the state and this has historic significance.
Abam said Cross River State which was created May 27, 1967 has experienced several ups and downs that have brought out the best out of the people of the state.
Going down memory lane, Abam said that the government of the then General Yakubu Gowon created South Eastern State from the Eastern region in 1967 and appointed Brigadier U. J. Esuene as the pioneer Military Administrator.
9 years later, he noted, the Murtala Mohammed-led government changed the name to Cross River State as part of the 19-state structure in 1976.
In 1987, Abam added, the present day Akwa Ibom state was created from Cross River State by the General Ibrahim Babangida.
He said for a state that is uniquely positioned in the history of our dear country, Nigeria; particularly as Calabar, the State capital served as the first capital of Nigeria, celebrating the 50th anniversary of its creation is not only needful but obligatory.
He said activities lined up include preserving the memory great men and women who have made outstanding contributions to the development of the state by profiling them in a book called “History Makers of Cross River State”.
“History Makers of Cross River State”, Abam said, is designed as a commemorative pictorial biographical compendium on distinguished men and women, both dead and alive, who have contributed to the development of the state such as Prof. Eyo Ita, Dr. Okoi Arikpo, Brig. U. J. Esuene, Justice Udo Udoma, Chief I. I. Murphy, Dr. S E. Imoke, Chief Mrs. Margaret Ekpo, among others. It is a book geared towards writing the history of the struggles of our people.
Abam said the book will serve as a platform to tell the stories of some of the unsung heroes and heroines who fought and served the state gallantly as teachers, farmers, businessmen and women, military personnel, clergy, bureaucrats, etc.
He disclosed that there is also another book titled, The Future Now: Cross River State in the Next 50 Years, which serves as a compendium of multi-sectoral basket of ideas from a multi-disciplinary team of 50 experts and key stakeholders on how to harness the huge resource base of the state to make it a model.
This book, according to him, is meant to set agenda for the development of the state in the next 50 years.
He disclosed that 50 eminent personalities from varied backgrounds will share in book chapters, their ideas, views and perspectives of how the state can achieve its dream of statehood in the next 50 years.
Abam said “Tomorrow’s Leaders: Young People to Watch” is a compendium of profiles of young people who are creative, innovative, cutting edge, and risk taking and out-of-the-box thinkers who are taking their future in their hands. The book profiles young achievers who are not more than 35 years.
Abam also informed that there would be an awards event known as the Legacy Awards to acknowledge and celebrate people who have made extraordinary strides in the 50-year journey of the state.
He disclosed that the process for the selection of the award recipients will be audience participatory. Award recipients will be nominated and voted for by the public. The awards cover all categories in the different sectors of life including the legendary, contemporary leaders, Young People to Watch and corporate categories.
Abam said there would be a conference to discuss and evolve strategies to successfully take Cross River State to the next 50 years. The event, to be held at the Calabar International Conference Center, will provide an open forum for the public to discuss the statehood—past, present and future. It is also in this event, the books will be presented.
Abam disclosed that all the activities are designed to elicit the participation of the critical mass using social media platforms. Families whose patriarchs and matriarchs contributed to the development of the state are expected to share such stories to be used as content for the History Makers in Cross River book while people who are interested in being recognized or know someone else who needs to be recognized and given awards are free to nominate such people, Abam said.
He announced that members of the public who have stories can send via email to Kammonke@yahoo.com or in the project website, www.crossriverat50.com.ng or Facebook account, “Cross River at 50”, for purpose of widespread audience participation.