By Suoyo Ekubo
Cross River State Governor, Sen. Prince Bassey Otu, has reiterated his resolve to make the body of Christ as an integral part of his administration.
Otu, who disclosed this during the ordination of the 1st indigenous Auxiliary Bishop of Calabar, RT. Rev. Msgr. Christopher Naseri-Mutiti Naseri, posited that “the only constituency today that we have few men of conscience in 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.”
Echoing his People’s First mantra, the Governor explained, “in Cross River, we have 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 that we must 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.”
On the auspicious ordination, the Governor explained that, “We are very happy and privileged to be part of history, because it’s going to go down on 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.
“Let me use this opportunity on behalf of all Cross Riverians and all those residing in the state to congratulate our Bishop Christopher Naseri on his ordination as the Auxillary Bishop of Calabar.
“God has a reason why he has bestowed this crown on you and I know that he has deemed you fit to serve him. All that we owe you as Cross Riverians is to add you in our daily prayers for you to succeed in this apostolic responsibility.”
Excited about his Akwa Ibom State counterpart’s attendance 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’ve come to show that we still remain the same. There may be state boundaries but we are the same.
“I schooled in Akwa Ibom throughout. So, if you want to check carefully I’m also an Akwa Ibom man.”
In his homily, Bishop Camillus Umoh of Ikot Ekpene Diocese, who read from 1 Peter 5: 1-10, 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 as the one who called him will empower him with his spirit to serve his people.
The visiting Bishop also used the occasion to advise political officer holders to be realistic in their promises to their subjects by avoiding frivolous pronouncement but focus and embark only on programmes that will have socio-economic impact on the citizenry.
In his appreciation message, the newly ordained and 2nd indigenous Auxiliary Bishop of Calabar, Bishop Christopher Naseri, thanked all those who turned out to witness the occasion and urged the congregation to always remember him in their prayers as he strives to serve in the Lord’s vineyard.
Highpoint of the well-attended ceremony was administration of Episcopal Oath of Office and presentation of paraphernalia of office by the Bishop of Calabar, Archbishop Joseph Ekuwem, to Bishop Naseri
Consul General of Equatorial Guinea and his Cameroonian counterpart, Mr. Salvador Mangue Edjang, and Mr. Patrice Onana, Governor of Centre Region of Yaounde, Mr. Paul Naseri Bea, Republic of Cameroon, relative of the ordained Bishop, Senior Bishops from Equatorial Guinea and the Cameroons as well of bishops across the country and traditional Rulers led by the Obong of Calabar, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu V, were among the dignitaries that attended the Episcopal ordination.