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C'River Traditional Rulers Council confers Akpagu with highest traditional title

Etiyin Etim Okon Edet, the Chairman of Cross River State Traditional Rulers Council presenting staff of office to Prof. Zana Akpagu

The Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar, Prof. Zana Akpagu has been bestowed with the "Eto Nkori" which means Tree of Progress of Cross River State by the Traditional Rulers Council.

Speaking, Professor Akpagu said he never expected to be awarded any  such honour by the traditional rulers in the state and assured that he would use his good office to ensure equity and justice  prevail in the university of Calabar.

“It is a kind of dream. It is something one  dreams and wake up with a headache. Never in my wildest imagination did I expect that I will enter here not to talk of standing before all the traditional rulers in the state to be given this kind of title. I hope I will not wake up somewhere in my night dress”, he said.

He called on the royal fathers to continue to spread the kind of unity that will bring progress and development that will obliterate the division that has held the state for too long.

He assured the Cross River State government of  continued support so that the dividends of democracy can be brought to all and sundry in the state.

Earlier, Etiyin Etim Okon Edet, the Chairman of the State Traditional Rulers Council charged the awardee to always  remain guided by prudence, temperance and justice in the discharge of his duties as the head of administration of the university.

Etiyin Edet who said the royal  title was the highest traditional  title  that can be conferred on anyone in the state, added that he was selected after  a careful study of his activities in the university of Calabar and outside which find him deserving of such honour .

“On behalf of all the traditional rulers in the state, I present to you the highest title of Tree of Progress which is the highest honour we can give to anyone and if you look carefully, you will know that we rarely give anyone such a title therefore you have to accord it the honour it deserves”, he said.

He said that "All of us have come together to confer this rare title on you and we pray that this tree you stand for  will continue to provide progress to the people of the state and not allow us traditional rulers  as custodians of ancestral spirit to be unhappy  because we are the spirit of the state and if we are not happy the state will go down and if we are happy the state will go up so please keep the spirit high and happy”,

The award of the revered title was part of activities marking Akpagu's sixtieth birthday celebration which started with a thanksgiving mass at St. Paul's Catholic Church, Unical and later presentation of 88th Unical inaugural lecture by him.
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