The outgoing Governor of Delta State, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, has stoutly defended his administration’s construction of a 2,000-capacity ecumenical centre in Asaba for the Christian Association of Nigeria.
Okowa, while speaking at the inauguration of the newly-constructed 2,000 seating capacity ecumenical centre in Asaba for the CAN on Friday, described the Delta State Christian Centre as a symbol of unity for the church of Christ in the state.
He noted that Delta was a Christian state, reiterating that the church must stay prayerful to ensure that the glory of God continues to manifest upon the people and the state.
The governor then charged Christians to remain prayerful so that the glory of God would continue to manifest in their lives, the state and the nation at large.
Okowa also expressed appreciation to religious leaders in the state for the support they gave to his administration in the last eight years, adding that they should extend the same support and prayer to the incoming administration of Sheriff Oborevwori.
Okowa said,, “This state is a Christian state no doubt. We must stay prayerful, the church must stay prayerful to ensure that the glory of God continues to manifest upon us as a people and as a state.
“I must appreciate all our fathers of faith for the support that you have given to this administration in the last eight years and pray that you extend this same support and your prayer to the incoming administration of Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori”.
Speaking at the CAN Secretariat Complex, Okowa noted that it was important for Christians in the state to have a place where they could meet, a place where they could call their own and a place that would truly unite them.
“It is important that we have a place for our Christians to gather, a place they can call their own and a place that unites them.
“I know that we are all Christians but there are various blocs but this (the Secretariat) is the symbol of unity of the church of Christ. And we thank God for the successful execution of this project,” Okowa stated.
He, therefore, congratulated the Ministry of Housing; the Consultant, Contemporary Design Associates and the contractor, North China Construction Company for eventually and successfully delivering the project.
“I want to thank the Christians Association of Nigeria, Delta State Branch, for thinking about this Christians Centre.
“Actually, l recalled even as the Chairman of CAN did say that fateful day and l saw the rush to go into the 250 capacity secretariat then.
“It was not a sight to behold and l thank God that we took that decision and l want to thank members of the state Exco who supported this decision for us to build a Christians Centre.
“Looking from the outside, it gives us a lot of satisfaction and l thank God for North China because it is obvious that they are good at construction.
“That same company built the modern state secretariat that we have and it was what I saw them doing when they were building the state secretariat that made me nominate them because we want the best truly for the Christians Centre. So, we thank God for what we have today,” he stated.
In his remarks, the Commissioner for Housing, Chief Festus Ochonogor, said that the project, which is a two-storey building, was approved in March 2019.
Ochonogor stated that the secretariat complex had a 2,000-capacity auditorium with a mezzanine suspended floor, conference room, chairman’s office, dressing areas, sound and studio room, offices, conveniences, generator, generator house, gatehouse and other auxiliary facilities.
He said that the commitment of the state government to the actualisation of the project showed the importance of the association to the administration of Senator Ifeanyi Okowa.
Earlier in a welcome address, the Delta State Chairman of CAN, Senior Apostle Sylvester Okorote, expressed appreciation to God for what He had done in the state, even as he thanked Governor Okowa for finishing the CAN secretariat complex.
According to Okorote who gave a historical background of the project, the edifice was solely executed by the state government without any bloc of CAN contributing a dime to the project