Michael Nku Abuo|19 May 2017
I was at SPAR (Calabar Mall) yesterday to shop for toileteries and beverages and had flashes of the opposition the leasing of this spot now occupying part of the State Cultural Center Complex had stirred.
Rumours flew of how Cultural Centre had been sold by the Senator Liyel lmoke led Government in the state and as usual tales soared and several petitions were written against the "selling of the cultural center" etc.
Out of curiosity,my social activist stance and the public backlash about the "sale of the State Cultural Center "-a state monument, my findings led me to discover that these rumours were unfounded as only a portion of the complex which has been fallow for years was leased to a multinational firm for the setting up of a shopping/retail complex within the heart of Calabar.
After the groundbreaking,day and night toils,the complex is now open for business while employing over 100 youths,creating a one stop retail centre and platform for business etc.Today even the worst critic of the lease of that spot admires it and possibly even patronize same.
There's a lot of rumour/misunderstanding about the personality,policies and projects of the incumbent Governor of Cross River State-Senator Professor Ben Ayade.From his youthful outlook with his signature haircut and love for "shoki",the reintroduction of siren/convoy to his "grammar" and his ideas like his "grammar" stuns the hell out of the staunchest optimist in Cross River or is it his megalomanic stance to governance-robust aides/budget and projects such as the Calabar Port, the Superhighway and an unending list of Memorandum of Understandings(MOUs),prompt and advance payment of state workers in the state, the green police and homeland security scheme and his global investment trips etc…he can be termed as out of our clime Governor of Nigeria!
Senator Ayade is definitely a Governor in Nigeria that has not only drawn the attention of the federation to Cross River State but the world too to his strides.From international investment drive to addressing United Nation Agencies, housing to power,to poultry and rice, digitalization schemes to construction, to commissions,industries and agencies, solid mineral to gas, education to youth/student affairs etc there's no aspect of governance that hasn't been touched by Governor Ayade but like the Spar narrative stated above,you can't put an end to rumours/criticisms it is the fruition of these strides,it physical manifestation that will stand the Governor out as true for time naturally put an end to lies/porpaganda.
While these new ideals,policies and projects by this government is propounded and pursued Cross Riverians will also love to see that the littlest of things that has become a norm and almost a culture isn't toiled with such as allowing for the internal running of government as process that it is;our health facilities are provided funds for purchase of essential drugs and items; that wastes in the metropolis do not keep resurfacing and disappearing after outbursts;that waterboard consistently supplies clean water;that the security of the state isn't compromised in anyway-beyond the show of force/operation scolombo- efforts is geared at ending communal clash, neigbourhood criminal activities,cultism and other vices; grasses are routinely trimmed and street kids/pstchologically challeneged are taken off our streets; pending local government workers, pensioners and gratuity payments be addressed as well as subvention for major youth/student groups and for political appointments translation to actually deepening government outreach beyond nomenclatures(Atleast for those who are available and willing to carry out the mandate of their office.This will address the dissatisfaction among the political class); full engagements of those employed by the green "police"/sheriff and homeland security scheme; productions from our garment factory etc.
Bassically, it is a populist believe that if the above in addition to the novel projections of this administration is executed then the transformation in the state and the record it will set will be record breaking.It is now time to focus and do the practical beyond the theories and pronouncements.That's what the people are asking for, it's two years though not enuough to achieve all this but the people want to see the progress thus far.
Sincerely for most of us it wasn't a surprise to hear that couple of months ago the Governor of Cross River State was awarded the Governor of the Year by Vanguard Newspaper for his leadership and visionary role in setting Cross River State ahead of other states in the federation.In a society were almost every system has been monetized, some thought the award was bought.A big blow came just few months later to bring a brutal end to that assertion…Tell Magazine also named him-Ayade as Governor of the Year!
Tell Magazine to me is one of the best print news outfit in the country for over two decades it has stood her ground against oppression-fighting and surviving the dictatorship regime of Babangida and Abacha and even winning international awards from reputable organizations like the Amnesty International and providing factual and fair reportage of both government and citizen activities across the federation.
Therefore, the nomination of these two reputable organization and to me essentially-Tell Magazine is a challenge to the Governor to ensure that he achieves his vision yet to be achieved and that areas as listed above of urgent concern be addressed immediately and constantly.
For now, congrats to the Governor and people of Cross River State for this award, it is an affirmation too of the great strides achieved and giant steps taken in terms of job creation, the power project to be commissioned soon, the garment factory completion , prompt payment of state workers,the initiation of link roads across local governments of the northern senatorial districts etc.Like the spar exeperience I believe we will all gather in the nearest future to celebrate the new Cross River State that Ayade is building.This award is indeed a big gift to Cross River State as we mark our 50th Anniversary as a people and state.
Prince Michael Nku Abuo,UP
Director General, Cross River State Political Network, CRISPON