Eugene Upah|7 May 2017
A sterling comeback and a comprehensive implementation agenda of Cross River Governor, Senator Ben Ayade’s proposed programmes will seal off his achievements and brand him as Nigeria’s most infrastructurally accomplished Governor within the nearest foreseeable future. It is very realistic.
You would recall that as at May 27, 2001, former Governor Donald Duke of Cross River State was still struggling with conceptualizing his numerous ideas to take Cross River to his supposed destination. While some were patient knowing the youthful Duke needed time to grasp power and learn the ethics of governance having succeeded a military junta, others were anxious to see that his beautiful campaign promises came to fruition amidst eminence.
Having received power from a (pioneer) democratically elected platform, the young Duke had an almost non-existing or (no visible) projects within his first two years in office. The very meagre access to the internet and other soft publishing platforms at that time, accompanied with the people’s sympathy gave him the lesser media attack (unlike Ayade and Imoke) that would have greeted him. But accessing the beautifully crafted statesman at as end of 2017, many agreed (and still agree) Duke won in terms of infrastructure as Governor.
Also, the immediate former Governor of Cross River State and a silent achieving infrastructural grassroots mobiliser, Senator Liyel Imoke, had an almost zero projects on his CV as Governor within his first few years as the state’s Chief Executive. In fact, his case was more worrisome because his predecessor staged two huge tourism projects exposing Cross Riverians to the bulk of allocations entrenching the state.
But by May 2015, the white beard, soft spoken and pragmatic Imoke had constructed and commissioned the Calabar International Convention Centre (ICC), Institute of Management and Technology, Ugep, the Goodluck Jonathan Bypass, the Tinapa Mono-rail, construction/rehabilitation of public schools and health centers across the state, construction of rural roads, electrification of rural areas linking them to the national grid amongst others. None of this project were delivered within his entrant years. Again, the former Governor won in service delivery to Cross River State.
The third successor and present Executive Governor of Cross River State, Senator Ben Ayade will even score higher. In less than two years he already has a point akin to his successors; human capital development as a result of mass engagement of Cross Riverians most of whom are youths. While a cabal has staged an “operation pull Ayade down” via the media, the itching aspirations of the young Professor Governor have soared within this period. He (Ayade) is only a victim of hate and a casualty of an overbearing expectation. Ayade is to Cross River as President Jacob Zuma is to South Africa. I can’t understand why Cross Riverians want the Governor to deliver in 23 months what most state governments may not achieve in 8 years; which to me is an overstated exaggeration. While I will urge Cross Riverians to be patient and standby Ayade, I call on all stakeholders in this government to do their bit and not “seat and wait” for the Chief Executive to shoulder everything. I see the Governor implementing at least 80 percent of his conceived promises to Cross Riverians.
The Governor needs time, he requires our personal interest and involvement to actualize the superhighway, deep seaports, Garment factory and other projects in the making. Again, this is very realistic.
Is a Social Commentator