A Pro Southern and sociopolitical group, Cross River Southern Senatorial District Assembly has called on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency give Calabar the special status. NEGROIDHAVEN can report.
Speaking with Newsmen in Calabar, the Chief of Party of the Cross River Southern Senatorial District Assembly, Mr. John Offiong, just as Lagos, Calabar truly deserves the “special status”, aside being the first capital of Nigeria there are several indices and facts that when summed up places Calabar in a position to be conferred with a “Special Status”. Stating that all hands must be on deck to make this happen.
“Calabar had once served as a headquarters of this nation and just as Lagos State, Cross River State also has compelling facts to have Calabar given a special development status by the federal government. Calabar City has rich historical, geographical and economic significance. Our leaders at all spheres both political,religious and spiritual should begin making compelling cases to the federal government to confer a Special Status on Calabar, which should translate to the federal government’s deliberate investments in Calabar’s infrastructure and to free up state funds for investment in infrastructure.”
Mr. Offiong opined that the Federal Government needs to pay special attention to Cross River State, stating that the state had sacrificed so much for the country, especially when Bakassi was ceded to Cameron without any form of compensation and resettlement of the displaced people of Bakassi. He noted that as a way of compensation, the little oil wells the state had were also carted away thus leaving the state empty with almost no allocation monthly.
It is now time for the Federal Government to look into Cross River State’s issues and take Cross River State as its project. It’s important we ask the federal government to look into the Calabar-Itu road. Calabar has to be rebuilt but we all have to sit down and discuss that as a group. We know where we used to be and were we are right now. When Donald Duke was there, we know where the economy of the state was. When Liyel Imoke was there, we also know where we were. We’ve lost so much as a State capital. Take for example what happened last year during the end SARS protest. Just under 24 hours, Calabar was brought down to her knees.
Mr. John argued that the state has potentials for growth in terms of natural minerals, tourism and even human resources but needs the backing and support of the Federal Government to harness those resources.
“Cross River is a great and blessed state. Blessed with abundant resources, wonderful natural tourism attractions and great minds to harness these resources but we seriously need the backing and support of the Federal Government at the center to bring all these to birth
“Look at our seaport, look at Tinapa, look at the Ranch. Ee have large quantities of untapped mineral deposits and tmhuman capital but you know the politics of this country will not allow most these things work. Give Cross River a little leverage and see if we won’t compete favorably with Lagos state” He stated.
The Leader of the Pro Southern group noted that Cross River State can be made the preferred investment destination in West Africa should all hands be on deck to push for the special status to be conferred on the state.
Recall that there have been several debates and agitations before the National Assembly for the confirmation of a Special Status on Lagos and Calabar. If this is done, these two former capitals of Nigeria stand to enjoy special privileges and grants from the Federal Government and this will automatically bring about rapid Development.