Abraham Lincoln defined democracy as the government of the people by the people and for the people. This model entails that before projects are initiated, they must pass through stakeholder engagement, identifying the true needs of the people.
Governor Ben Ayade is a man with a clear vision, a man from a humble background with a passion to see that the sufferings of his people are alleviated.
It is with this conviction that the government has embarked on a direct intervention and needs assessment on critical rural infrastructure across the 196 wards in Cross River State to identify the problems and seek solutions to them.
In recent times, most communities have been cut off from their means of livelihood and life has been unbearable to the extent that access to farmlands and markets have reduced the economic activities in these areas to a standstill.
But the suffering of the people is over as dividends of democracy have started to manifest in these communities with Governor Ben Ayade sending a team led by the Special Adviser, Governor’s office, Mr. Ken Aklah with a team of engineers and other relevant stakeholders to commence inspections across the state.
Kicking off from the Northern Senatorial district with the first phase of the project starting with Nkpanak Mbarakul, Ogoja, through Obudu, to the hills of Obanliku all the way to Buanchor in Boki, the people welcomed the team with so much enthusiasm as was seen from the crowds that came out to welcome the entourage.
Various projects such as dilapidated bridges, culverts, schools and access roads that were constructed donkey years ago were given an on the spot assessment to determine the best approach to intervene immediately.
The communities visited include; Nkpanak-Mbarakul and Basara-Alanke_Nnang in Ekajuk, Ogoja local government area.
Okuku-Echimoga, Akraha-Alifokpa and Ukelle in Yala local government area.
Araru-Abuasu-Ukpe/Alege, Umo Ubaden-AG road, Ikor road, Begiaka-Beshin bridge-Angiaba begiaka and Kutia in Obudu local government area.
Ijua Riwhea bridge-Busi, Kegbe Anyabe-Kakuo/Irriagwu-Basin, Bayaga-ketting-Busi, Buya-Shikreche, Bashir in Obanliku local government area and,
Buanchor Kataba road bridge and Ubong Okiro Road Bridge in Boki local government area.
This intervention will also boost the tourism potentials of the state as most of the access roads also lead to notable tourist sites. An example is the Buanchor Kataba road bridge that leads to the Afi canopy walkway and the drill ranch.
These projects were identified by the communities in meetings held with the Clan Heads, Chiefs, men, women and youths of each ward visited and they collectively echoed the things they wanted from the Government.
It is expected that the intervention on these projects will commence immediately and the people are enthusiastic with most of them pouring accolades on His Excellency Governor Ben Ayade for remembering the people who voted and stood by him during his election into office barely two years ago.
Ayade has placed a premium on the welfare of the people and this positive change has only begun and will spread to the entire 196 wards covering not just the Northern senatorial district but also the central and Southern zones.
This is just the beginning, follow us on this journey as Governor Ben Ayade takes Government to those that need it the most, this is another first from the #DigitalGovernor #AyadeIsWorking #CrossRiverWorks
Inok Solomon is a Special Assistant to Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River