2013: Cross Riverians Express Cautious Hope

In Breaking News, Reports

by crossriverwatch admin

2013 has arrived with an air of familiarity. Like every other year, it is pregnant with a lot of expectations and hope for most people.

Many people are hopeful that their pains, setbacks and unfulfilled expectations of 2012 will find their realization in 2013.

No doubt 2012 was a turbulent year for most Nigerians and people across the world. But for the people of Cross River State, the year ended on a high note with the annual Calabar festival which provided the opportunity for fun lovers to unwind.

Crossriverwatch went round the state to find out what the people’s expectations in the year 2013 are. Many of the people who spoke to us narrated mixed experiences and expressed cautious hope that things will improve in the coming year.

Mr. Jarigbe Agom, who was the Cross River State Coordinator of GEJ/Sambo 2011 Mandate and now the Cross River State Chairman of SURE-P, in a chat with crossriverwatch said of 2013, “For the state and the country Nigeria to move forward or make any head way different than what people saw in the past years, the governments at all levels must have to be realistic and implement all the lofty policies they have put together for the benefit of the citizenry”.

Another respondent, Mr John Omligbe, the incumbent President of the Unical branch of National Association of Yala Local Government Students (NAYLOGS -UCB), admonished the citizens to be more responsible so as to make government more responsive.

Mr. Omligbe said citizens must realize that it is part of the democratic culture to ask questions and those citizens who fail to ask questions are not responsible citizens. He said: “My expectation in 2013 for Cross River State and Nigeria is that, we the citizens will have to advance to the point the government at all levels will be responsive to the plight of the citizens.”

A fish seller in Atimbo mini market who simply identified herself as Uduak, expressed joy and thanksgiving to God who she said spared her life and the lives of her close relations to see the New Year.

She however expressed worries about the tax drive of the state internal revenue service. She complained that the heavy taxes imposed on them by the revenue agency in the new drive of the government to bolster IGR may run her out of business.

She said “If the government continue with the tax matter the way they went about it towards the end of 2012, then I for see doom for businesses in the state. The amount of money they are asking us to pay is too much. I think they just want to stop some people from doing business”.

A landlord who lives in Atimbo area of Calabar metropolis, Mr Emmanuel Offiong Udo said “Apart from God, the destiny and welfare of this state and the country lies in the hands of the politicians. If the politicians want it to favor the poor masses they know how to do it. Not that they don’t know what the people want. But, if not, in 2013, the state and the country may be worst than what we have seen in the past years.”

Mr. Joseph Ugbe told crossriverriverwatch in Obudu that “I travelled home for the Christmas celebrations from Abuja and I am really impressed with the road network here now. But the level of poverty is pervasive. I hope that will be the focus of everyone in 2013. How to reduce poverty and create employment for the youth”.

Hon. John Gaul Lebo, member of Cross River State House of Assembly representing Abi State Constituency simply welcomed Cross Riverians to 2013 and said the year will be “Spectacular, incredible, inexplicable, amazing, extraordinary, the attributes of your new year. Welcome to 2013”.

A young undergraduate, Wilson Ajom told us in Obubra that, “2013 will be very funny. We will see more lies and political gerrymandering. Already your media has been reporting how all the politicians are beginning to distribute their tokens in the name of scholarships and empowerment schemes. They are all criminals. The local government elections are next year and they all want to control so LG Chairmen are releasing bursaries. 2015 is around the corner, so 2013 will bring us more of them and their lies. My expectation is that our people will reject them out rightly.”

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