Democracy Day: The Era of Thuggery And Violence in Cross River is Over – Imoke

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by crossriverwatch admin

Liyel Imoke, Governor, Cross River State
Liyel Imoke, Governor, Cross River State

The executive governor of Cross River State, Senator Liyel Imoke has declared that the era of violence and thuggery in Cross River politics is truly over.

In his 2013 Democracy Day state wide broadcast expected later today, the governor, will be calling on all stakeholders in the forthcoming local government elections to conduct themselves with utmost respect and civility and shun temptations to fragment and factionalize the polity through cultism and other nefarious activities.

In the democracy day address obtained by crossriverwatch, the governor says “As we look forward to the upcoming local council elections, let me re-iterate my call for the peaceful and civil electoral activities which we have all come to appreciate as normal here in Cross River. It would be most unfortunate and imprudent of us to jeopardize the harmonious social and political atmosphere we currently enjoy, by failing to conduct ourselves with the utmost respect and civility during the impending local council polls.

“I urge us all to shun temptations to fragment and factionalize our polity through cultism and other nefarious activities. We, as government, will continue to support you to aid and not hinder the democratic process. We now reside in the era of ideas, freedom of choice and respect for the worth and dignity of every individual. In Cross River, the era of thuggery and violence is well and truly over”.

The governor says the day is a yearly reminder of his administration’s social contract with every Cross Riverian.

“Democracy Day affords an annual opportunity for us all to dispassionately appraise our efforts at strengthening our growing democracy. As a government, democracy day is a yearly reminder of my administration’s social contract with every Cross Riverian that on the strength of your popular mandate, our existence in office is for the sole purpose of service to you, and the protection of the greater interest of our beloved State.

“Thus far we have achieved this by making you a stakeholder in the process of governance. This has been of immense benefit not just to the strength of our political cohesion but has also contributed to the stability of our society which is a pre-requisite for growth and development in any society”.

Below is the full text of the Governor’s broadcast:

A BROADCAST BY HIS EXCELLENCY, THE GOVERNOR OF CROSS RIVER STATE, SENATOR LIYEL IMOKE FOR THE 2013 DEMOCRACY DAY CELEBERATIONS ON WEDNESDAY, 29TH MAY, 2013

Fellow Cross Riverians,

Today Cross River State along with the rest of Nigeria marks 14 glorious years of democracy. It must be said that the democratic success we have achieved has exceeded most of our expectations.

In 1999 when this democratic dispensation commenced, our ideals and ambitions were indeed lofty and to some, even unattainable. But we are well on our way to achieving the democratic environment which we all aspire to live in. This achievement demands collective commendation for every facet of our society. As even detractors and naysayers only served to spur us on towards reaching our desired result. Consequently, the results of our collective efforts have become evident and tangible through socio-economic development and growth. As we seek to consolidate our democracy,we will continue to strive to instil and observe the essential democratic tenets that will ensure the evolution of a more prosperous and wealthy Cross River State.

Democracy Day affords an annual opportunity for us all to dispassionately appraise our efforts at strengthening our growing democracy. As a government, democracy day is a yearly reminder of my administration’s social contract with every Cross Riverian that on the strength of your popular mandate, our existence in office is for the sole purpose of service to you, and the protection of the greater interest of our beloved State. Thus far we have achieved this by making you a stakeholder in the process of governance.

This has been of immense benefit not just to the strength of our political cohesion but has also contributed to the stability of our society which is a pre-requisite for growth and development in any society. A meticulously-engineered process of engagement and consultation at every level, in every community in the state has enabled this administration to connect with the people as never before. We feel the pulse of the people and gauge their acceptance of our policies, programs and projects, tailoring these instruments of governance to suit the needs of communities’ right across our state. This is democracy in action.

A few years ago, our state was confronted with enormous and stark financial challenges. Our revenue profile had depreciated and we had to come to terms with an escalating debt status. It was a shock to the economy of our state but not one that was unassailable. Consequently, we fully embarked on a concerted effort to employ prudent fiscal management as well as effective systems for budget monitoring and expenditure control across all platforms of government. Today, there has been a transformation in the State’s economic outlook.

In line with our vision to make Cross River State a model for service-delivery in Nigeria, we are geared towards creating a progressive business and economic climate which will harbor the investment opportunities, potential for wealth creation and the eventual prosperity that our state deserves. The rewards of our steadfast adherence to our socio-economic development agenda are beginning to be realized. Since the last year, foreign direct investment in the state stands at approximately $2bn.

Early this year, General Electric (GE) one of America’s leading manufacturing conglomerates announced its investment of $1bn in Nigeria, with Cross River as its intended destination through the establishment of a manufacturing and assembly plant. The company is also setting up a training facility here in Calabar. In the same vein, the global agribusiness enterprise, Wilmar International, have commenced the first phase of their $350m investment in the State’s agricultural sector through the development of its flagship palm estates in Biase and Akamkpa.

We have also witnessed significant inflows of domestic investment from firms such as Dangote Group and UNICEM. It is fair to say that the onset of these initiatives will foster a mutually beneficial relationship for both the private sector and our people through the creation of over 30,000 jobs and the multiplier effect of such activity. On our part, we are doing what we can to ensure that we have a quantitative as well as qualitative enhancement of our workforce. We have remained conscientious in our desire to provide integral infrastructure such as link-roads, schools, healthcare facilities and modern water supply schemes including the multi-billion Naira Ikom Water Project.

This has enabled the integration of people in our rural areas into the core of the State’s economy by providing rural productivity and economic participation through increased access for those who hitherto, were marginalized needed adjustment. We have also invested in our people by providing opportunities for the development of the entrepreneurial capacity of our youth and women through initiatives such as the hosting of the Central Bank of Nigeria Entrepreneurial Development Center and other programs such as AWAKE, GLOW and Project COMFORT.

The Tinapa Knowledge City which is set to be commissioned in June will be the first Technology Park with an ICT incubator in the South-South to harness the competence of our youth in software design and ICT product development. Our performances in national examinations have improved significantly with the state now consistently scoring in the top percentile. We have also won the National School Sports Festival for the past two years and our efforts at rural healthcare delivery and immunization coverage has won us plaudits from our peers and various international development organizations. Fellow Cross Riverians, it is expedient that we are investing in the next generation to sustain the gains of this generation.

Encouraged by our various successes, we seek to do more. We are partnering with the leading British technical and vocational institution, Highbury College, to develop and deliver a world-class, internationally-recognized, industry-relevant curriculum at the Cross River State Institute of Technology, Ugep which will be opened in October of this year.Its market-driven curriculum is intended to guarantee employment for all its graduates. We will continue to fund the Comprehensive Sports Development Program and have invested in the construction of 2 new 6,000-capacity stadia at Ikom and Ogoja as well as an ultra-modern multidisciplinary indoor sports facility here in Calabar as we anticipate the hosting of the 2014 National Sports Festival.

As a first step to reaching our mark of 1000 housing units for civil servants through Public-Private Partnerships, we commissioned 200 units in Akpabuyo late last year and have commenced the procurement process for other estates right across our State. We have also invested in the construction of a 100-bed specialist healthcare facility to serve as a national referral center. This will sit in the new development area of the Calabar Metropolis that will also host the world-class Calabar International Convention Center, the Calabar Golf Estate with a premier golf course set to rival the best in the west African region as well as the Special Conservation Area dedicated to the management and conservation of some of the world’s most endangered species.

The new development area will not only expand the Calabar Metropolis but will also serve as a link to Tinapa by road and monorail thus shortening the travel between the Calabar Metropolis and Tinapa by more than half. This all goes to further consolidate our position as the premier tourism destination in Nigeria and also puts Cross River on the global tourism map as a destination for conferences and conventions.

All of these, in addition to our continued investment in the road network, water supply and rural electrification, are indeed dividends of our democracy. These are just rewards for our faith and belief in a system which has served us all and given everyone in our society a voice. As we look forward to the upcoming local council elections, let me re-iterate my call for the peaceful and civil electoral activities which we have all come to appreciate as normal here in Cross River.

It would be most unfortunate and imprudent of us to jeopardize the harmonious social and political atmosphere we currently enjoy, by failing to conduct ourselves with the utmost respect and civility during the impending local council polls. I urge us all to shun temptations to fragment and factionalize our polity through cultism and other nefarious activities. We, as government, will continue to support you to aid and not hinder the democratic process. We now reside in the era of ideas, freedom of choice and respect for the worth and dignity of every individual.In Cross River, the era of thuggery and violence is well and truly over.

As we celebrate the maturity of our democracy, let us take stock of what we have achieved, mindful of that fact that we have much more to accomplish. We have to take individual and collective responsibility for the state of our society and we can only achieve true democracy if we work together.

May the Good Lord match our efforts with commensurate results.I wish you all a very Happy Democracy Day.

God Bless Cross River State.

God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Thank you.

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