By Our Correspondent
Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River has once again assured that his administration is committed to creating a new vista of economic hope for the people of the state as a reflection of the deep love he has for them.
Ayade who stated this, Thursday, at a get together packaged by the SSG and members of the State Executive Council to mark the governor’s 48th birthday, held at the conference room of his office, Calabar, asserted that in spite of the economic meltdown which has affected various states of the federation, Cross River under his leadership will consciously strive to overcome.
The governor emphasized that the state was currently suffering from the colossal injustice meted to it with the ceding of Bakassi to Cameroon and the subsequent re-allocation of the state’s 76 oil wells to Akwa Ibom State, and vowed that the government and the people of Cross River will certainly go back to the question of Bakassi Peninsula, where the world in Nigeria will have to revisit the Bakassi injustice.
Governor Ayade said that a major problem was created by the transfer of the Bakassi territory to Cameroon without the consent of the people by way of a plebiscite, and reasoned that it is impossible to tangle a temporary solution in a major or colossal problem such as the Bakassi question.
“There is no way where you cede a part of a people’s territory without a referendum, without recourse to the national provisions in the constitution, and you create a temporary solution and you think you can address a permanent injury, it will never work”, Ayade asserted.
On the federal allocation to Cross River which has dropped below one billion naira, Ayade reasoned that “It is good news for me because it has formed the basis for the real struggle to start. The people of Cross River will go back to the Bakassi question”.
On the non inclusion of Cross River as a littoral state, the governor stressed the need to re-construct the economy in order to change the fortunes of the people.
“How long can we see that a state with over 123km of Atlantic coastline, with such vast resources, and we are told that we are no longer a littoral state and we cannot take the advantage of reconstructing our economy to change our fortune?” Ayade asked rhetorically.
The Cross River Governor further disclosed that his recent trip to 12 foreign nations was meant to attract investors to the state and that the visit has yielded the desired results as many investors were scrambling among themselves to take over the Deep seaport .
Bringing in a parable in Obudu which states that a snake cannot get filled or satisfied while in its fold, but must stretch and move about to be able to feed, he explained that it is based on this premise that he travelled to look for an alternative to the dwindling allocation from the Federal Government.
He maintained that in the face of current realities, his administration will introduce programs and policies that will change the fortunes of the people, put an end to hunger as well as ensuring that mothers no longer have sleepless nights not knowing what their children will eat, adding that his expanded government is a deliberate measure to put food in more tables and mouths than hitherto, and that his administration will focus on service to the people.
“We will focus more on service because our allocation has fallen so badly, it has become clear that we must come out well charged and determined to make a difference or end the journey.”
Piqued by the financial challenges faced by his appointees in the delivery of their various task, the governor said: “Under my watch, everyone who is appointed in my government will have his own little operational vote.”
Worried by criticisms of some of his programs by some critics in the state, Ayade said: “For anybody who is a Cross Riverian and the blood of Cross River flows in his vein, to construct, design, conspire and plan to frustrate these projects, the ancestors of Cross River will watch over you.”
The governor thanked the SSG and the members of the state Executive Council for the surprise birthday celebration which came in arrears and described it as a coup by the organizers and promised to continue to create an enabling environment for his team to work for the overall good of the people of Cross River.
It will be recalled that the birth day of the governor was on March 2, 2016, but he was not around for a cake to be cut for him by his team, and to make up for the day, the SSG and the members of the State Executive Council ambushed the governor with a surprise birthday today.
The birthday celebration was attended by members of the State Exco, the State Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Ntufam John Okon, Special Advisers and some other appointees of the governor.
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