By Jonathan Ugbal: Government House Correspondent
About 300 more appointees will soon be announced said Cross River Governor, Ben Ayade Wednesday afternoon during a parley with journalists in the state.
Ayade who said his decision to parley with journalists was borne out of the improved perception and media rating the state is currently enjoying posited that if anyone understood the politics of third world countries, then they will understand why his administration decided to increase the number of appointments from about 98 to over 800, and pointed out that “We have a new list of about 300 to be appointed which will be announced next week”.
The governor accompanied by his deputy, Professor Ivara Esu had begun the day by lampooning certain convictions based on reports done in the past concerning the garment factory.
“If somebody gets up somewhere in the world and says the garment factory belongs to an individual when there is a provision to check the ownership and in such ill deliberately constructed story begins to gain grounds and then partners begin to fan it, you feel a deep sense of pity because if they truly know your heart, they won’t have this” Ayade said and quickly added that, “that is in the past now”.
He expressed angst at the way the media has been pushed to shift away from informing and educating the people to publishing for profit. “We use to have articles in the newspapers that are dedicated to knowledge. Politics and crass reporting have taken over” Ayade said.
On the percentage of positive reportage, Ayade complained that the state was currently under reported in terms of activities and lamented losing 2 major transactions due to particular reportage on security that painted the state in a negative limelight and called on them to be balanced. “If we have gone wrong, I am not saying spare us but don’t judge us based on other people perceptions” he said.
Soliciting for the support of journalists, Ayade said that; “I come here today to say look, we have spent one year plus doing an agenda setting for the state. Now we are shifting into escape velocity to start investment growth and speed and move into physical development” adding that, “This velocity we are setting is too gigantuos (sic) for me to go on without you buying into the agenda”.
He continued; “Corporate image has improved, investors perception has turn into something else, our flights coming into Calabar have become fairly regular, our cities look clean and going green, perception in general which is critical, we have a tremendous improvement. I see it from the way investors’ troop in, I see it from the messages I get when I am out of this country seeking for investors”.
Furthermore, he said that; “You have done a great job in this marketing, in this perception engineering that is why I said I must call you and thank you because somehow you have worked for this perception to be going positive the way it is going. I want to specially thank all of you here because you have all contributed in making this great name for Cross River State”.
Also, he criticized the country’s decision to copy the American system of democracy which he said was not working and called on Cross Riverians to have faith him as he does in President Muhammadu Buhari.
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