By Ushang Ewa
Former Cross River Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke has chided his incumbent, Senator Ben Ayade over his (non) performance.
Imoke told an audience of teeming youths during the 7th edition of ‘The Bridge Leadership Foundation’ that people use to describe him as “The sleeping Governor,” when he was in office but that he constructed rural roads which was a major achievement in his administration that lasted from 2007 to 2015; though truncated twice by court judgments where he was sacked.
“When I was governor you people said I was a sleeping governor, but I think you would appreciate a sleeping governor who constructed rural roads across the 18 LGAs than what you have now,” Imoke said in apparent reference to Mr. Ayade’s poor performance in road construction.
Having completed 2 years in office on May 29, 2017 a poll conducted by CrossRiverWatch showed that Mr. Ayade had performed poorly with 57 percent of the voters saying he has done very badly.
Mr. Ayade’s “Operation Zero Potholes” policy aimed at fixing all bad roads in the state and launched in December 2015 has performed poorly with potholes re-appearing on the alleged repaired roads a few months later which has remained that way.
A well-publicized text message exchange between Mr. Ayade and the then Chairman of the Inter-Party Advisory Council, Goddie Akpama gave a glimpse insight to Ayade’s thoughts on road construction as he had argued that roads are not constructed or repaired during the rainy seasons.
A rumor that Mr. Ayade has fallen out with his predecessors has continuously filled the air since December 2015.
But, Mr. Ayade’ aide and spokesperson, Mr. Christian Ita had in April 2016 denied that there is a cold war between Mr. Imoke and Mr. Ayade.
Ita had served as spokesperson to Mr. Imoke alongside Mr. Linus Obogo and Mr. Ayade retained their services when he assumed office.
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