Governor Ben Ayade And The One Billion Naira Question BY ITARI ITARI

In Breaking News, Opinion, Politics, Reports

When the 2015 general election was cooking, everyone knew the Chefs and knew quite well what was cooking.

It was clear where the major two aromas were coming from. But the seasoning from one pot was able to wet more throats because the pot kept boiling and almost never wanted to come down from the stove.

The magic that brought in our amiable Governor, Sen. Ben Ayade till date remains a mystery in the eyes of many but give it to Sen. Liyel Imoke, he’s truly an “Avatar” as Hon. John Gaul fondly calls him.

At the swearing-in at CICC I recall everyone was anxious to hear the new direction of the State popularly referred to as “The Civil Service State”. After waiting, the moment we all had been waiting for came, a moment that if you weren’t there can’t be recreated no matter how we try.

After the usual trashing of items in the agenda, step by step patiently it came to that item the Captain would say which direction we as a State should set sail to. At the mention of Signature projects the hall became a market square; breaking down the Signature projects (Superhighway from Calabar to Obudu, Bakassi Deep seaport and the Garment factory in Calabar) the hall again became a market place with everyone imagining the possibilities.

Like yesterday, four years has come and gone. May 29th is here again. Can we look back the track and see what was and picture what would be.

Yes, give it to him, he dared to dream and think outside the box. His main focus is on industrialization; that if we are sincere to ourselves is the only way to get our beloved Cross River State working to our taste and push our traditional products and services out to the world.

Lets not mix it, there are huge potentials in many ventures undertaken by the current administration that if focused on genuinely will spring the State to economic stardom.

Look at the Superhighway, Cala Pharm, Garment factory, New Cities (Calas Vegas etc.), Cocoa processing for export, Rice Seed and Seedling factory, Bakassi Deep Seaport, Cala Chika; these are laudable projects that those who don’t dare to dream or think outside the box can’t comprehend.

Yes, he might not be right in some of the process but lets call a spade a spade; the projects aforementioned are projects that if looked into critically with one might will transform Cross River State for life. Don’t forget that industrialization can’t be successful without IT and the Liyel Imoke administration left a goldmine project that is underutilized – Tinapa Knowledge City. If that city is properly utilized by this administration, be sure that it will play vital role in the running of all the aforementioned projects.

He’s human and not immune to errors, if the issues raised by oppositions to the projects are critically looked into, we will realize that there’s sense in every nonsense.

We as Cross Riverians need a Cross River State that will be dependent on itself not Federal allocation, we have all it takes from scratch, we need a Governor that can decouple the State from Federal dependence and I think Ayade is the first in that direction and might not be the only one. He might be the one to set the ball rolling but some day we will get there, Lagos and others didn’t get there in one day or two tenures.

In taking us there His Excellency needs to know that if he doesn’t have the backing of opinion molders there’s no way the tax payers will walk with him in these cloudy projects.

How can we get there if the media doesn’t believe you? How can we get there if the Stakeholders in each specific sectors are worried? How can we get there if the tax payers are kept afar? How can the future leaders follow and build on the legacies you will leave behind if they are not in the step by step picture? How can people pay tax when they have never seen any of their budget since 2015 till date? If they don’t have Local Government Chairmen which is the first true level of Government how can the grass rooters understand the cultural aspects of these projects? How will they believe you are funding the signature projects with intellectual money when the common Cross Riverian don’t understand what intellectual money is? These are one billion naira question summed for the Governor and his Generals to answer for posterity to remember them aright.

I am a member of Social Democratic Party (SDP) and a Chapter Chairman, I also endorsed you because I believe in these projects; you dared to dream out of the box. But as you have observed from the pulse of Cross Riverians there are certain mistakes you need not repeat, I know you know them and Cross Riverians know them too and I need not buttress. Remember, all politically conscious mind knows that the success of a second term for Ayade is dependent on those questions.

Thank you, I remain Itari Itari.

Itari Itari is the Social Democratic Party (SDP) Akamkpa Local Government Area Chapter Chairman and writes from Oban.

NB: Opinions expressed in this article are solely attributable to the author, Itari Itari and do not in anyway represent the opinion of CrossRiverWatch or any other organization the author works for/with.

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