For us in Cross River, it is yet another fiscal year, another budget and another tongue twisting confusion.
Again as usual, the people would spend more time taking about, and trying to analyze the strange appellation of budget proposal presented to the House of Assembly.
Definitely, the analyses would not dwell on its grave implications for us as a state.
The governor in his usual manner had flamboyantly christened the 2020 budget Olimpoitc Meristamasis, a name that we have struggled to pronounce.
The governor had struggled to explain what Olimpotic Meritemasis means, which according to him suggests “starting to build afresh”.
This explanation has not only twisted our tongues, but our minds as well, as the development are truly mind fuddling.
Disturbingly, but not unexpectedly, the House through the Speaker of the Assembly, has promised that they will give the Appropriation Bill of N1.1 trillion the necessary support so, it can be approved before the end of the year.
It is really troubling that Cross Riverians do not even know how the budgets of the previous years fared, especially that of last year, which was also over a trillion naira.
At this point, it would not be out of place to conclude that we are yet headed for another disaster, which clearly portends a gloomy outlook for the State.
If this particular budget suggests that we start building all over, then when are we going to reap? More importantly, what has been going on in the past four years, if we have not been planting and building towards reaping in the nearest future?
What time is there for us to plant, and reap within the next three years that his administration would run to a close?
Is the Governor telling us, he wants to take us to the beginning again?
Look at the figure in the budget proposal, it is just as laughable as the the names tagged the budgets of the State over the years since Ayade became Governor.
It is clearly a budget of fallacy. How is the State expected to meet such financial projections of N1.1trillion?
This is not about being pessimist or being negative about expectations from the budget, but rather it is about working with the reality on ground.
We cannot keep lying to ourselves. We cannot keep ignoring the elephant in this room. For how long would we keep our heads buried in the sand? We must stop playing the Ostrich.
What kind of explanation do you want to give us about starting all over, Mr. Governor? Now you tell us you want to privatize the deep seaport and superhighway.
The question is what did you tell Cross Riverians about these projects before today on their development? You had said the money for these were ready. What are all these inconsistencies about? Now where is the money you said you had ready for the projects?
To start with where is the deep seaport, and superhighway. Where are they located in Cross River?
Clearly, there is no direction, and there is no definition of substance in your 2020 budget of Olimpotic Meritemasis.
Why not tell the people the truth? Why keep on deceiving Cross Riverians?
We must continue to ask these questions, and challenge our Government to be answerable to us and we would not relent.
Let us (Cross Riverians) stop pretending that Ayade is working for fear that all of us in the opposition/opposing will be locked up, or because some of us can go on TV to share/speak the pains of Cross Riverians! This is a democracy and it must depend on strong institutions, it is about minority rights been heard, it is about checks and balances and importantly a free speech society, freedom of expression, freedom of press and a right to protest and petition the Government. It has to be a democracy that must ensure a judiciary that has all to follow the Law. This is democracy and we all must all Stop pretending that all is well.
CROSS RIVERIANS WAKE UP.
Ayade … Free – Agba Jalingo and Joe Odok Now.
Goddie Akpama, a former guber candidate, also served as Chairman of the Inter Party Advisory Committee in Cross River State.
NOTE: Opinions expressed in this article are strictly attributable to the author, Goddie Akpama and do not represent the opinion of CrossRiverWatch or any other organization the author works for/with.
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