It’s 87 days to the end of this administration. I am most concerned about my State, Cross River, for obvious reasons. A lot can still be done in 87 days. The response of the people from the Cross River NASS elections sends an encrypted message to Governor Ayade about his sojourn so far and I want to suggest a few things that can still be done within the next 87 days.
- It is clear that UBEC will not allow the Canadian school in Obudu to run tertiary programs from that facility because the law says UBEC funding, which was used to build that school as well as the Teachers Training Institute in Biase LGA, is strictly meant for basic education; the first nine years. Their funding cannot be used for tertiary training or facilities. So just like what the Governor did in Baise, he can still get the primary section of the so-called Obudu Canadian school to commence.
A South Korean interest has invested in the primary section of the school according to information from the government. Recruitment of teachers was also conducted just before year-end. That recruitment shouldn’t be politicized and bastardized like several previous others. The Federal Ministry of Education has announced 9th May 2023, as the new resumption date for all primary schools for the 2023/2024 academic session. All hands must be put on deck to ensure that the primary section of the school commences before departure from office on May 29. If not, from May 30th that place will become where people will shit, smoke, make love, and be home to snakes and other rodents. But if the primary section starts, the next government won’t be able to roll it back because you can’t do an abortion after delivery. If they do, we will fight back.
- The new owners of the Obudu German Hospital, Biostadt and Cidacrest hospitals, have done a great job already by equipping the place after purchase. I understand it is delays on the part of the government to meet some contractual agreements that are delaying the takeoff. I do not know how true that is. But if that hospital can become functional, an entirely new community will develop around it just like UCTH in Calabar and that will positively affect everything in Obudu. But if it doesn’t become functional before May 29, it may also end up as a garden for stray lovers and wandering ganja inhalers. But if it can become functional before then, we will be assured that you can’t have an abortion after delivery.
- Groundnut oil factories aren’t a big deal to set up. I can’t even understand why ours became such a snail trail. I went to the two groundnut mills in Gakem and Nyanya Olim in Bekwara and the equipment is there. It is still possible to get those to work before May 29 Very possible if the will is still there and that will also stand as a legacy after exit. Making them survive after then becomes the next government’s qualms because you cannot do an abortion after delivery.
- The Ogoja rice mill is a piece of great work. It’s still underutilized because of poor planning. It has been handed over to the lady that came from Christ Embassy in Lagos, Pastor Yemisi Kudehinbu, and she is making very frantic efforts to get a wide range of smallholder farmers that will provide substantial rice paddy to sustain operations of the mill. If that process can also be seen through, the mill will remain a legacy project of Ayade that the next governor won’t be able to shut down because you can’t do an abortion after delivery.
It is his own Northern Senatorial district that rejected him. That’s where he will retire to if he ever goes home. That’s why I concentrated on the North. It was deliberate. And I am writing this not as an expert and not because I think I know anything. I am writing this because I think as an activist and a journalist, I also have a duty to proffer my own possible solutions, whether they make sense or not. Thank you.
Citizen Agba Jalingo is the Publisher of CrossRiverWatch and a rights activist, a Cross Riverian, and writes from Lagos.
NB: Opinions expressed in this article are strictly attributable to the author, Agba Jalingo, and do not represent the opinion of CrossRiverWatch or any other organization the author works for/with.