By Akanimo Sampson
The outcome of the 2019 polls has already been decided. So it seems in Cross River State, a coastal state in Southern Nigeria. The state wing of the All Progressives Congress (APC), President Muhammadu Buhari’s party, says Governor Ben Ayade has conceded defeat to them before the actual elections.
Spokesman for the APC in the state, Bassey Ita, in a statement said Ayade had “already accepted defeat” from the APC which is a “superior army.” The statement also alleged that the governor has received almost N500 billion with nothing to show for it, adding his media parley in Calabar, the state capital, was full with “apologies” and “deceitful considerations” for Cross Riverians.
Local news reporters in the state say Governor Ayade had in a media parley on Wednesday, expressed his concern over the narrative about his administration and stressed the need for the media to tell his own story too.
APC says a careful bisect of the claim of the governor reveals the heart of a man who has already accepted defeat and is ready to go home to roost for bad like the proverbial chicken who won’t utilize such opportunity to make a name in the integrity hall of fame, describing it as a compendium of apologies and deceitful considerations for the peoples of the state.
‘’Apologies are often made by those who have a stigma or aura of failure or disappointments over them as identity. His appeal for patients of the people whose mandate he holds and is desirous of keeping again reveals his acceptance of failure in the delivery of good governance and all of that.
‘’The boastful Governor suddenly realised that the people exist! But the issue is that Cross Riverians have been committed to change and there is no going back on this. They are everyday inundated with empty promises and inexcusably bad administration of the State, brazen deceit and fraud to mention a few such dispositions.
‘’We dare to ask for instance when was the last time Cross River workers were promoted and their emoluments reflecting the promotion paid at all!? What about the emoluments of his appointees? Are there earning what is rightly theirs? How many MoUs have translated to tangible projects?
‘’Cross Riverians need to be reminded that for the past three plus years, the Ayade government has received from the federation account, over N480 billion as allocation to the State and the 18 local government areas but residents in most part of the state or local government areas are still crying out for roads, for water and for other basic infrastructure that would add value to his deceptive or weird prospect for improving our local economy. Yet, for all that he has received, no one industry is producing to the advantage of the economy.
‘’The story behind the ownership of the Garment Factory has equally tilted in a negative conclusion for the PDP governor. His statement I can give my right eye for the people of Cross River State. I will rather lose election than lose my name which is a legacy and it is paramount to me’ reveals the pregnancy of another weird thought. It is an acceptance of defeat by a man who is seeing the disenchantment of the people’’, APC said.
Continuing, APC said, ‘’as a superior army, our resolve is to conquer the people’s oppressors albeit politically and change the current narrative of our dear state. There is an air of freedom around the corner!’’
Ayade had spoken on issues such as the failure of Tinapa to resuscitate the state’s economy after it lost 73 oil wells to neighboring Akwa Ibom State; the Bakassi deep seaport, Obudu Mountain resort, tourism among others during the media parley.
However, the state was named after the Cross River, which passes through it. The state occupies 20,156 square kilometers, sharing boundaries with Benue, Ebonyi, Abia, Akwa Ibom states, Cameroon Republic and the Atlantic Ocean.
It was created on May 27, 1967 from the defunct Eastern Region by the General Yakubu Gowon military regime. Its name was changed to Cross River State in the 1976 state creation exercise by the then General Murtala Mohammed regime from South Eastern State.
Akwa Ibom was excised from it in the state creation exercise of September 1987 by the then regime of General Ibrahim Babangida. Apart from Calabar, its capital, the other major towns are Akamkpa, Biase,Calabar South, Ikom, Obubra, Odukpani, Ogoja, Ugep, Obudu, Obanliku, Akpabuyo, Ofutop, Iso-bendeghe and Boki.
Previously, the state has been governed by many governors and administrators including Udoakaha J. Esuene, Paul Omu, Tunde Elegbede, Clement Isong, Donald Etiebet, Daniel Archibong, Ibim Princewill, Ernest Atta, Clement Ebri, Ibrahim Kefas, Gregory Agboneni, Umar Faoruk Ahmed, Christopher Osondu, Donald Duke and Liyel Imoke.
The re-election seeking Governor Ben Ayade is still holding sway till the official outcome of next year’s elections.
By Akanimo Sampson