Monday, 29 May 2017

Cross River @50: A Failed Project

In 1967, 6 new states including our dear Cross River were created in the entity called Nigeria. This states are namely Lagos, Rivers, Kano, Kwara, Kaduna and Cross River.

Among this 6 states, only Cross River and Lagos have been the Nation's capital at one period or the other, in fact Cross River as the first Capital of Nigeria is supposed to be at the fore front of development in Nigeria, but we all can attest that is not the case today.

Cross River became a forgotten state in the league of States in Nigeria, it was the least recognised, with little or no federal presence.

But thanks to Some pastors in the land in the person of Pst. J. I. Okoro and others who through prayers and prophetic actions brought the state out of obscurity and took the state back to lime light. Not forgetting  the unquantifiable efforts of DD the Don- our amiable Donald Duke who brought in immeasurable urban development that gave the state a facelift and branded image among states and across international boundaries.

16 years after Donald took the state to an unprecedented height. Cross Riverians either by proxy or by persons voted in Ayade as Governor.

Ayada came in and set the state on a reverse gear. Gearing towards obscurity, bloodshed and darkness as well as satanic bandages all in a speed lane.

The Governor should count himself lucky to have been privileged to be in the hems of affairs when the state clocked 50.

This is because 50 a significant number that should not be toiled with. 50 years marked the state's Golden Jubilee. And hardly can anyone see two jubilees. Jubilee is a period of freedom, liberty and repossession of stolen or forcefully collected properties.

This was the opportunity God in His infinite mercies granted to Ayade, but like a child, he toiled with it and it became a flop.

50 Years celebration was suppose to be a thick event well attended by both government officials and the citizens but the Cross River Experience was a failed attempt as compared with the other 5 States.

The event started with an interdenominational service at cultural center which was poor attended as even the governor who should have used that as an avenue to seek God's face was out of town in his usual travelling escapades. In like manner his appointees who are mostly drawn from different cult groups shone the prayer meeting.

Records also have it that other activities like the meeting with the traditional rulers did not hold as the governor kept the royal fathers waiting from morning till 4pm when they decided to disperse. I just hope the governor knows the implication and aftermaths of what he did?

The novelty football match failed to happen and a host of other scheduled event never took place. Members of the Planing committee said it was so because funds were not made available.

The final event to round up our golden jubilee was on Saturday 27th May. The event coincided with the Children's day celebration.

Youths of Cross River state took to the streets to protest Bad Governance and the attempted change of the state brand. Demanding for various social amenities.

This youths were shot tear gas and told that they were given instructions not to allow any form of gathering.

The government having noticed poor attendance in all previous events decided to buy crowd by requesting the youth commissioner to mobilise students across the state to fill the venue of the event. And 13million was given to Asu Okan for the mobilization.

The SUG presidents of UNICAL, CRUTECH, HEALTH- TECH and other institutions were contacted to mobilise their students to attend the event with a promise of demobilisation.

At the end of the event the commissioner for youth bridge the contract by claiming he has given the UNICAL SUG 1million Naira. This accusation and refusal to keep to his promise of demobilization made the already furious and hungry student to take to the streets were they confronted by security agent who opened fire on them with 3 students sustaining various degrees of injuries.

Nobody knows how Asu Okan spent the 13million becasue he told the protesting students that he was given money by the governor to celebrate his mother's 60th birthday.

This was how our Golden Jubilee turned out to be a show of sporadic shooting and intimidation of youths and students who form majority of Ayade's votes in 2015.

Ayade got it all wrong from the beginning. First the caliber of people he brought into power. Second his attitude of not sitting down to govern. Third he allowed his brother interfere with governance. Fourth dreaming not just unrealistic but selfish motivated projects. And many more.

Cross River @50 was indeed another failed project in Ayade's hands.

Ukorebi Esien
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