Sunday, 24 June 2018

"You don't deserve a second term" - C'river state Christian leaders to Ayade

Bishop Josef Bassey and Prof. Sen. Ben Ayade

| 25 June 2018 | Ukorebi Esien

Cross River State Christian Leaders Forum, led by Bishop Josef Bassey of God's Heritage Church in Calabar, Cross River State has said that the incumbent state Governor, Prof. Sen. Ben Ayade does not deserve the vote of the church for a second term in office.

Bishop Bassey who was supported by some leaders of the group made this known over the weekend while  addressing newsmen in Calabar on the state of the state. He noted that "The state needs to be rescued as a matter of urgency"

The Bishop said "Indicators are clear that the state is failing and we need to speak the truth. We owe the people, the government and the state just that".

"No meaningful progress has been achieved in the state in the present administration. And we have a government in power that does not know how to preserve or work on what they inherited from the previous administration.

"If you can't build on what you inherited, at least, do not let it deteriorate". He lamented the sorry state of affairs in all sectors in the state and cited the civil service for instance saying, "The civil service of the state is worst hit by mal-administration. We have never had it as worst as this. 

"what more can you say of a government that has no memo, memos are sent through Whatsapp.  No meaningful Exco meetings are are held, rather there are forum for praise singing. The government also talks about making numerous appointments and providing monthly stipends to them but even with that, those same persons have been crying in their closet, because the situation is rather creating much poverty in the state."

"Everywhere, the whole issue is more like raping the state, robbing the state and impoverishing the state. Taken us 30 years backward, if not more!

"The fear of intimidation and witch-hunting in the state had made stakeholders to be afraid of speaking their minds but the church cannot watch the state deteriorate to its worst level.

"The state civil service is completely bastardised, no impress for Commissioners, no vehicles for Permanent Secretaries and even the Assembly Members. The service has been destroyed before our very eyes.

"This administration came up with so many promises, but we are yet to see them coming to limelight. We have numerous communal and cult clashes on daily basis across the state and cultist are being openly celebrated while some are compensated with appointments; something must be done to safe Cross River from sinking.

"As we speak, Crossriverians are yet to feel the dividends of any project. Democratic dividends should be the basis for re-election. Ayade does not deserve a second term'', he said.

The cleric, however, called on stakeholders in the state to rise above political party sentiments and safe Cross River from total collapse.

"Even the scholarship programme that was initiated by previous administrations has been abolished. Some students who were in their final year in school have dropped out.

"The government of Cross River now collects taxes from companies in upfront of about three years. The situation is very bad now because even the petty trader by the road is heavily taxed.

"Our rural roads are so bad that we can no longer access them. This government has failed in managing what the previous administration built.

Everyone should rise and stop crying in the secret. Cry out and let the government and everyone hear your voice. Community leaders should speak out. Let us be able to engage our government.

"Make sure you have your PVC and make sure you take credible actions to create credible alternatives.   There are too many capable people in the state to lead us out of the present mess."

On the proposed visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to Calabar next week, the clergy said, "The president is coming to commission the naval hospital. We also understand the state government wants him to commission a rice seedling factory that she built.

But the question is, where is the rice seedling is being produced? On a laterite or on what ground? What has been produced there?

"These are the kind of comedy we find, that is what is taken exulted position. I think this government should rather cease this opportunity of the President's visit to set an agenda on what are the core issues in the state that we need Federal intervention.

"That is what we need and what should be; Not a window dressing. The state government should set an agenda rather than seeking to impress anybody on what is not real" he stated.

However, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Christian Ita, has been reported to have countered the allegation saying that Bishop Bassey, "is suffering from optical illusion or alien to the truth. Let him go and run his church.

"Cross River receives the least allocation from the federal government and yet, we have meaningful projects on ground.

"President Muhammadu Buhari is coming to Calabar on June 26 to commission the largest rice city factory in Africa.

"The garment factory that was built by Ayade is functioning with over 3,000 workers, mainly widows.

"The power plant in Calabar is almost been completed and the toothpick factory in Yakurr local government is almost completed too.

"The East-West road in Boki local government has been completed among other numerous projects of the Governor.'' he noted.

Ukorebi Esien blogs for TDN, where he tells the Nigerian story, one article at a time.
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