Dear CrossRiverians and my fellow youths and comrades, members of the press, ladies and gentlemen.
It is in the spirit of service to our state and humanity that I humbly welcome you to this event, “CROSS RIVER STATE YOUTH WORLD PRESS CONFERENCE” which among other things is aimed at ensuring a better and prosperous State for us all.
According to the theme of this event, “THE STATE OF CROSS RIVER STATE”
You will all recall that in 2012, the supreme court of Nigeria gave a final ruling on our OIL WELLS in favour of our sister State, Akwa Ibom thereby taking away the RIGHTFUL OWNERSHIP of oil wells to them which equally denied us of thirteen percent (13%) of derivation from federal allocation.
This judgement of course was not welcome by our State leadership and the entire CrossRiverians, but as law abiding citizens we respected the decision of the court which actually did not reflect our yearnings for justice but with a total hope and resolve that some day justice would be done.
This verdict has left Cross River State and CrossRiverians in an untoward economic hardship and driven many into poverty.
Since then, the federal government of Nigeria has been insensitive to our plights as this decision did not take into account COMPENSATION PLANS or even working out any modality towards compensating us.
We the youths of Cross River State consider this injustice done to us as totally unacceptable and we ask that something must be done about it.
Fellow youths, our governor (Sen Prof Ben Ayade) came into office in May, 2015 with the full knowledge of our economic and socio-political situations, he came in with an economic blueprint of “Industrialisation”, a vission that he believes can decouple and deliver the State from over dependent on federal allocations.
He started with his SIGNATURE PROJECTS ( Bakassi Deep Sea Port and Super HighWay) as pillars for development and numerous projects in the State in order to if not completely, nearly take the State away from over dependent on federal allocations.
However, most of these projects have been experiencing delays in coming into completion due to our financial status and surprisingly lack of APPROVALS from federal government (e.g.THE POWER PLANT and others) that are aimed at improving the economic situation of the state.
Due to the Federal government’s insensitivity to our plights, we the youths of this State and the entire CrossRiverians therefore launch the below harshtag:
(BBOOW@CRS.NG) to consolidate on our protest launched on Thursday, 4th July 2019 in the Capital city, Calabar to further put forward our demands to federal government of Nigeria.
We therefore, put forward the following demands to federal government of Nigeria led by president Muhammadu Buhari:
1. That Our Oil wells be brought back
2. The federal government of Nigeria should as a matter of necessity give prompt support to our government/Governor’s (Sen Prof Ben Ayade’s) SIGNATURE PROJECTS, like the Deep Sea Port, Super HighWay, Power Plant to fast track their completion etc.
3.The federal government of Nigeria should reimburse cross river state government on what the state has spent on federal government roads.
4. The federal government of Nigeria should implement the green tree agreement (The Bakassi resettlement)
5. The federal government of Nigeria should give APPROVAL/LICENSES to our government to enable her engage in exploration of natural resources in the State.
6. The federal government of Nigeria should give prompt attention to all her ongoing/intending projects and programs in the State to ensure her economic growth and development in order to improve the livelihood of her citizens and place her special status as it were. CROSS RIVER STATE, CALABAR was the first CAPITAL CITY of Nigeria, and it indeed, remains the “Pride of Nigeria” till date.
We call on international organizations, donors agencies, philanthropists, corporate private organizations, businessmen
and women, investors and other agencies to support the government of Cross River State of Nigeria by investing in the State as the economic viability of the State is undoubtable.
We specially, call on all CrossRiverians home and abroad to rise up and be committed to this course, for “WE KNOW OUR WORTH, WE KNOW OUR VALUE AND WE KNOW OUR HERITAGE”~
Sen Ben Ayade,
You are the voice we need.
CROSS RIVER STATE WINS!!!
WE ALL WIN.
Thank you all for coming and for listening.
GOD BLESS THE YOUTH…..
GOD BLESS CROSS RIVER STATE…
GOD BLESS THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA..
Amb. Jerry Odey
Cross River State Youth Leaders and Stakeholders Forum
Bring Back Our Oil Wells