The State Governor, Senator (Prof.) Ben Ayade has been commended for his three years of impactful leadership, which is repositioning the State as an industrial hub that would positively affect the socio-economic life of the citizenry, as well as the economy of the State as a whole.
A cross section of Cross Riverians and residents of Calabar, who bared their minds on Governor Ben Ayade’s performance in the last three years, during the 2018 Democracy Day Road Show said the completion of the largest single-floor Garment Factory, the Calabar Pharmaceutical Company (CALAPHARM), the Rice City Project, the Ultramodern Cocoa Processing Factory in Ikom, the Toothpick Factory in Ekori, Yakurr, among others, are clear demonstration of the administration’s commitment to change the fortunes of the State for the better.
Speaking, Mr. Itafu Okim showered praises on the Ayade-led administration, saying “if the projects displayed on the banners are anything to go by, then Senator (Prof.) Ben Ayade has done exceedingly well for Cross River State.”
Okim further stated that Governor Ayade’s performance in his first tenure is a testament to his service-oriented disposition and visionary leadership, while advising the present government to expedite action and complete those lofty projects across the State.
Also articulating her views, Mrs. Patricia Orok, a business woman, spoke highly of the Ayade administration’s policies, programmes and projects, adding that the Bakassi Deep Seaport and the 275 km Super Highway, when completed, will enhance trade and investment, thereby transforming Cross River State into a commercial nerve-centre in the country.
Another speaker, Mr. Henry Monkom said he had earlier thought of the numerous projects of the Ayade-led administration as a publicity stunt, while pointing out that the Democracy Day Road Show afforded him the opportunity through the many banners displaying this administration’s achievements.
Monkom further spoke of his conviction and believe in the Ayade-led administration, urging the Governor not be deterred by detractors and naysayers, but continue with his vision and drive for the State.
Flagging-off the event, Governor Ayade gave an account of his stewardship in the last three years while addressing a mammoth crowd that trooped in to grace the Road Show, saying: “When you are a governor and you focus on the people, this is what you get because I have shifted government from a small number of people who before now thought that they were the Alpha and the Omega. I have communized government, expanded it and taken it to the people that need it most. That is what has brought the atmosphere you see here today.”
“Cross River State has never had it so good, when almost every family has somebody in government,” adding that “that is the secret because in a sluggish and developing economy, the focus is on the people, while infrastructure becomes secondary. If people have not eaten, you cannot be thinking of doing roads for them. Food first! While my first term policy is food on the table by expanding government, I did so because I understand that in politics, the emphasis should be on the people, Governor Ayade continued.”
Governor Ayade, who emphasized more on service delivery rather than overemphasis on 2019 campaigns, questioned: “From the beginning of an election, you think of another election, so we do election in Nigeria for the purpose of election and not for the service to the people?
“I’m more focused on my people and if your focus is on the people, politics will be three months before election and I think whether you are in opposition or in the ruling party, just focus on your people and you will see that the conflict in your state will be less because if I’m doing well as a Governor, there will be no desperation to effect a change. The only reason where you see fierce competition is because those who become governors or even presidents hold it and limit it only to their political party,” Governor Ayade concluded.
In her opening remarks, the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mrs. RoseMary Archibong, said: “Democracy Day is worth celebrating in Cross River because Governor Ayade has in three years turned the state to an industrial hub. From the South, Central and Northern Senatorial Districts, evidence of performance is everywhere and since the projects are not short term projects, continuation of his tenure beyond 2019 is expedient.”
The event was highlighted by cutting of tape to flag-off Road Show and a commemorative cake to mark Nigeria’s 19 years of unbroken democratic rule, with various groups, men, women, students, workers, youths in a motorcade round the Calabar metropolis, accorded with solidarity songs for Ayade and his team for palpably transforming lives as evident in his policy thrust and the long term projects spread across the State.