The administration of Governor Benedict Ayade would be three years soon. Ardent critics of the administration, that is if there are, would agree that Governor Ayade has proved his capability to manage the most diverse state in Nigeria. Indeed, when the governor was taking over from his predecessor , there were palpable fears about whether he would fit into what was considered then as the big shoes left by Imoke.
Ayade seems to have done better than that. Having seen that Imoke shoes were becoming rather too tight, he had built or should we say, constructed his own shoes and has made it bigger.
Not only has he been able to take Cross to the next level, he is definitely surpassing the achievements of his predecessor in office within his two years plus .As a journalist and a social media Activist, one is trained to be skeptical, keeping one’s counsel until there are evidence to convince one about the true situation of things. Not only that, in Nigeria, Government’s efforts are often waved away “dismissally”, especially when one considers the non-performance of the past.
But in Ayade’s case, the facts of his good performance are too glaring to be dismissed with a wave of the hand. Though I have never met the governor except at a distance, but his works speak for him.
When he took over governance, one of the major projects he embarked on was the building of the garment factory.
We were all skeptical. Would this not be one of those projects that would be started, completed with the manufacturing process coming on only on the day of commissioning?
How would such be sustained? We all wanted to know. But he did it. Today, over five thousand cross riverians are employed. It wasn’t a flash in the pan.
Places like Ikom, Yala,Ogoja, Bekwara,Calabar to mention but few area also enjoying good projects initiated by Ayade.
Presently, work is ongoing to boost up the remaining part of the state to stamp the promise of industrializing cross river state.
Indeed, no road is completed without the accompanying street light, unlike the situation in the past with this believe AYADE has done magic in this sector.
A major area that the governor is equally making impact is in the construction of roads and expansion of previous ones in order to reduce urban rural transportation burden. Who would have known that solution could be found to the perennial bad roads that keeps vehicles moving at snail’s speed on our roads.
Commuters would spend spend days in the past to access markets . It only took a little creativity to solve the problem, with the massive construction of roads across the state which makes it easy to move in and out of different town and cities of the state.
It was a very ingenious way of solving a perennial problem. But what really showcased the brilliance of the administration is the solution provided .
It was such a simple, ingenious solution that one kept asking why nobody had thought about this before.
But that is always the case with great ideas.
Those are just the tip of the iceberg, many other parts of Cross river have become huge construction sites.
Inner roads in the state are not left out. A particular road, Ebo ~Benue road where my house is, is still a surprise. I had given up hope that any administration would ever remember the area.
I never even knew the area was even charted, you can imagine my surprise when construction started on that road a few months back.
Off the Ogoja Mbok- road by Nfom, is another surprise road construction. The construction again veered off into communities.
From there one can link up with hundreds of communities within the state . It is really an exciting adventure for Cross riverians . I am excited because there are now many options to chose from when moving in and out of that axis.
I never thought it was possible.
The Central axis of the state also had a taste of the good life. The governor had earlier A cocoa farm, and other viable projects
The many projects commissioned few months back were christened Jubilee projects in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the creation of the state.
Indeed, there’s a vision for some of the projects being embarked upon by the governor, this was captured in one of his speeches during the commissioning.
“As a government, we are irrevocably committed to making Cross river State an investment haven and we have made it a duty to put in place top class infrastructure that will facilitate movement of people, goods and materials. We are confident that these initiatives will boost commercial activities in this axis, support economic growth and significantly reduce travel time as well as other costs associated with transport challenges.”
This, one can say captures the essence of governance under Ayade.
There seems to be a vision in most of what the administration is doing in the state.
This is what other states should also emulate, even at the federal level. There should be visions driving projects that government at all levels embark on. The era of starting projects for self aggrandizement should be a thing of the past.
Nigeria should move beyond the mistakes of the past and take its position in the comity of developing nations of the world.
Achieving this is not rocket science. Successive administrations in Cross river state have shown what the power of ideas can achieve.
From the administration of Duke who laid the building blocks in 1999, through Imoke and now Ayade, Cross river has clearly shown that with power creativity and vision, a lot could be achieved in terms of development.
But the special appreciation should go to Cross riverians, who voted for these men in spite of oppositions and gave firm support for Ayade’s emergence, Cross river state is definitely on a roll.
And hear Ayade: “People should understand that I am a dreamer and I want the people to dream along with me. This is like a vision. I sit down here as Governor, I have been given the opportunity to process something and improve on it.
That is the singular opportunity that this office bestows on me and I don’t want to misuse it. I have lived in this city for over 40 years. What I see is wrong. I don’t like it and I want to change it.”
But a word of caution, the governor should know he has set a standard which must be maintained in the next two years, if he relents in the pursuit of that standard, we will not hesitate to take him on.
But presently, he has walked his talks that he would change Cross river and make it a different state.
AYADE should do more to earn our votes in 2019.
I am Egbara Emmanuel Ikaba.