This is an Open letter to the governor of Cross River state, Ben Ayade…
Dear senator Ben Ayade
Congratulation for being returned elected by the good people of Cross River state and being given an opportunity to serve the state in the next four years.
Thank you for lifting up Ogoja and Obudu in the North with traffic lights. At least, we will see it here before we see it as a surprise in Calabar.
Thank you for asphalting hospital road and a part of Okuku Road.
Thank you for the Rice processing complex betwe and Yala. There is hope that our young ones will be employed in the shortest possible time.
Your excellency, there is so much yet undone and I will try in this letter to highlight the few pressing ones.
First, I think you should concentrate your energy in completing the Mfom Obudu Dual carriage road. The signal we are getting here is that the road is beginning to look like it shall be abandoned. Your critics say the “gara gara” you did was purely political just to sway the votes during the elections. Prove your critics wrong and ensure that the contractor returns to site. If you can finish the Mfom Okuku axis with spur to Igoli, we will be glad that phase One is complete. Alternatively, you can cover Obudu to Abuochiche and we will be happy. All we want is that at least 80% of that road is completed before the end of next year.
The second area of focus is on power. You know the limitations of the state government in terms of power generation and linking up to the national grid. We in the North are asking you to pick up our protest letter and submit same to the Minister of Power requesting that the already completed power station in Ogoja should be activated. If as a governor, you cannot push for the completion of this project during your tenure, then all your industrialization drive will amount to naught if the people are in darkness. We don’t want you to build a power station for us. We want you to influence, motivate, drag and plead with the Federal government to link Ogoja Power station with the Abakaliki National 132kv Grid that is ready. It is not acceptable that you are a governor from the north and your people are in darkness.
The issue of the location of a Federal University of Technology currently being processed in the House of Representatives and sponsored by Hon Jarigbe Agom is another vital issue I will like you to vigorously pursue. You cannot pretend that we in the north don’t need a federal university. As a professor with world class reputation, a single visit to president and minister of education will finish the Job that Jarigbe Agom has started.
The way Nigeria is currently configured, if you don’t make your request known and push for it, you will never be remembered. Delta State in the south South geopolitical zone has three federal Universities – Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun, Maritime University Okerenkoko, Gbaramatu and ICT university Asaba. As a governor and knowing the distance between Ogoja and Calabar and knowing the relationship between easy access to education and economic development, I am convinced that this letter will provoke you to do something.
It will be recalled, your excellency, that you had set up a committee headed by ken Akla Special adviser in your office to do a needs assessment of critical infrastructure lacking in all the wards across the state with a view of gradually addressing the needs even with community support. Your team visited the entire state and submitted a report to you and since then, nothing has come out of the report. One community visited by your team in Ogoja is the Ukpagada community that lost her linking bridge during the civil war and have been cut off from the urban center. Their hopes were raised and till now, they now mock at me who drew the attention of the team to the village. I suspect that the same feeling is running through most of the villages that hosted the fact finding team.
I pray that you do something in this regard. 100 million naira can solve the problem of 10 communities. All you do is work with the communities to support the government with water, sand and gravel and you provide the technical manpower and the deal is done.
Lastly, your excellency, the entire north voted massively for you as their son, even when we don’t know anything about your government through the news media. We had CRBC Ugaga and today it is defunct. CRBCTV Ikom is not functional and even when it was functional, you need antenna to get it before you can hear what your governor is doing. As a digital governor, if you cannot build a TV station because of dearth of funds, then pay DSTV to host CRBC like Lagos and Ogun state have done to LTV and OGTV. It is sad that in the 21st century, a state like ours cannot feed her citizens with what the government is doing. We are now more of Ebonyi state people than Cross Riverians.
God bless you as you take time to look at these issues I have raised.
If you do not find them fit to attract your attention, then concentrate on what you know will move the state to greater heights. I may be limited in vision and so the little information at my disposal may have caused me to err. Please do forgive.
Power and authority to redesign Cross River state is in your hand. Use it well so that you will be remembered. Lest I forget thank you for prompt payment of salaries even when some of us are yet to enjoy the implementation of our promotion.
By Mike Udam