…says people are disappointed in Gov Ayade’s administration
By Gabriel Ewepu
ABUJA- AHEAD of 2019 elections, a governorship aspirant under the platform of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, Cross River State Chapter, Mr Eyo Ekpo, Thursday, said will restore critical infrastructures that connect the people with government.
Ekpo who is a lawyer and chieftain of the party hails from Calabar Municipality Local Government Area of the State, stated this in an interview with journalists shortly after he officially picked his nomination form at the party’s national headquarters in Abuja.
According to him the people have been neglected as far as infrastructures like education, tourism, health care and security have been grossly neglected, which also will be his four cardinal areas of intervention and restoration if elected come 2019.
He said: “Cross River State was one of those states by all standards beginning from this democratic experience in 1999 started out with an excellent footing. In Cross River we experienced good governance in reality, it was not an academic proposition for us and we know what good governance is.
“But since then good governance has started to recede from us to the point of today we are in a very poor state as our state is poorly governed, a lot of talks, superficial things that has no meaning to the well being of the state, and our state is devalued.
“The reason why I am contesting not just for the candidacy of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, but I intend to contest in the election itself, I want to be the candidate of SDP in Cross River State is simply to recover our mandate we willingly gave to this Governor (Ayade) and we willingly brought him into office as a state.
“Haven failed us mean you have a right to a second term, and since he failed us you deserves to be voted out of office. I am here to lead the movement of Cross Riverians, not just of the SDP extraction but across the state; galvanise people to take back our mandate and recover it to see as our state is always know. There is widespread from top to bottom dissatisfaction with what the government stands for today and we will build on that.
“First, is to re-establish the connection between the people and the government. My state is one of those states that have a very close relationship between the traditional institution, the civil service, the political class and the people, we used to work together in tandem and not divided.
“The civil service is not utilized at all rather abandoned, we have now made fetish of only paying salaries. The traditional institution is totally abandoned and of course the people. Our execution is now a clapping session for the governor and nothing more. Second, the basic social welfare pillars that uphold and take care of the people like in Cross River include education, health and these have again fallen in terms of the standards that we set. In fact, is something we know we have to do if not you lose your connect with the people.
“Third is our infrastructure, which is to revive it and make our tourism industry attractive to people because know us as a state where tourism is a key driver of our socio-economic well being. Now there is no sector really par say as a tourism sector as such. Tourism is making the place attractive to people, well educated and healthy people who handle tourism with good security in place for people to come, but those things have died. People no more come to Cross River State.
“Finally, the soft side, and that is tourism, our state is one in which sports, security, and cultural activities are thing s that we are also known for. The four things I am talking about here are not big things par say they are simple basic things and the point I am making is that the basic things that make governance in Cross River State have been forgotten and they have to be restored.”
He also expressed confidence that INEC will do the expected as electoral umpire, and charged the people to police their vote at the polling stations to avoid any form of manipulation.
“I call on people of Cross River to understand that our votes are important if our votes were not important we will not be offered money for these votes. My message to them again is our votes are important than the N2, 000 and N3, 000 they throw at you. We will stay at the polling station to police our votes this time and won’t go home”, he added.