By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
Civil Societies under the auspices of Coalition of CSOs Promoting Good Governance In Nigeria, COCPROGIN, Thursday, hailed Cross River State Governor, Prof Ben Ayade, over performance and impact on development.
This was contained in a statement signed by leaders of the coalition including Convener and Founder Citizen’s Enlightenment Initiative, CEI, Hon Temitope Babalola Adeniyi, Secretary, and Founder Forum of Ethnic Nationality For Progress, ForEFPro, Com Sylvanus Akpan, and Publicity Secretary and Founder Project Youths Awakening Northern Nigeria, PYANN, Mallam Danjuma Ismali.
According to the group, the doggedness of Ayade is making an impact on the state’s economy despite the least allocation from the monthly federation account it receives among states in the South-South region.
They also asserted that the Governor’s effort has brought about industrialization across all local government areas of the state and many people are taking advantage of friendly business policies and enabling environment by his administration to venture into different businesses.
The Coalition of CSOs Promoting Good Governance in Nigeria, COCPROGIN, is a platform comprising of over 50 heads of Civil Societies and Non-Governmental Organizations in Nigeria with the sole purpose of promoting good governance in Nigeria.
The statement reads in part, “Therefore, it is in our opinion that Governor Ayade is doing well compared to the realities on the ground due in part to the state’s huge debt from inherited loans and lean allocation from the Federal Government. Ayade’s quest for fighting poverty via knowledge acquisition and agricultural revolution is making advances in the evolving of a green economy in the state.
“He, therefore, should be supported in his quest to industrialize the state. Governor Ayade is indeed a believer in human rights and has a human disposition that has led to him christening this year’s carnival as “humanity”.
The statement reads in part, “In the foregoing, our focus in the past months has been on the activities of Governors in each of the geopolitical zones of the nation and our mapping was focused on the South-South Zone.
“It has been discovered that Cross River State with the lowest allocation from the Federal Government to the region and one of the least in the federation has so far made a massive leap in transitioning from a civil cum tourism state to an industrial hub while also ensuring prompt payments of salaries, effective waste management and sustainable forest acts as well as a secured state.
“Other areas of note as pursued aggressively by the state are in the area of Primary Health Care ensuring reduction in maternal and child mortality and ensuring access to basic health facilities across the state.
“Moreso, noble strides have been made in the area of revamping primary educational system in the state, from the provision of basic infrastructure for conducive learning to renovation and improving teachers’ skills and professionalism by training and employment of new staff.
“With a country over-relying on proceeds from oil as a means of generating revenue Ayade’s model if properly followed by other states will not only ensure food security but massive export and revenue generation for the country and state governments.
“From the rice mill factory to a noodle factory, to the garment factory and a cocoa processing factory, Ayade has evolved a value chain for more jobs, money and food sufficiency and value addition while also initiating getting approvals for the state’s deep seaport project.
Meanwhile, the group exonerated the Governor from being accused over the travails of the embattled journalist Jalingo Agba. According to their statement, Agba was being interrogated and charged to court by the Nigerian Police due to his participation in the botched #RevolutionNow protest as he is an ally with the originator, Omoyele Sowore.
“The trial of Agba Jalingo is premised on his participation and as an ally of the #RevolutionNow originator Mr. Sowore and protest against the Federal Government. The evidence of his participation and position is revealed from a simple Google search.
“His trial in Cross River State is also due to his heading the leadership of the party at the state level and his organizational role back here. As seen in the court document it is not the Cross River State Government that brought the charges against Agba Jalingo but the Nigerian Police whose duty it is to maintain peace and order.
However, the group alleged that “Agba has been a critic of both the state and federal governments but the Cross River State Government is or has been open to constructive criticism and this is even evident by the support Agba and his allies in the media have been getting from the state government.”
It further said that, “It is interesting to note that several events as organized by Agba and other media platform in the state have received tremendous support and goodwill from the Cross River State government as derived from our independent and unbiased research and this too can be confirmed by anyone who painstakingly makes findings in this regard.”