BY UBON EKANEM, CALABAR – The Social Democratic Party (SDP) has accused Cross River Governor, Professor Ben Ayade of embarking on governance ego trips while the State suffers from serious administrative deficit and economic drawbacks on all fronts.
The knocks on Governor Ayade-led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administartion came from an SDP governorship aspirant, Barrister Eyo Ekpo who said the state is under the spell of misrule with the governor allowing ego to negatively impact on the effective and transparent administration of the state.
Speaking when he appeared on the Correspondents Chapel platform of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Calabar, Ekpo however pledged that an SDP administration under his watch will give real meaning to good governance and re-position Cross River on the path of sustainable socio-economic growth and development.
Ekpo regretted that all the gains of 16 years recorded during the administrations of Donald Duke and Liyel Imoke as governors have been eroded in just three and half years of Prof Ayade’s administrative ineptitude in the state
According to him, Cross River is currently suffering from serious infrastructural decay ranging from lack of urban and rural roads development programmes to improved welfare and living conditions for the people.
Barrister Ekpo, who was Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of the state under Donald Duke administration, cited the urban renewal programme instituted to ensure urban roads regularly get a face lift, noting that the policy has unfortunately been jettisoned with dangerous pot-holes and refuse heaps presently competing for attention along major urban roads in the State.
The governorship aspirant also queried the economic rationale behind embarking on the construction of a diesel power plant by a state that is under statutory allocation deficit with an already existing federal gas plant that only requires a good network of power distribution and not power generation.
He said the diesel power plant under construction would only benefit the initiators of such a white elephant project and faceless contractors that do not mean well for the state and its people.
Ekpo also took a swipe at the rice farm project, which upon commissioning by President Buhari, the contractors evacuated all the machinery and equipment from site the next day with the farm now overgrown with weeds and the farm houses becoming safe haven for rodents and other wild animals.
The SDP gubernatorial aspirant urged on all well meaning Cross Riverians to join him in rescuing the state from the claws of poor and visionless leadership.