By Bassey Inyang in Calabar
The Cross River State Christian Leaders Forum (CRSCLF), says Governor Ben Ayade does not deserve a second term because he has allegedly failed the people of the state.
The Forum alleged that the failure of Ayadeâ€™s administration, which it described as monumental, could be felt in all facets, hence the need for the people to seek an alternative in 2019.
At a press conference at Godâ€™s Heritage Centre, Calabar, yesterday, the President of the CRSCLF, Bishop Josef Bassey, alleged that the state had never had it so bad in terms of leadership and administration since Ayadeâ€™s administration came on board, â€œdespite all the promises he made when he was sworn-in at the International Convention Centre in Calabar on May 29, 2015.â€
Bishop Bassey added: â€œThe state of our state right now couldnâ€™t be worse and there is need for an urgent intervention above board.â€
He described Ayadeâ€™s administration as one that did not understand the system it inherited, saying the state had lost its acclaim as a tourism destination in Nigeria, â€œwhile the investors, and members of the business have been moving out of the state in droves due to multiple taxation, and insecurity foisted on them by a government that appears to be totally unaware of what is happening in the state.â€
Bassey said it was high time elders; opinion leaders of the state rose up and commence measures to salvage the state from total collapse.
â€œFor us Cross River State needs to be rescued as a matter of urgency from sinking,â€ adding â€œIn my opinion, and in our opinion, we have never had it so bad, it couldnâ€™t be worse than this.
â€œNever in the history of this state has the state civil service has been so bastardised.â€
Condemning alleged attitude of silence â€œthat seem to have enveloped the state for too long,â€ Bassey said the time was ripe for people to speak out and demand a change in the style of leadership of the state.
â€œThe stakeholders cannot afford to allow the destruction of the state. It is time to cry out. Let the government and the people hear our voiceâ€¦.
â€œWe are calling on the people, the parties, the citizens to rise,â€ Bassey stated.
While commending the initiatives of a group known as The Forever Cross River, in the area of education, the Bishop called on all stakeholders in the state to come to its rescue which he alleged was drifting into a state of abyss.
Reacting to the claims of the Forum, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Christain Ita, described them as baseless, saying that Bassey was speaking from a compromised position.
â€œThe truth of the matter is that Josef Bassey is not worthy of anybodyâ€™s reaction. Today his church is going through atrophy because of his personal life.
â€œHe is sponsored, and it is a shame that a supposed man of God can sell his conscience for a pittance,â€ Ita said.
Listing some of the achievmnet of Ayadeâ€™s administration, Ita said: â€œIt is not the Forum. It is Josef Bassey. Just as he (Ayade) has failed in the number of industries he has built in three years, just like he has failed in moving cross river in from number 27 in national elections to second, just like he has failed in building a garment factory that has employed three thousand people including widows that their church cannot even take care of.
â€œHe has failed in building a rice meal in Ogoja, he has failed building a cocoa process plant in Ikom, he has failed by building a bridge that leads to kwakagom in Boki, he has failed by building Boje bridge in Boki that links eastern and western Boki. He has failed by beginning to asphalt 143 kilometres, the longest road undertaken by any state government in the history of Nigeria.â€