By Emmanuel Addeh
The Minister of State for Power, Mr. Goddy Jedy-Agba, has called for the de-escalation of the tensions in Cross River State following the fallout of the demonstrations which rocked the country recently.
Jedy-Agba made the call during a three-day visit to the state on the order of President Muhammadu Buhari, even as traditional rulers in the state have asked for clear-cut constitutional roles in the country.
The minister, who met with prominent traditional rulers, clergymen, youths and leaders of thought, told the people of the state that the president had heard their grouses and was ready to tackle them head-on.
Some of the personalities visited included the Obong of Calabar, Edidem Ekpo Okon; the Muri Munene of the Efut people; paramount ruler of Calabar South Council, Prof. Hogan Itam, and the paramount ruler of Bakassi and Chairman Traditional Ruler’s Council, Cross River State, Etim Okon Edet.
Jedy-Agba told his audience that the federal government was committed to ensuring employment through the promotion and growth of medium and small scale businesses, which will take the youths off the streets.
He told the youths and the people of the state that he had noted all their concerns and would convey them to the president, adding that interventions are being planned for the impacted places like the psychiatric hospital, the television station, the Cross River Basin Development Authority and the West African Examination Council (WAEC) office in Calabar, where certificates and examination results of candidates were burnt.
Also, Jedy-Agba met with the deputy leader of the Hausa/Fulani and the Muslim community in the state in Bogobiri, and urged them to live in peace with their hosts.
In his address, the Obong of Calabar said that the exclusion of traditional institutions and rulers from governance was one of the main problems limiting their ability to take appropriate measures aimed at communal peace and harmony.
He noted that the traditional rulers were closer to the people at the grassroots and can easily influence attitudes and behaviours, which would promote good governance.
At the palace of the Muri Munene in Itam, the traditional ruler urged the federal government to fulfill its promises on infrastructural development as well as ensure regular supply of electricity to consumers in the area.
Also, the Chairman of the rulers’ council, Edet, who condemned the attack by the hoodlums on
critical infrastructure of the government, demanded job opportunities for the youths,
and asked them to embrace peace.