*We share stream with cows for drinking water -Bekwarra Monarch
*Bad roads now coat people with dust called Ayade powder
*We’re ashamed of his performance
By Sixtus Uket (Calabar)
Tales of woe arising from the insensitivity of the Cross River State Government led by Prof. Ben Ayade to the plight of the people on Thursday dominated pre- elections discourse in Cross River North where the Governor hails from.
Governor Ben Ayade is an indigene of Obudu Local Government Area, one of the five local government areas comprising Cross River Northern Senatorial District.
Baring their minds during the Town Hall interactive meetings floated by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ahead of the forthcoming elections, opinion leaders of the area noted with dismay the neglect and deprivations suffered by the people of Cross River Northern Senatorial District despite having one of their own as the sitting governor.
Speaking during a Town Hall meeting with the PDP Campaign Team in his palace in Abocheche, headquarters of Bekwarra Local Government Area, Paramount Ruler of Bekwarra, His Royal Majesty, Linus Odey, disclosed that his subjects share drinking water with cows from the only available stream in the area due to absence of portable drinking water or borehole.
The royal father also stated that the area lacks basic amenities ranging from health facilities, electricity, schools to access roads for evacuation of agricultural produce to markets for optimum returns and economic growth.
“It’s appalling that in this 21st century, we still drink water from a stream which also serves as the source of drinking water for cattle belonging to nomadic herdsmen.
“To compound our woes, Bekwarra was disconnected from the national grid at the onset of the present state administration in lieu of the widely advertised stable power supply from Obudu Power Plant. Since then, we have been groping in darkness while the power lines stretching to Benue have all been vandalised,” the monarch said.
In the same vein, the Paramount Ruler of Obudu, HRM Uti Jeddy Agba represented by Chief Cornelus Ulem, said royal fathers have been reduced to the level of penury even with their son as a sitting governor.
“The present administration headed by our own son reviewed our monthly stipends downward to a paltry N7.500.00 for village heads while clan heads are now entitled to N22, 000 .00. This is humiliating and inhuman.
“You can see the desolate state of our Council of Chiefs Chambers, yet our son is the sitting governor of our state. We have been in darkness for years now. The situation of things in our state under the watch of our son, Senator Ben Ayade is pathetic. It is a huge embarrassment to us,” he noted.
Also speaking, the Youth Leader of Obudu, John Ikong stated that the only thriving industry credited to the present administration is the upsurge of cultism in Obudu disguised as “Food on the Table” appointments which has promoted violence and acrimony amongst brothers.”
“The only viable government presence in our locality with direct impact on our lives are courtesy of Senator Jarigbe,” Ipong said.
In Obanliku Local Government Area, the Paramount Ruler, Dr. Amos Itim, decried the deplorable state of the once-famous Obudu Cattle Ranch which was a global tourist attraction before the arrival of governor Ayade.
A youth spokesman, Adie Kingsley, said apart from a signpost mounted at the hectares of land annexed without due process by Governor Ayade for a rice farm, there is no state government presence in the area under the present administration.
At Yala Local Government Area, the Paramount Ruler, Ambassador Onah Ipule, lauded the PDP for the notable development strides recorded under Donald Duke and Liyel Imoke which projected Cross River to global limelight.
In his remarks, the Yala Youth Leader Joehbe Onah, said the area lacks “asphalt road network as 90 percent of roads in the area are dusty and bumpy thereby exposing them to health hazards, road mishaps and economic stagnation.”
“The Okpoma road linking us with Ebonyi State was in good shape until Ayade came in 2016 with a promise of dualization. The over bloated contract for the dualization was awarded to a proxy company and paid for. Our good road was excavated and abandoned after a section was partly asphalted. The dust from the road now called “Ayade Powder” has killed dozens of our people due to poor visibility,” Onah lamented.