Tuesday, August 21, 2018 6:45 pm
The Cross River State governorship race has taken a keener turn as youths of the state bought the Peoples Democratic Party form for an aspirant who is a former publicity secretary of the party, Hon. Emmanuel Ibeshi.
Hon. Ibeshi is the only candidate to have come out within the PDP to declare his intention to challenge the incumbent governor, Mr. Ben Ayade for the governorship ticket so far.
The youths, who thronged the PDP state office in Calabar and purchased the form last Monday, said their desire is to see a change of government as they are convinced that Ibeshi is the right person to rescue the state from “the current bad administration.”
The youths, said the form was their ‘token of contribution’ noting that inspite of the poor economic situation in the State, they taxed themselves and contributed the N2 million to purchase the PDP governorship form as a demonstration of their solidarity with Ibeshi’s candidacy.
One of the leaders of the youths, Mr Effiom Ernest Attoe, said Cross River State has lost its enviable position as destination of choice for tourism due to the mismanagement of tourism assets such as the Obudu Cattle Ranch Resort, Marina Resort, among others by the administration of Ayade.
“Cross River State used to rank first in Africa for tourists who would visit here and go to places like Obudu Cattle Ranch Resort, the Marina Resort and a number of other places, including the Tinapa Business Resort.
“But all that is gone in the last three years since Ayade became governor. Even the Obudu Mountain Race that used to attract top rated athletes from all over the world has been stopped; the Free Trade Zone has become mere wishful thinking, there is practically nothing functioning in the state, farmers can no longer get their produce from the hinterlands to nearby urban centres to sell due to dilapidated access roads.
“We can’t fold our arms and allow Ayade mortgage our future and bring our state to a total standstill. That’s why when Hon. Ibeshi came to Calabar and declared his intention to run and rescue our state, we the youths were filled with joy. We read his 71-page manifesto, which is also available on his website and can be accessed anywhere in the world. We know that this is the Cross River State messiah at this time.
“So, we came to buy this form to show him our support and our preparedness to follow him in his quest to wrestle power from this current administration that lacks focus and rescue our state; because his rescue mission will help to redeem our common heritage,” Attoe, the youth leader, further explained.
Ibeshi at the Transcorp Hotel, Calabar on July 28, declared his intention to run for the governorship, calling his campaign focus “Rescue 2019”.
In his speech, he promised to revive all ailing state industries, bring to completion and operation all projects commenced by both Governors Donald Duke and Liyel Imoke, such as the Obudu Cattle Ranch Resort, Tinapa Business Resort, the Institute of Management and Technology, agricultural projects as, all of which have either collapsed or are ailing, well as the anchor of his campaign focus namely to make the state an entrepreneurial hub thereby getting the teeming youths gainfully employed.
“The key to Tinapa and the Obudu Ranch Resort is entrepreneurship. Rest assured, I will make entrepreneurship become synonymous with Cross River State if you give me the mandate as governor in 2019,” Ibeshi had declared, adding: “Let me make it abundantly clear to all that my government will complete, actualise and activate all projects initiated and established by our very visionary governors, Donald Duke and Senator Liyel Imoke; because these projects have everything the state requires to make it great, self-sustaining and self-reliant.
“My focus therefore shall be to complete and actualise these projects, from agriculture, to access roads – especially rural roads, to health, to education, to support for traditional institutions, to women empowerment, to tourism and so on.
“In simple words, I shall initiate Tinapa Phase 2, Obudu Ranch Resort Phase 2, and Entrepreneurship Development Phase 1.