COVID-19 AND CROSS RIVER STATE: MATTERS ARISING

BY: Venatius Ikem

Like everyone else, I’m worried about the position of our state which at best is unclear.
How I wish I can say with certainty that the efforts of Ayade are yielding fruits. As it is even the agency responsible for managing the crisis has become skeptical about the strange management.

1. Cross River State is bounded by neighbours with issues, yet we remain exclusive.

2. But we have not been tested. Hardly!

Ayade’s defenders are quick to remind us that he is a “scientist” and can produce a cure but we don’t even have an isolation center, reason some say he would rather pretend that we don’t have any case because this will expose his unpreparedness. In addition the UCTH that has what can pass for an “isolation center” got 4 rusted beds donated by the state Govt!

To add salt to injury, the lying Commissioner for Health displayed incubators as ventilators to fool Cross River State citizens and returned them to hiding after that. People have variously challenged her to bring her “ventilators” for public scrutiny in vain!

3. Ayade has collected serious contributions from the private sector including Julius Berger, La Farge amongst others in support of the covid-19 efforts even though there is hardly any.

4. Ayade has collected N900m from the Local Govt account and N480+ from the Federal Govt in addition to announcing N500m from the state for the same purpose without any significant efforts to contribute to management of the problems associated with the pandemic. There is still no test laboratory in the state even though states like Ebonyi have successfully set up test centres in cooperation with the NCDC!

5. It is scandalous that while the rest of the world is battling this life and death situation, Ayade chose to withdraw N4.5 bn allegedly from Local Govts account as “equity investment” in an airline at a time major airlines are going out of business! Who is fooling who? When did the local Govts decide that they want to buy Aeroplanes? Or invest in Airline business?

Only elected Councils can take such a decisions on behalf of their people!

6. I have had the privilege of traveling across the border of Cross River to the East and my shock was the thriving business at Itu bridge Akwa Ibom state. Nobody is being stopped from entering CRS!

7. Transporters are making brisk business. On both ends of the bridge motorcycle operators are stationed there. Buses simply load and drop you at either end and you take a motorcycle across to the other end and continue your journey! I stand to be contradicted.

8. The illusion of “closing borders” is only in Ayade’s imagination and quest for publicity! No border is closed.

9. From the North end it is the same story otherwise why was there an alarm last week of someone coming from Kano State to Obudu?

10. I am regularly advised by my well-wishers to desist from criticizing Ayade because I am contesting for Party Chairman!
Unfortunately, I refuse to heed the Advise, though sometimes well intentioned, which is largely in ignorance because I am contesting so that I can contribute to making the changes from what we have not for the sake of being Chairman! That change begins with us!

11. Don’t be fooled, protect your family and friends. Use masks, observe social and physical distancing.

Stay safe.

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