BY Inyali Peter
In 2016, I did a piece thanking President Buhari for his prompt intervention by temporarily repairing the Calabar – Itu Road which never received the federal government attention under former President Jonathan.
Although, the road which is now undergoing complete reconstruction is not as smooth as it was when I did the piece, but people must understand that the government cannot continue to waste money for remedial work. The reconstruction that the Buhari’s government is doing now is surely the way to go.
The pace of work on the road may be slow but having a President who receives so much stick for alleged bias for a section of the country do what ‘our brother’ could not do for us in six years was and is commendable. By the time the reconstruction is over, distance between Calabar and Akwa Ibom would reduce to just about an hour.
When I published the article, some people, because they hate to hear the truth, came after me. They attacked and called me all kinds of names for daring to speak ill of Jonathan and good of Buhari.
However, four years down the line, the opinions of some of these people who didn’t see anything good in Buhari have now changed because they have seen clearly that Buhari is better and has done more for Cross River than his predecessor.
While Jonathan denied Maj. Gen. Bassey from Yakur local government area opportunity as Chief of Army Staff even though he was next in seniority to former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ihejirika, Buhari came and gave a Cross Riverian opportunity as Chief of the Naval Staff
even beyond his service years.
Through that appointment, the abandoned Navy Reference Hospital which is one of the best in the state today was completed and inaugurated.
Also, a Naval War College was built in the state. Some young Cross Riverians who were qualified for military job but denied the opportunity because they didn’t have anybody got into the military.
Before his resignation, the Navy had started building a standard hotel in the state.
Aside the Chief of Naval Staff, Buhari has appointed more Cross Riverians into many juicy positions than any other President in history.
We may have lost many but we have ourselves to blame for that. Our pull-him-down syndrome is responsible for why we have lost many positions. If not for this wicked attitude, Cross River would have had a Minister of Petroleum. But some people from the State believes that it’s either their way or the highway.
President Buhari has also showered us with so many projects. Our roads network especially the Calabar /Ikom/Ogoja road which was a death trap prior to Buhari government is now in a better condition. The famous Ikom bridge is now set to have a twin.
And for the first time in our history, Cross River would have a federal polytechnic. When you recall that Sen. Victor Ndoma-Egba as a Senate leader in 2012, requested former President GEJ to establish a Polytechnic in the state and he blatantly ignored, you’ll appreciate more what Buhari has done for the State.
When GEJ came to the state for campaign ahead of the 2015 election, he had practically nothing to point to as his achievement in the state. What we saw in his flyer were six classrooms blocks and a Geepee tank.
I’m not exaggerating. Those were the things GEJ used for campaign in Cross River. Things that a councilor should show as achievement were things ‘our brother’ showed us as President! Thank God former Governor Donald Duke didn’t act like others. He told him the truth.
But today, things are different. We’ve moved from Geepee tanks project to real investment in core infrastructure.
There is massive federal government sponsored rural electrification projects and others going on in the state.
Thousands of Cross Riverians have equally benefitted from the many social welfare scheme of the Buhari administration. Last month, a friend who was always reminding me how much he hated Buhari called to inform me in excitement that almost everybody in his family was a beneficiary of one scheme or the other.
He said before now, Nigerians needed to be highly connected to benefit from any scheme from federal government but that his family members got different kinds of loans and grant without the help of anybody.
This is Buhari’s Nigeria where everybody is somebody. The money that some privileged leaders were stealing and sharing among themselves is now reaching the poor masses directly from the federation account.
In Buhari ‘s Nigeria, there’s no opposition. Every State is given due attention base on the peculiarity of their problems. Cross River has enjoyed so much love from this President even as an opposition state.
In Buhari’s Cross River, federal government no longer give the state Geepee tanks and six rooms classroom blocks but roads, hospital, electricity, tertiary institution, juicy appointments and others.
Indeed, a good friend is better than a bad brother.
Thank you Mr. President. Like Oliver Twist, we will continue to ask for many more.