|Cross River State Deputy Governor, Professor Ivara Esu (Middle)|
By Inyali Peter
The cyberspace have been so silent to the unimaginable attack on Cross River state deputy Governor, Prof. Ivara Esu’s convoy by some hoodlums who are allegedly “men” of some tough government officials few days ago.
The attack reportedly claimed the live of a Police officer, bringing the tally of Policemen who have been gunned down by hoodlums in the state in the last five days to three. It also recorded lost of a vehicle in the deputy governor’s convoy while one of the drivers who was shot is currently struggling for survival in an unknown hospital. This is a sad commentary for a state which tourism is the mainstay of her economy.
This situation pulse a big challenge and a test of the competence of the current administration led by Senator Ben Ayade’s to protecting lives and properties of Cross Riverians. In fact, if Ayade was sleeping or junketing about signing MOUs, he must wake up and act now.
About four to five months ago, I did an article with the title “Cross River : A Safe Haven For Criminals Under Ayade”, as usual, I got it hot from the naysayers who obviously are enemies of our dear state. I was vilified and threatened by overzealous Ayade’s supporters for stating the obvious.
In the article, I faulted the inability of the government to subject political appointees to denouncement of membership of any cult group (A tradition adopted by the former administration) as part of the screening before appointment. Today, we’re reaping that dangerous seed we sown as a result gross negligence by the Governor.
Even the appointments made after that article, the government still failed to do this very important aspect of screening. Today, we’re faced with a situation that’s threatening the entire unity of our dear state.
Security is the primary responsibility of any government that’s why after the monthly allocation, there’s a special votes from the federal government to state governors for security. But has the current situation in Cross River reflected the security vote? The answer will be a big no!
Instead of Governor Ayade’s administration to have conducted a proper security screening for appointees, he introduced a funny screening method of subjecting them to writing aptitude test like they were seeking admission into the university.
Cross River is in dire need of a responsible and responsive government where cultism will never hold sway again in the state. If the number two man in the state is not safe, what then is the hope of the common man on the street? We have never had it this bad!
The government must consult wide, organize a security summit where stakeholders across every sector should be invited to participate. Traditional rulers, heads of faith based organizations, heads of tertiary institutions in the state, youths leaders, leadership of political parties etc should all be invited to the meeting.
Before then, Ayade should consider devolving the current State Executive Council like Akwa Ibom did yesterday to allow him constitute a council that would undergo proper security screening before appointment.
Security agencies should also reduce the over concentration in urban areas because the robbery in rural areas too has been going on since the inception of this government unabated. In my village, my local church no longer have musical instruments due to armed robbery. It has been attacked two times in two months.
This is not the Cross River that was once known as the most peaceful state in Nigeria. Calabar is no longer a city to come and rest. Ayade must do something to avoid destroying the tourism potentials of our state.
Above all, the governor must effectively make use of the security votes. I don’t want to believe the insinuations that some government officials are making fortune from this situation. If Ayade has been sharing the security votes amongst his family members like he put the bailout fund under the control of his younger brother, Frank Ayade, the “powerful” co-governor, the time to release the money to the appropriate authorities to combat this ugly development is now.
God bless Cross River!