Ahead of 2019 governorship elections, the Paramount ruler of Yala, Ogamode Onah Ipuole, and Chief Oshie Osang of Katabang in Boki Local Government Area of Cross River State, have vowed to mobilise their subjects for Governor Ben Ayade whenever he declares his second term bid.
The Yala monarch stated this at his palace when he received the state Commissioner for Works, Dane Osim- Asu, and his team who came were road on inspection of the Mfon- Okuku- Bekwarra- Obudu ranch dual carriage road under construction.
The paramount ruler said the construction of the 147-kilometre road will create employment opportunities to the citizenry, aid locals access to the markets and link the five local government areas in the northern senatorial district of the state.
“Yala people are appreciative of the governor, we are happy and I will go out too and campaign for him to remain and complete all the projects he has started for the good of this state.”
At Katabang, the people rolled out their drums in appreciation of the governor, affirming that, the road which passes through the community is a welcome development as they have never seen a tarred road in the history of the area.
Village head, Oshie Osang Katabang said: “This place that has been turned to a road today was a bush track accessed only by hunters. We never believed we will see what a road looks like in this community until the intervention of our governor today. We pray that Ayade will come to stay and make this project come to reality.”
Continuing, the traditional ruler remarked: “For this intervention, we will continue to vote and vote for Ayade until he is tired,” adding that,”if anyone stands in his way, we will not hesitate to invoke the gods of this land on the person and his family.”
For Thompson Arahson Asu, “it is now that we have a governor with a human heart, intervening where others failed and never cared. Before now, we carry our agricultural products on our head to Ikom-Obudu road in order to get to the nearest market. We are predominantly farmers and you know what that means, going through bush tracks, crossing streams and rivers with loads.”
Asu rhetorically asked: “Tell me if you are the one, will you vote for one who doesn’t feel your pathetic condition and not rather support a governor with a heart of gold? We will give him all the necessary support to make sure he continues, and we will never stop until he asks us to stop voting for him and in that case, he will tell us why we must not appreciate his good works.”
Commenting, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of works, Dr Ihort Achu said: “I understand the excitement because I was here when it was a footpath and I had to climb a bike and they were riding on top of rocks, the women carrying foodstuff to the highway to sell in distance places,” pointing out that “I am feeling guilty now because we used to price and ask them to bring down their prices.”
Achu further intimated that “if you come in here and any of the community members gives you something to buy, you shouldn’t price because the terrain is a difficult one. This access road into the hintherland is an achievement to the government, not just the governor as it is clear it will stand the test of time.”
The Permanent Secretary also recalled the story of an 80years old man she met in the community on her first visit who said amidst tears that “I can now go home and when I see my ancestors, I will tell them that the road they were looking for has been built in my own time, so be happy.”
The Works Commissioner, while briefing newsmen, remarked: “The driving force for embarking on the road was the governor, Prof Ben Ayade, who is unrelenting and ever determined to provide succour in terms of road infrastructure for the citizenry.”
Reasoning that drainages and culverts were all encapsulated in the design, he enjoined the Katabang community members not to build close to the road as the road requires a right of way to add beauty to the design.
Osim-Asu also inspected the Arthur Jarvis University road at Akpabuyo, Mbobui road in Akamkpa, Usung Esuk road in Odukpani, Ugbem- Itono road in Biase, Prof Ayade road in Yarkurr, Kakum road in Obudu and the Ovukwa community road terminating at Okang river in Obubra.