Senator Benedict Ayade
Cross River State
JUST BEFORE WE PERISH; AN OPEN LETTER.
“Ave, impreto, morituri te salutant” translated to mean “Hail Caesar, we who are about to die salute you” was reportedly to have been used as a cry, a plea for leniency during an event in AD 52 on lake Fucinus by Captives and Criminals fated to die in the presence of Emperor Claudius through a sword fight. Historians differ on the Emperor’s response to them. While some said the Emperor’s reply was “vos non” meaning “or not”, others said the reply was “Avete non” to mean “Fare you well” but one thing that was certain was that they fought. They dropped down like overripe mangoes and they perished!
While I congratulate His Excellency on this occasion of Nigeria’s 58th independence as a sovereign nation and on the smooth sail of H.E through his party’s primaries I will however remind him that it is not yet Uhuru as he is not going to be the sole candidate across parties in the 2019 elections as he was in his party, the Peoples Democratic Party. There are other powerful individuals to contend with and ultimately, the electorates would make their picks.
I and those within my spheres of influence are going to vote in our Polling Units which are scattered across the state and I’m yet to make up my mind whether to give you the go ahead to pilot the affairs of our dear state for another term of four years. My reasons are not farfetched and I know H.E has an inkling of what these reasons are.
I have done a lot of questioning to know the policy thrust of H.E’s administration and I’m giving up after 3 years. I was excited about the superhighway and the deep sea port. I was delighted about the many INTENDED projects of this administration described in really superlative terms but intentions, if not translated to actions, into tangible deliverables for the people to see, feel and touch, begin to seem like a scam. Put differently, “hope deferred makes the heart sick!” My heart is sick, very sick, Your Excellency!
I can say authoritatively that the standard of education has further deteriorated. While this is not directly His Excellency’s fault, but some of us were optimistic that since we have two professors in the saddle, measures would have been put in place to nip this the bud. Yes, new classroom blocks have been erected. But what about the teachers inside the classrooms? Are they being trained and retrained on professionalism and ethics of what their calling is? Why do we still have high level examination malpractices? Why do we still allow a few hands to make our students think they can pass exams without marrying their books and in the end resorting to examination malpractices and aided by the same people who should have taught them in the first place, people who should punish them for malpractices? Something must be done to move us away from here and that should be done urgently!
Sometime in April this year, a young man opened his shirt, showed me a pistol and threatened to shoot me just because he “politely” asked me for money and I declined. Again, In August 22 this year, some teenagers hacked themselves to death on my street in Okuku, Yala. These incidents I’m very sure are not news to H.E who is the Chief Security Officer of the state. And of course the killings that have become the new normal in Calabar and other parts of the state make me wonder if Cross River is still the people’s Paradise. In cleanliness, the city of Calabar now stands as a shadow of its old self.
I stayed in Yala for two weeks (14 days) when I visited and had light for six hours. While electricity has been completely privatized, methinks H.E can make sure those whose mandate he enjoys as Governor get value for money instead of paying bills for darkness as is now the case. H.E can encourage investors to come and invest in solar energy. This can be done as pilot projects in major cities to see it’s workability if it is viewed as too humongous, too capital intensive for the investors.
Our internal roads have not only become death traps, but graveyard to some of our people. How much longer would it take His Excellency to asphalt the road he has graciously graded and would need to regrade because of the gullies that now exit on them for lack of proper drainage system? Has H.E noticed that some streets in Calabar have potholes that now beautify them with Nigeria map and map of Africa? No, this is not part of what Tourist look out for. They want rest. They desire aesthetics. They value comfort. Unless of course if H.E sees all of the potholes as some sort of beautiful adornments.
Finally Sir, on the issue of those rice meals; we have been waiting to eat from them. how long will they take before completion?
These are areas electorates should get enlightenment before they cast their precious votes.