By Jonathan Ugbal: Government House Correspondent Follow @NaijaJonathan
Cross River Governor, Senator Ben Ayade has explained the rationale behind expanding government pointing out that his bid to industrialize the state will be meaningless if the people were hungry.
Mr. Ayade who said he has a total of 3,843 appointees pointed out that the statistics have clearly showed that his decision was a good one which according to him was evident in the voluntary payments of utility and medical bills amongst others.
“When you look at Section 14, sub section 2 of our constitution, the welfare and security of the citizens is the primary purpose of government; of what essence is the Superhighway, the deep seaport or whatever when my people cannot feed?” said Mr. Ayade Wednesday, in Calabar, the state capital while addressing a crowd of over 7,000 drawn from the seven local government areas that make up the Southern Senatorial District who had gathered to endorse him to seek a second term in office.
He continued: “That is why I expanded government not because I have, but because ultimately, God sees my heart. As difficult as it appears, everything looks so cheap and easy for me because I care.
“Ordinarily, under the circumstance of our times, what we should have been doing is oligaramizing the economy; we should have done a helical constriction, to focus on the core needs of governance. But, I have chosen to serve my people because I come from your own history; I come from your heritage and your origin; I understand you, I feel you; there is a tympanic relationship.”
t ympanic relationship.”
From L-R: Crs Pdp Chairman, Inok Edim; CRS Dep. Gov, Ivara Esu; CRS Governor, Ben Ayade; DG Seven Alive Group, Asuquo Ekpenyong Sr; PDP BOT Member, Stella Attoe and Former CRS PDP Chairman, Ekpo Okon at the endorsement rally for Mr. Ayade in Calabar, Wednesday (Credit: CrossRiverWatch/GHPC/Jonathan Ugbal)
On the effect of these, Mr. Ayade averred that: “Today, look at the statistics, voluntary payment of school fees, house rent payment, medical bills payment, Cross River has noticed a significant improvement, you will notice that more flights are coming into Calabar today.
“You are realizing that Skolombo boys are over, you are realizing that we are having a finer class of society. We may not have eliminated crime in totality, but there is progress. There is homeland security taking care of that.”
He announced that he will be appointing 3000 more appointees to take the number above 6,000 and maintained that his ideology about human existence and not politics as well as the commendations from the people is what inspired his decision to focus more on the people.
“It is against that strength that I am here before you. But, I know very very well that normally in traditional societies where there is always focus on the bottom line which is money, governments don’t focus on people; they focus on projects and things that will get them reelected.
“But I have focused on the stomach, I have focused on the intellect and the future that you have got that I know that it is bigger than even mine; that I feel that this intercourse that we are having will bring a better tomorrow for you,” he said.
The crowd under the aegis of ‘Seven Alive’ led by business mogul, Mr. Asuquo Ekpenyong kept singing customized tunes urging Mr. Ayade and his deputy, Professor Ivara Esu to seek another term in office in 2019.
And, after several speeches from different leaders, a motion for the endorsement of Mr. Ayade and his deputy was moved by the Deputy Speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly, Mr. Joseph Bassey (PDP, Calabar South 1) and seconded by Mr. Ogban Ogban.
Mr. Bassey said the motion was borne out of a careful evaluation of Mr. Ayade’s performance and other factors. He said that: “On behalf of the people of southern senatorial district, seven alive; after carefully evaluating, crystallizing all the activities and projects of our governor, we the people of southern senatorial district hereby move and be moved that Senator Professor Ben Ayade should be adopted as a consensus candidate in the 2019 elections.”
The endorsement comes as some sort of grand finale after the three federal constituencies in the same senatorial district had at several times in the past two weeks did same with Mr. Esu in attendance.
And, despite claims by several speakers that the event was nonpartisan, paraphernalia of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) could be seen everywhere with all the major actors and organizers, known members of the party.