Rot in Cross River: How Governor Ayade ruined the Paradise State (2)
In the first part of this series, we x-rayed how systemic failure, rot and gradual political decay have connived to ruin Cross River State as the once People’s Paradise crumbles under the watch of a professor-turned politician, Governor Ben Ayade.
Particular emphasis was on the rot in Cross River State House of Assembly and Local Government administration.
The second part of the series focuses on how neglect of the people and security institutions snowballed into the hijack of the #EndSARS protest in Cross River State.
Observers have repeatedly noted that the hoodlums that raided Cross River on 21st October, 2020 were indigenes of the state who vent their anger and frustration on government and politicians after years of neglect and abandonment.
As at the last count, over 300 properties belonging to the state government and top politicians, including Tinapa, were destroyed in a rampage that lasted about 24 hours without police resistance.
The worst hit were the House of Senator Ndoma Egba and Governor Ben Ayade’s properties.
The situation in Cross River was so critical that a prominent indigene of the area, Ita-Giwa, was practically on her knee, begging the youth to stop further looting and destruction, while admitting that the leaders have failed the citizenry.
The development had forced Governor Ben Ayade to reactivate his “food on the table” principle in addition to rolling out mouth-watering panic empowerments that could lift no fewer than 20,000 unemployed youths off the streets before the end of the year.
Governor Ayade had abandoned his social investment scheme called “Food on the Table” immediately after his second term swearing-in.
He has also practically taken over all revenues in the Civil State, monopolising commerce that had kept the state floating and leaving the area boys popularly called ‘Ndito’ to fend for themselves.
Commenting of the raid, Ishiyaku GangJidda, a northerner, said the Calabar incident was a warning example to politicians.
“Senators, House of Representatives members and ministers beware. The looters have started targeting houses of politicians. Senator Ndoma Egba’s house in Calabar has been looted, everything carted away including toilet seats and the mansion burned.
“The politicians need to be afraid. As it happened in Calabar with Senator Ndoma Egba and Governor Ben Ayade’s properties, the fear is it may spread to other politicians,” he said.
Morenews.ng learnt that the governor made frantic efforts to draft security personnel to protect his interests but was bluntly shunned as even police turned blind eyes in the heat of the rampage.
An Insider said there was serious gang up against Governor Ben Ayade by security agents, largely owing to uncordial relationship between his government and security agencies.
According to the source, Governor Ayade had not had security for more than three years and it took him about two years to receive the Commissioner of Police.
Governor Ayade had also allegedly told the army in writing that he no longer needed their services in Government House just to evade giving them assistance.
The rot in Cross River fingered as the major cause of the incessant kidnapping in the state.
Hardly a day passes by without a Cross Riverian being abducted and outcry from the people, the professor-governor pays a deaf ear.
Even the party structures have not escaped the rot in Cross River as Governor Ben Ayade reportedly left them unfunded.
The recent decamping of the Governor of Ebonyi State to APC has complicated people’s without Prof Ayade could stay in PDP beyond 2923.
Governor Umahi is said to be closed friend of the Cross River State Governor.