A former commissioner for justice and attorney-general in Cross River State, Mr Eyo Ekpo has pilloried the state governor, Prof Ben Ayade, accusing him of destroying the heritage of the state.
Ekpo, in a statement culled from his social media page, said it was ironical that even after destroying all the legacies he inherited from Donald Duke and Liyel Imoke, Ayade was appointing people into a board he called the preservation of state’s heritage board.
According to the former governorship candidate during the last general election, the past five years had witnessed tales of woes for the people. Ayade, he insisted, had destroyed the state.
He said: “If you are a Cross Riverian over the age of 40/41, pause and reflect on this by asking yourself a simple question: assuming that the totality of achievements inherited and built upon by the administrations of Governors Donald Duke and Liyel Imoke constitute the State’s “heritage” , what is left today of this heritage? Personally, my answer is: “There is hardly anything left, apart from the state song, which is the only thing of the legacy handed over in 2015 that is still unspoilt”.
“The past five years have seen the debasement of ethical values, from rich and poor to old, to young. Many of us who were previously greatly respected by all and sundry are now compromised. We have witnessed the abandonment of edifices, monuments and tourist attractions, the lack of maintenance of physical infrastructure, the misuse and abuse of time-honoured administrative and governance practices.
“We have looked on defenceless at the breakdown of state institutions and arms of government, the elevation of cultists and cultism above all else and the creation of a personality cult around the Governor himself. What does one say about the abandonment of consultation and collaboration as essential preludes to policy-making and government action, to be replaced by whimsical, impulsive, egoistic decisions on one hand and kidnapping and the use of violence to intimidate and subdue any and every form of criticism and protest on the other…along with a continuous shower of meaningless political appointments that make a mockery of the phrase “public service”.
Over the past five years, the essential qualities of Cross River State that made all citizens proud to claim their indigeneship, have evaporated and become a distant memory. Increasingly, for a good number of our population, most of whom were born after 1999, “those days” are only nostalgic stories told by their parents and elder siblings. They have no real connection with that era. A big pity, the more so as the story of that era will not be found in any books of history or civic studies.
“What was once a very good work in progress that could have grown into a magnificent edifice has been reduced by the worst kind of philistinism to something even less than its foundations. Most definitely, this heritage preservation board has plenty of work ahead of it. Plenty of work indeed. I do not envy them at all.”