Saturday, 10 February 2018

CRISSAA boss Stanley Nsemo replies Edem Duke over Ayade's endorsement by C/River South

Efio-Ita Nyok|10 February 2018

The Director General of Cross River State Signage and Advertisement Agency (CRISSAA), Mr Stanley Nsemo has replied former Minister for Tourism and Culture, High Chief Edem Duke in respect of the latter's Saturday 9th February 2018 opinion titled : 'Caveat Emptor : Ayade's Purported Endorsement by the CRS South Senatorial Zone' NegroidHaven can report authoritatively. In his response, Nsemo was challenging the recent deluge of criticism against the state governor, Sen. Prof. Ben Ayade in what he referred to as 'pure negative and fact-less slander' particularly by Duke. He proceeded with outlining the numerous milestones of achievements by Ayade in topical areas, namely, salaries, human capital development, jobs, projects, roads, housing, etc. 

In the course of writing, Nsemo makes a bold declaration thus : 'Fighting ourselves instead of fighting for the people, is a selfish ambition. The writer's identity is known (you can't hide that kind of bile hatred). Your time has passed, many from your generation have failed us with these tepid approach to life and living. There is nothing to be gained by thinking small and we will not pawn our future for empty dreams. You had your opportunity to make a difference, didn't you? This write up is another prelude of a selfish old Man's ambition to run for Governor. We are now talking about a country where the president cannot be older than 55years and you want to run for Governor? This will not see the light of day.'

It should be noted that Duke's criticism took exceptional swipe at Chief Asuquo Ekpenyong to which Nsemo returned argument for argument. What follows is an excerpt of Nsemo's detailed argument :  

*Caveat Venditor 

The aforementioned refers.

Over the years, I have heard the good, the bad and the ugly about the Ayade government. People feel the need to jump on the band wagon criticizing the Govt( its a new hype way of showing social awarness). I must point out that any and every govt must welcome criticism. This is an important form of check and balance that allows people the option of giving an input in the running of their govt...We the administrators are simply the custodians of these institutions...servants at best!

However in the last few days, I have seen an onslot of just pure negative and fact-less slander being peddled by many interest groups.

The most recent is the purported letter by High Chief Edem Duke. Pardon me at this point to emphasize that I am what you call a properly groomed Efik Son. As such I will pick my words with caution, least I invoke anger and speak things that will most likely be seen as insults to those older than I.

That cleared, let me state the reasons why Ayade has performed exceedingly well. 


The ironic truth is that when people make trivial the payment of Salaries it shows their lack of understanding of how an economy works, that of a relatively provincial state. The multiplier effect of regular and timely payment of salaries enables commerce and spurs economic activity in a state like Cross River. At the most basic terms it's the injection of approximately N5,000,000,000 (both state & LG wage bill) every 25th of the month through approximately 45,000 households. The lack of understanding of this shows the feeble mind of the writers and the urgency not to allow them at the helm of governance or the economy.

CRS net statutory monthly allocation from the Federation is approximately 50% of it monthly recurrent obligations, this is a known fact. Burdened with debt repayments and coupled with the loss of the oil wells. (Where was the author of the letter when CRS gifted Akwa Ibom with our oil wells? Where was his paper and pen when we handed out our commonwealth on a platter of gold?)

CRS now currently receives the second lowest net allocation, much lower than states like Ebonyi, Benue, Kogi etc. These are states owing a backlog of Salaries and pensions, where it is on record that civil servants have committed suicide as they can no longer provide for their family. When you trivialize Salary Payment it shows the utter lack of understanding and disconnect the naysayers have from the common man.


The young people in the south are unapologetic about our support for Sen Ayade as this is the first govt to give key and sensitive positions to young people. Commissioners of Finance, health, solid mineral, transportation, petroleum and tourism are young people and from the South.

Also the Director General of Signage and Advertisement , investment and promotion, and new city etc, as well as the Special advisers on sports are young people from the southern senatorial district.

This list goes on and on. These people who have shown capacity and are working day and night to plot their various keep to great highs, not minding the economic conditions that prevail within the state.


Now that i have listed the human capital and political growth that has precipitated in the last 3years, let me move on to the bane of any govt. JOBS, JOBS AND MORE JOBS! Ayade has expanded governance by increasing the number of appointees from 98 to 3,000, mostly young energetic men and women who in the past were merely used to achieve political goals and then dumped until the next election cycle. Ayade has employed, trained and giving these people a sense of purpose & belonging. This is the most invaluable asset you can give to any human being. The truth is Gov Ayade has decided to try something different. This, in truth is the only way to change the lot of our people. The world has changed and the things that secured progress and development have changed along with the world. Gov Duke and Gov Imoke were men of great understanding. They each knew the challenges facing their governments were unique and begged for unique solutions, thus the explored innovating and creative ways of solving those issues. Gov Ayade is well within his right to explore this same path. After All, doing the same thing over and over, and looking for a different result is the true definition of folly. Isn't it? In any case, who is afraid of real change. Real progressive change!


1) Garment factory is built and working. I know many YOUNG people who work there. This can be easily verified.

2) The rice seedling plant. This project is personal, because i led the delegation to inspect and train the local operators that will manage the process after the equipments have been successful installed and a reasonable level of comfort has been attained to necessitate exit of our foreign partners. This will generate not just immediate JOBS, but long skill acquisition that gives our people an edge in a specialized sector, that will spur growth in the country. Of course this aids as we look inwards to self sufficiency in rice production.

3) the pharmaceutical company building is completed and the various machineries have been imported and can be confirmed at a local warehouse within the municipal. The installation and training is being worked out and the first phase is winding down.

4) the banana plantation in odupani gives one an Interesting insight into the developmental trajectory of this Govt 

5) the Power plant that is at 80% completion in calabar municipal will serve as an alternative to the failed poor national supply.

6) After years of contracts and announcements about the dredging of the calabar river, this  administration has in 3years secured the first steps needed for the building of a new port that will allow us rival and create a new sector in the state and region. It is good to note that our neighbours in akwa ibom, having chased this same dream for 16 years, are not further than we are. We have moved much further in 3 years than they have in 16 years.

7) who can forget the debates about who was responsible for the dualization of the odupkani road. After much ado about nothing, it has come to light that the project belongs to the cross river state govt. Dualization of that road will not only reduce traffic inflow into the state capital, but will increase commerce along the road and produce much needed jobs for our teaming young people.

8) the Calabar Creative Hub is a project located in the heart of calabar municipal. It gives young people an opportunity to walk into the Hub with raw ideas and create real products and services that allow the state measure up and develop its young people. Giving them an opportunity to compete with their peers worldwide. A much needed boost in ICT and constant innovating product development at a cost next to nothing.

9) The mapping of solid mineral deposit across the state, starting in akampa is revealing the incredible amount of natural resources available in the state. This when properly managed, will also boost development and earnings that can be used to build sustainable social safety nets for the less privileged in our society and again provide high paying jobs for the young people.

Social Housing project in Bakassi.

Rural roads in Odukpani, Biase, Akpabuyo, etc.

Haulage City

All these projects are in the southern senatorial district...All of them!

For fear of making this piece too long and unreadable. Let me stop here and address another important issue that for me is totally unfounded, preposterous and frankly tasteless. 

I read with horror, the use of the word charlatans to describe great southern leaders. As a young man, this insulted my sensibility and my understanding that one must always protect and preserve the labour of our heroes past. These names so precariously castigated present me with a new sense of offence to my generation.

These are the people who have carefully opened the doors of politics and economic empowerment to my generation. I feel a certain need to reciprocate these demeaning comments, but as aforementioned, I am from a home and I must keep to the teaching that has kept me out of such mud slinging.

Where were you when we were the whipping boy of Nddc?

Where were you when we lost Bakassi?

Where were you when we lost our oil wells to Akwa Ibom?

Where were you when we were Owing 3 months Salary?

Where were you when the Dredging of the Calabar port was a recurrent scam?

You can visit (it is not a physical place by the way. Just type it in your web browser sir)

Fighting ourselves instead of fighting for the people, is a selfish ambition. The writer's identity is known (you can't hide that kind of bile hatred). Your time has passed, many from your generation have failed us with these tepid approach to life and living. There is nothing to be gained by thinking small and we will not pawn our future for empty dreams. You had your opportunity to make a difference, didn't you?. This write up is another prelude of a selfish old Man's ambition to run for Governor. We are now talking about a country where the president cannot be older than 55years and you want to run for Governor? This will not see the light of day.

Its clear to see that the writer belongs to the school of thought that they own cross river state, well they don't and it is offensive to think that they own any group of people. Progress and retrogresive. The "writer" cannot be less than 55,  and wants to mortgage the future...We are much wiser now.

The south has brokered an agreement with Ayade for a return of power to the South in 2023, we have demanded it and he has obliged. Period!

All the people you have listed had impeccable records from Donald Duke who is being supported by the progressive of this country to run for president or Chief Asuquo Ekpenyong a proven businessman who's integrity is not in question. The likes of Nkoyo Toyo have broken bounds that most can only dream about internationally and locally. Every single person you so easily lumped with distasteful language have achieved more for cross river and the southern senatorial district individually and combined than dreamed...fact.

For Asuquo Ekpeyong Jr. I for one am a product of Kings College, his alma mater and I can tell you without a doubt that we don't do mediocrity. The true writer intends to insult our collective sensibilities by implying that the young commissioner for finance who had ran a hotel which had a lounge when he was 23 years old is a disco boy. This shows the archaic thinking of the old man. The young man is Harvard University trained, has started and flourished several businesses as well as having lectured at the Banking and Finance Department of Unical from the age of 25. Anybody who has ever engaged with him is never in doubt as to his capacity or the content of his character.

It is easy to destroy. In fact, anyone can destroy, the trick is and will always be in building. I engender you to put away your negativity and try some constructive progressive criticising. It's a breath of fresh air and it liberates beyond words. 

Politics is about calculations and numbers, the southern senatorial district is united in our demand and we are clear about the needs of our people. I speak particularly as a young person, I have more to lose than you do and I am sure that Prof Ayade is a sure bet.

The youths of the southern senatorial district are united and we support our leaders. We are thankful to the works of Gov Duke and Gov Imoke, they showed us that we matter. Gov Ayade has continued down that road of economic and political liberation, we will never give it up.

Before you stack on the dirty, I suggest you research my work and family history. I don't trade in hypocrisy sir. Unlike, the author of the last piece, who hides behind the name of Chief Edem Duke, I am obliged to say my name is Stanley Okon Nsemo can Google it (that means type it in the internet page called google)!'


By High Chief Edem Effiom Edem Duke
Calabar, NIGERIA

The Reality of Our Situation

In the last few weeks the word or term industrialization has become synonymous with our politicking in the South Senatorial Zone as Asuquo Ekpeyong and his gang flagrantly flout INEC regulations in conducting open rallies and town-hall meetings personally sponsored by Governor Ayade himself, without truly taking stock to examine what Ayade has achieved in the state as Governor over the last 3yrs, except businesses leaving town in droves due to multiple and over taxation in addition to an uncondusive business environment.

While the Southern Senatorial Zone champions Ayades' cause more aggressively than his homogenous brothers from the North and Central Senatorial Zones who appear to better understand Ayades' game plan and have decided on a unified path while waiting to execute, sadly, the Southern Senatorial Zone is disunited, wrongly motivated, cowardly and unmindful of the looming and guiding presence of the Atam Congress recently resurrected by the Ayades, who still privately insist that they haven't promised to hand-over power to the South Senatorial Zone come 2023. Would you buy a second car from Governor if he vouches for it?

So what next for the South Senatorial Zone who need to unite and ask themselves certain hard questions, so that a charlatan like Chief Ekpeyong Asuquo doesn't lead our people astray, in the hope that his disco-boy son eventually becomes Governor in the unforeseeable future, particularly as the APC onslaught gathers momentum to oust the little despot from Government House Calabar and loosen the PDPs vice-like grip on Cross River politics as the general elections draw near? We can just "dey kamkpe" again and allow charlatans and faceless groups like 7-alive endlessly endorse Governor Ayade in our name when we truly know that we don't believe in him and won't vote for him because he has achieved nothing and will never allow power return to the South Senatorial Zone owing to the influence the Atam Congress currently have on him.

Politics is a simple game complicated by fools and there is something in that. I have also come to learn that it takes a lot of hard work to make things look simple. I can assure you that Senator Liyel Imoke and former Governor Donald Duke, can attest to this. In the same vein, incumbent Governor Ben Ayade can probably attest to the fact that If you play bad politics, overload your constituency, associates and subordinates with double speak and half-truths and conflicting directives, it introduces uncertainty, which leads to errors under pressure.

Now while politics is a game of guile with fine margins and unreported storylines leading to actions and outcomes, you can only lie to the people sometimes, not all the time. And so Senator Prof. Ben Ayade and his associates in the Southern Senatorial Zone, led by the ever treacherous Chief Ekpeyong Asuquo, his copious nightclub owner turned Finance Commissioner son, Sir William Archibong, Mr. Donald Etim Duke, Chiefs Emile Inyang, Grace Ekanem, Emmanuel Nsan, Bassey Ekefre, Ekpo Okon, Nkoyo Toyo and a few others have sold out the good people of the Southern Senatorial Zone for their own personal gain, unmindful of the catastrophic fate that awaits everyone should we foolishly submit to these charlatans.

At the heart of this treachery is their own personal ambition or desire to run elections on the back of a 2nd term for Governor Ayade and his brother Chief Dr. Frank. Overlooked, in this mess, is the fact that Governor Ben Ayade does not deserve a 2nd term on the basis that after almost 3yrs in office he has no achievements to point to in concrete terms besides being unelectable.

What's in it for us?

Sadly, the South Senatorial Zone as of 2018 has no anchoring political leader and here lies the problem. While Senator Gershom Bassey remains the highest political office holder and Chief Efiok Cobham the highest non-political office holder, as a former Deputy Governor, across party lines, the Southern Senatorial Zone has recently produced a retinue of "big time Charlie's" and charlatans, con men masquerading as leaders and allowing their personal interest to supersede the collective and I can list a few including Barr. Edem Ekong, whose recent resignation from the Ayade government barely caused a whimper.

With mounting criticism over his "style" and nothing to show on ground while contentiously heating up the polity by playing the APC against the PDP and trumpeting bogus projects while everything falls apart and the state's economy collapses, it now appears a matter of when with Governor Ayades faith already sealed. So why would our so-called leaders in the South tie their political fate to Ayade without our consent or have we become so docile and mindless? And why can't we seat down as one, within or across party lines and dissociate and disconnect from the gravy-less Ayade train for the sake of our people. Let's not cheaply sell our souls for Ayades' N500 and N50,000 Naira…. he can't give more …he won't give more and his paying us salaries on times isn't doing us a favor. Even as "Calabar Goebbels," his SA Media, had gone to great length and at significant cost to emphasize Governor Ayades blitzing start to his tenure, his stretched-out stumble at the turn of 2016 solidified the thinking that there would be nothing of the state left to govern come even 2019., and I am praying the Southern Senatorial Zone isn't foolishly caught up in this crossfire. …will hopefully learn that it does not pay to play with fire.


I conclude with the dire warning that issues raised in this article are real and will swallow the South Senatorial Zone, if we sit back and do nothing. The ramification of this loss might not even be understood now but surely generations to come will pay for our inaction. Possibly, as few have argued, we lost an opportunity to use Barr Edem Ekong's rash and improperly calculated resignation from the Ayade Government as a rallying call to take its stand, but then I can understand everyone's reticence as some have reasonably argued that that our politics has gone beyond a silly ego-centric action typically miscalculated to propel and benefit an individual whose real interest has never been the collective.

For Governor Ayade and his cohorts in the Southern Senatorial, the funeral march for your administration is already on, and the numerous and senseless endorsements will not quell the angry voices that will only get louder before your historic humiliation during the general elections.  

Efiks, Efuts, Quas of South Senatorial Zone arise or die!


Efio-Ita Nyok
Is a Blogger, the Editor-in-Chief & Publisher of NegroidHaven 

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