Wednesday, 6 February 2019

2019: Eyo Ekpo berates Ayade; says C'River has no Functional Govt... Read details here

Kelvin Obambon|6 February 2019 

The governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party in Cross River State, Barr. Eyo Ekpo, has berated the current administration of Prof. Ben Ayade over the way and manner the State is being runned NEGROIDHAVEN has garnered. This is as he asserted that Cross River in the past three years has been without a functional government.

Eyo Ekpo who was speaking in a live Facebook chat on Saturday, said the State has lost its past glory since the present government was inaugurated into office. He established that the history of governance in Cross River, right from when it was created in 1968 has always been that of a state well administered by seasoned technocrats. He however wondered whether there is any form of consultation between the governor, the state executive council and the legislature on policy matters, pointing out that the reality on ground is indicative of "a one-man or two-man show government".

The SDP flag bearer expressed sadness over the non-existence of governments at local levels, as he noted that the state government has not shown any desire to conduct elections into local government councils since tenure of last administrations elapsed in 2017. Barr Ekpo also decried the exclusion of traditional institutions from government which he described their role as being critical in addressing security issues and communal crisis in the state.

While positing that monies meant for local governments are not being accounted for, Eyo Ekpo said the type of government he hopes to put in place if elected, would restore Cross River's past glory in terms of good governance.

"One of the things for which Cross River State used to be known was the fact that it was well runned. The state has always been well run from inception when it was first established in 1968. One of the good things about Cross River State was that we had great personalities...

"Today what we have is very different. We have an executive council that exists in name alone. We haven't heard about decision taken by the executive council. We only hear about decisions taken by the governor. If you look at the constitution of our country, it says the governor is required to meet from time to time with members of his carbinet to discuss the implementation of policies and how these policies are being executed for the state. What we have instead is essentially a one-man show or a two-man show between the governor and the co-governor.

"We also had a situation whereby the traditional institutions with the local governments would work closely with the government, and that place a great role in managing the security and communal issues that often arose among communities in the state, so that you had an early warning system. For example, on issues between communities on our boundaries or the communities within, and thereby you are able to nib in the bud flash points that arose even before they became a big deal. In terms of security also, having the local institutions with the local government is fantastic because then you have a reporting line that goes from the grassroots of the state... Of course the governor cannot be everywhere. So you need that working together of traditional rulers on one hand, the local governments on the other hand and the state government on the third hand altogether.

"In the last three years we really have not seen that functional government work. We know that since the end of 2017 when the last local government tenure expired, there had been no election for whatever reason that has not been explained to Cross Riverians. All we know is that we no longer have local governments in place. We also know that the money that came into the local government system in our state continue to come, but nobody knows what is happening to those monies, and there is no account or explanation given to what is happening to those monies. That's not the way our local government laws are being set up to work. I recalled that the High Court of Cross River State has already said that it is wrong not to have elected councils as required by the constitution and local government law of Cross River State.

"One of the things that we would like to do in the government that we would form on the 29th of May, 2019 would be to go back to the collaborative, the collegiate, the unified and join up manner in which the state used to be run: we had great ideas coming from various segments of government. They were constantly consulted and the government looked into those ideas and tried to implement them. So we want to go back to that... We want to go back to a method that saw the various elements of the state coming together to ensure we have a well run state. That's what functional government is all about.", Eyo Ekpo said.

Obambon blogs for NEGROIDHAVEN 

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