The All Progressives Congress (APC) and Labour Party (LP) Cross River chapters, have both, at their various levels, pledged to transform Cross River into a haven, if voted into office in this Saturday’s gubernatorial election.
Represented by Ntufam Fidelis Ugbo, gubernatorial candidate of the LP in the state and his counterpart for the APC, OdeyOchicha, were both unanimous that the issue of high debt burden and deplorable conditions of workers in Cross River, is that of “maladministration by the powers that be”.
In the words of Ugbo, the LP candidate, “People say Cross River is indebted. Yes. The state is the third largest indebted in the country, yet I see Cross River as a land of opportunities. When we promote small scale and medium term enterprises, we will change the life style of our people”.
These remarks were made late Wednesday in Calabar, during a media forum organised by the state council of theNigerian Union of Journalist(NUJ).
For OdeyOchicha of the APC, “Nigeria is still a struggling country because we desecrate the ballot boxes” stressing, “the worse thing to steal in life is the mandate of the people”.
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and their gubernatorial candidate, Senator Ben Ayade were absent at the event.
The candidates, who spoke on issues ranging from the state’s debt burden, agriculture, mineral resources, unemployment rate, poor state of infrastructure, the media, gender issues, etc. were unanimous that the LiyelImoke’s administration in the state “has been paying lip service to the education sector in the state”.
Making reference to the state owned University of Technology (CRUTECH) that has been on strike for about six months now because of unpaid staff salaries, Ugbo said “if we can’t fund the state owned university, why start a new Polytechnic?” arguing that the newly opened state owned Polytechnic in Ugep, is uncalled for.
The LP candidate also queried the fact that public schools in Cross River are not allowed to write NECO.
“This is a denial of the rights of the children. If other states are writing NECO, why not Cross River”? adding that the children could even go to court over this denial.
Both candidates who talked about their levels of experience and preparedness to take Cross River to a higher level, called on both indigenes and residents to vote credible and vissionary candidates advising that they should not allow manipulations in this Saturday’s elections.