Cross River State is at a very critical point in every aspect. The unemployment rate in the country has risen to an alarming 45%, and the state ranks high among states with the highest unemployment rate. We are still yet to be out of the firm grip of insecurity in particular kidnapping, cultism among others.
Although blessed with abundant natural resources, the state has still not been able to properly harness 10% of its natural resources. As the political conversation continues to dominate the space, especially about who becomes the next governor. We must consciously decide as one people our fate beyond political fraternity or ethnic affiliation.
Currently, three candidates in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have indicated an interest in the governorship position in Cross River State. They are, the Senator representing Cross River South, Gershom Bassey, the member representing Akamkpa/Biase Federal Constituency, Hon. Daniel Asuquo, and the Chancellor, Arthur Jarvis University, Sir Arthur Jarvis Archibong. Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress (APC), is yet to come out with a candidate aside from Engr. Ben Akak
It must be about who possesses the capacity with a proven track record to bring the state out of the current situation and ensure the participation of every citizen in the commonwealth of the state.
The PDP and the APC must understand that Cross Riverians are eagerly observing and seriously hoping that the party’s ticket is not given to the wrong person.
The 2023 general elections for Cross Riverians will not just be like any other election, but a very critical point that will decide the fate and collective destiny of over 4 million people.
Therefore, in deciding who leads as governor, more than a ‘strong politician with a deep pocket' is needed. We need more than a ‘popular candidate'.
We need a leader with a business mindset who thinks and means well for the people. We need one who has workable plans to generate massive employment opportunities for young Cross Riverians and residents.
For me, past governors have done incredibly well. Donald Duke, Liyel Imoke, and Ben Ayade all came onboard and opened the state to both rural and urban development, where the state can comfortably boast of access to rural areas.
And perhaps the state capital at some point has been rated as one of the most beautiful Urban cities in the country.
But unfortunately, the biggest development that can ever be achieved is that of human capital. Money in the hands of a citizen is worth more.
We need a government that will be able to create opportunities for Cross Riverians to have access to funding innovative ideas. We need a governor who will aggressively create a safe space for small businesses to grow without the usual bottlenecks that are natural within the business ecosystem. We need a governor who will encourage the manufacturing sector of the state and inspire thousands of young Cross Riverians to "dare to be great".
I have always believed that we need to be the investors we want to see in our state. The greatest thing any government can do is to encourage its citizens to invest and grow their economy locally as the Asian tigers have done over the past 50 decades. And the results are obvious.
What our state needs now is a serious leadership that is business-minded. A governor who knows what to do with all the investments made by the Ben Ayade government.
A governor who will turn the massive industrial Infrastructure spread across the state into a viable economic boom for the state. Where young Cross Riverians will be engaged thereby improving the socio-economic status of our people and the state.
We need someone who has a proven track record of running successful business ventures over the years, perhaps one whose investment is even domiciled in the state and currently working.
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