It has emerged on the first day of the new year that seeming efforts made by most politicians in Cross River State to reach out to their constituents during the yuletide period may have yielded minimal benefits, even disdain, calitown.com investigations can reveal.
From Bakassi to Obanliku, politicians in the state struggled to outdo each other in the distribution to constituents of mainly rice, groundnut oil, tin tomatoes, even salt. Some politicians went a step further and added cash gifts to their packages.
The biggest visible spenders were those from the state, elected to the National Assembly. In Calabar for instance, a section of State Housing’s First Avenue was for two days running, taken over by crowds of people, eager to have a bite at the cherry Prince Otu Bassey, senator representing CR Southern Senatorial District had to offer. It was no different with Senators Victor Ndoma-Egba and Ben Ayade, or the House of Reps members as crowds, at their instances, thronged venues set aside for their respective distribution exercise.
One source who spoke with calitown.com, expressed herself in these words, “now that they have come with rice and salt in December, they are patting themselves on their backs. December is just one month, what happens in the remaining eleven months when they do not take our calls again or make it impossible for us to see them?”. It is a question that resonates across the whole length of the state. Another source was quick to point out that, “these people that we elected have come in December with crumbs, spread out and unfortunately not many of our people, striken with hunger see that what they are getting is pittance”.
However, one other source is of the opinion that, “the gifts these people are giving out is in the spirit of the season and if they have thought it wise to do this, it is unfair to want to take them down for doing what they are doing. If they decide to hold back, can they be compelled by any court of law to bring out these gifts?”
Again, signs are in the air that all roads, this first day of the year, will lead to Itigidi, Abi LGA, the home town of state governor, Liyel Imoke, for what has become a political ritual of some sort, every year. Calitown.com was reliably informed that as a show of loyalty to the governor, most politicians in the state, put up an appearance in Itigidi, on the first day of December, every year bringing the Chief Executive unsolicited gifts. Those who often do not make it to Itigidi are believed to be ‘disloyal’ to the governor.
While all of this plays out, Calabar is gradually regaining her serene nature after the upsurge in human and vehicular traffic experienced in the days leading up to Christmas and Carnival Calabar.
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