While addressing a well packed hall at the 3rd anniversary celebration of foremost Cross River-centred online news platform, www.crossriverwatch.com, held at the Diamond Hall, Transcorp Metro Hotel, Calabar, this past Thursday, former Justice Minister and Attorney-General of the Federation, Kanu Godwin Agabi, has pleaded with Cross Riverians to stop criticizing Cross River State governor, Ben Ayade, and commend him instead for the visible initiatives of his government that should in the long run provide the state with the much-needed infrastructure to guarantee growth and development.
Agabi who spoke on the theme, “The Reality of a Non-Oil Economy: Prospects and Challenges”, opined that those who have made it a vocation to criticize every action of the Ayade administration, need to understand that, rather than help the governor work, he will become distracted and may perform below expectations. He further submitted that, “if you sit down there blaming the governor, you are an underling, the fault is yours. Whatever the hands finds to do should be done with or without oil. Appreciate your powers and those of others while making greater efforts to succeed”.
However, civil rights lawyer, Okoi Ofem Obono-Obla, openly disagreed with Agabi’s submission, insisting that those who criticize government have a constitutional right to disagree with certain actions of government, especially those that are anti-populist and demonstrate no clear intentions to cater to the yearnings and aspirations of the greater percentage of the people. He continued;”when we keep quiet, we will never get what we want. Donald Duke and Liyel Imoke were bad governors and if we did not point out the things that made them bad governors, Ayade will tow their line and leave Cross River State worse off”.
The occasion also had in attendance, former Cross River state governor, Clement Ebri, Kelvin Etta, former V-C Unical, Chairman CR Council of Chiefs and Paramount Ruler of Bakassi, Etiyen Etim Okon Edet, several traditional rulers, captains of industry, gentlemen of the press and a broad collection of Cross Riverians.
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