Bassey Ewa Henshaw, who represented Cross River South Senatorial District in Nigeria’s Senate, is worried that Cross River State has become the laughing stock of every part of Nigeria because of the clear dearth in governance currently experienced in the state.
Governance ideally he maintains, should seamlessly show capacity and willingness to do basic, simple things that will uplift the state, without stealing a kobo.
Henshaw who spoke exclusively with www.calitown.com, expressed sadness that the state government was, for instance, unable to maximize the benefits of having General Electric around. “They couldn’t work out a partnership with the electricity giant to tackle the poor electricity situation in the state; but we are competent at stealing money. What has happened to the Calabar Carnival? Where is the flood of tourists that use to visit our state? In the administrations of Donald Duke and then Liyel Imoke, these two use to sit down with their teams and stakeholders, discuss and work out plans that elevated the art of governance, but what we see now is a joke.”
On the Calabar/Ogoja Accord, an accord currently being bitterly discussed in Cross River State, the former senator strongly believes that those campaigning against this accord are “demonstrating a clear lack of understanding as it concerns the principles of this accord. This accord has principles hinged on and provides room for rotation of power, zoning of political offices; to make sure that every region of the state has an opportunity to govern. Our forefathers, very prominent people who put this accord together were influenced by the spirit of peaceful political co-existence among us all. To now come and attempt to thrash this accord, like several of our brothers and sisters in CRS are trying to do is painful and very unfortunate.”
“Let me paint you a clearer picture. Before the elections that brought us the Ayade administration, stakeholders gathered at the Axari Hotel and we had a meeting. In that meeting, Cross River North politely engaged and appealed to all present, for support with a proviso that after Ayade, the governorship must come back to the South of CR in 2023. It was an agreement accepted in principle and principles can be established and honoured 100 years after they were established”, he revealed.
Asked if the South of CR has credible candidates that can run for governor of the state, he replied: “Show me one person who is not from CR South who wants to be governor and I will show you 10 persons from CR South who can be governor and succeed at it.”
He however has regrets that so many of those masquerading as aspirants are not imagining the challenges they will be confronted with when Ayade leaves office. “Have we as a people asked ourselves this critical question? Show me one person who wants to be governor of CRS, from the real or imagined line up, that has produced a plan of whatever nature for the state. We cannot afford to follow the governance path that we will soon part with. We must investigate and insist on the antecedents of who wants to be governor from the South. People who are allowing their egos to overwhelm them to pursue inordinate ambitions to our collective detriment must not be allowed to get in. The electorate must begin to enforce a paradigm shift and not embrace ethnic politics and sentiments.”
Henshaw who had worked as a volunteer for the Shirley Chisholm Campaign Organization, the first black woman to be elected to the United State Congress, representing New York’s 12th Congressional district, believes in conclusion that it is only fair that the next governor of CRS should come from CR South.
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