By: VITALIS UGOH, Calabar.
The Speaker of Cross River State House of Assembly, Hon. John Gaul Lebo has openly stated that there will be no opposition against the incumbent governor Senator Ben Ayade come 2019 in Cross River State.
Though Ayade has not personally declared his aspirations for 2019 election, the speaker Hon. John Gaul Lebo said “in the estimation, Ayade has performed very well and he is going to get another four years”.
He made this assertion in Calabar during an interview with newsmen in his office.
Lebo said “I have looked around and discovered that there will be no contest given the number projects been embarked upon by this administration”.
According to him, “most of the projects Ayade is embarking upon are targeted to be completed for eight years. It is obvious that one of the greatest beacons of future development in Cross River is for us to have a super highway and seaport; it will completely navigate the state’s economy”.
He said “Ayade may not be the one who will complete the seaport or the super highway but he has gotten the audacity of hope to lay the foundation. I dare say that if the vision of the super highway was laid in 1999, we would have completed it by now”.
Lebo said “the ambition of a state cannot be limited to the amount in the coffers, it has to be laid alongside the vision which the leadership has for the future of his people. So Ayade is saying that after the good work of previous governors, he needs to re-navigate the economy and what he needs to do is show that within the foundation of that vision, he has the sincerity and passion to follow that idea to the end”.
The House , he said had decided that the constituencies should feel the impact of members, so we have moved, with the consent of the governor, to institute constituency projects for the first time in the history of the state.
Lebo said “each member of the House is allowed to nominate a constituency project in his constituency; something to show to his constituents. And my colleagues have done consultation and needs assessment and came up with twenty five projects which is valued at over N3 billion which has already been passed into law.”
“Members he said are not permitted to nominate the contractor. The relevant agencies will advertise and get the contracts done without the involvement of members. Our responsibility is to ensure that the projects were executed”.
“Again, we decided that it was very obvious that every bill that we make must provide a kind of solution architecture for our people. And to do this, you need a citizen legislative agenda which means that we must find the content citizen benefit in every bill. As Speaker, I have provided a legislative direction which is called CLAP – Citizen Legislative Agenda Project. I was able to introduce that at the Commonwealth Parliament conference in November 2015 in Kenya. I was given that opportunity to introduce it and then it was accepted and we have been using it. As I speak, we do regular engagement in various constituencies. Before bills are passed, our colleagues must show that this bill has something to add to the citizen”.
“We have also introduced readers’ club, even though it is private to me. There are young people who are being mentored by me and other members of the House who are interested and we also have a democracy club which we meet once or twice yearly. We have also decided to reform various sectors by providing institutional framework through making appropriate laws”, he added.
By: VITALIS UGOH, Calabar.