Why High Chief Eyo Etim Nyong May Emerge As The Next Executive Governor Of Cross Rivers State.
Cross Rivers State has had its own share of governance since the return to democratic rule in 1999. The last 22 years have witnessed only three Governors administering the oil-producing State, Donald Duke, Liyel Imoke and the incumbent Governor, Benedict Ayade, all three are products of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
There have been mixed feelings as regards the performance of these past and current administrators while some may have given them an average performance scorecard others are of the opinion that Cross Rivers State deserves better.
Cross Rivers State was once regarded as the citadel of tourism and a clean environment, it is on record that the State was once distinguished both nationally and globally as the cleanest State in Nigeria.
Unfortunately, the State no longer holds the enviable records of being the cleanest State in Nigeria, an achievement the State once held back to back continuously.
Tourism was identified as one of the flagships of diversification for the socio-economic development of the state. And in line with this vision, the Donald Duke administration intensified efforts in 1999 and invested heavily in the tourism sector.
The Tinapa Free Trade Zone and Resort (TFTZ&R), Calabar was conceptualised to be an integrated business resort, with an estimated cost of over 60 billion naira Tinapa was meant to be among Cross River’s exclusive tourist sites but today the project is not only moribund but a shadow of itself.
Institutions in the State are not spared either as many cry out over the weakened State of institutions in Cross Rivers.
As the 2023 Gubernatorial elections draw closer residents have been agitating for a total paradigm shift from successive governments that can’t keep to their campaign promises and sustain existing developmental strides as laid down by previous administrations.
Zoning, competency and visionary drive are major determinants that would produce the next governor of Cross Rivers State.
In 1999 the South produced Mr Donald Duke as the Executive Governor, then in 2007, the Central produced Senator Liyel Imoke while the Northern zone produced the incumbent, Senator Ben Ayade.
Many say equity demands the Governorship should be zoned back to the South.
One man that keeps reverberating as a possible successor to Ben Ayade is High Chief Eyo Etim Nyong who happens to be a Professor of Petroleum Geology.
High Chief Nyong has a pedigree of high performance and credibility laced with vision and hard work. Nyong who happens to be a household name in Cross Rivers State was a pioneer member of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC board and was fortunate to head the committee that drafted the famous Niger Delta Master Plan which unfortunately successive governments have failed to implement.
He is seen as a highly visionary leader who would impact positively to the socio-economic development of the State.
According to respondents his tenure as an NDDC board member brought unprecedented projects across Cross Rivers state as no fewer than 60 projects were executed to his credit. Many Cross Riverians have reached out to him to accept the challenge of rescuing the State from its current status of redundancy.
They see him as one who can rebuild Cross River and reclaim its tourism position in Africa, they say with Prof Nyong Cross Rivers can regain its pride and heritage.
The university don hails from Odukpani Local Government Area in Cross River State and happens to be a strong chieftain of the All Progressive Congress, APC.