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Ebonyi Airport: Agba Jalingo and other Cross Riverians rubbish Ayade over failed Obudu cargo Airport project

"Governor Ayade swore in front of red cap chiefs in Obudu that if the Obudu airport isn't finished before he leaves office as governor, he should be exiled from Obudu



Ebonyi Airport: Agba Jalingo and other Cross Riverians rubbish Ayade over failed Obudu cargo Airport project




Journalist and human rights advocate Agba Jalingo, along with other Nigerians—most of them of Cross River descent—have criticised Sen. Prof. Ben Ayade, governor of Cross River State, for failing to complete the Obudu International Cargo Airport four years after it was started.


Their criticisms came after the Ebonyi State International Airport was opened yesterday, which they alleged was started a few months after Ayade started the Obudu Airport in 2019.



As a result of its proximity to Ogoja, Obudu, Ikom, and other significant towns in the northern and central regions of Cross River State, the Abakaliki Airport is expected to divert air traffic away from the Margaret Ekpo International Airport, which is what they feared would happen.


Jalingo claimed Ayade, who vowed before Obudu Chiefs that if he doesn’t complete the airport before leaving office, they should expel him from Obudu, which also happens to be his home town, has allowed the project to remain in ruins in a Facebook post titled “Ayade, Umahi and their airports.”


He stated, “In 2019, Cross River State started building the Obudu Airport a few months before the Ebonyi Airport in Abakaliki. In terms of revenue from the federal allocation FAAC, Nigeria’s Cross River State and Ebonyi State rank equally last.



He added:

Governor Ayade swore in front of red cap chiefs in Obudu that if the Obudu airport isn’t finished before he leaves office as governor, he should be exiled from Obudu. He also set three potential dates for the airport’s opening.


The Abakaliki airport received two Airpeace aircraft yesterday. According to Jalingo, the Obudu Airport is still in ruins.



The journalist continued, “The Margaret Ekpo International Airport in Calabar lost more than half of its traffic to the Uyo Airport and the efficiency of IbomAir in the past few years. This was due to the newly opened Abakaliki Airport and the setback it has suffered by the entry of IbomAir.


“Most travellers from Biase LGA up to all five LGAs in northern Cross River will now travel less to Abakaliki Airport because they will arrive home earlier from Abakaliki than from Calabar, which will now lose another portion of traffic. The impact will be felt at the Calabar airport.


“Even I would prefer to land in Abakaliki and travel three hours to get home to Obudu than to land in Calabar and travel six to seven hours.



Ebonyi Airport and Obudu Cargo Airport
Ebonyi Airport and Obudu Cargo Airport


CallyAir and the airport are not operating. Ayade did establish a ministry for aviation, though, and employees are paid there.


“I really can’t think of any issue that Governor Ayade, during his eight years in office, solved. If anyone knows of any, they can assist,” he bemoaned.


Check out some reactions to Jalingo’s post:



Very disappointing”, wrote Facebook user Ochonu Mark. Consider the possibility that Ebonyi State, which benefited from Ogoja, is now superior to Ogoja.


Eight years of Olympic dissatisfaction“, Inyang Inyang. “I “don’t understand how a young professor could have missed the chance of a lifetime to make history. May Cross River State never again experience Ayade.”


Agiende Kingsley Undie remarked sarcastically, “Carly Air has been landing there on paper for a long time, and our airport has been commissioned on paper.”


When I think about how Ete Ayade brought Calabar, in particular, and the state as a whole to the post-war era of the 1970s, I can’t help but cry, says David Okon. Sadly, I haven’t seen anyone ready to start the reconstruction or transformation of this location that is under attack from both within and without by hostile communities or political manoeuvring”.


Lawrence Etim-Bassey backed up Jalingo’s claim by stating, “In this analogy, a performing governor and a non-performing governor are used. An example of a governor who set out to improve the lives of his constituents but instead kept spreading untruths about them as if they had no time limit. These two governors only have one thing in common: they both switched from the PDP to the APC. According to the records, Ayade’s only accomplishment during the eight years was standing for equity to transfer power back to the South, a cause that received overwhelmingly positive support from the people of Cross River. The big question is, though, why did the state’s departing government waste eight years of our time?Will the state ever bounce back,” he cried.


Eno Peter stated; “that Ayade had only been able to harm the Cross River State economy. Imagine the airports at Uyo and Abakaliki losing passengers.”


Ljm Olaleye Hakeem Adeboye concurred, saying, “Now, this is what we have been preaching all these years. Let’s hold our respective state governments accountable for what they have done and what they have planned to do. Instead of relying on the FG for state projects, they can solve more of our problems for us.


Agba Jalingo, we have really suffered,” Tete Jnr stated. “The money that was used for the Obudu Airport could have been used to renovate the Calabar Airport and the Cally Air.”


Manfred Ilem: “Installing trash cans on every street in Calabar and hiring 10,000 youths. The rest can be mentioned, including disconnecting the water board and allocating land to relatives and in-laws. Living inside a river but having no access to water is Cross River State.


According to Ejunka J. Eshidenang, “Governor Ayade is unable to offer a panacea to any exigency in the State because he spent the majority of his time setting himself up to deceive people with lies, clothed in grammars, while his counterparts in other states were busy quietly addressing social problems for their citizens through projects and beneficial policies. It’s true what they say—actions speak louder than words.


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