Like it is often said; “when the cookies crumble, the devil takes the blame”, the State governor, Sen. Ben Ayade has named Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) “the devil” responsible for the persistent growing cases of kidnappings and groundless killings of Cross Riverians.
Ayade made this assertion during a courtesy call paid him by the management of NDDC led by its acting Managing Director, Professor Nelson Brambaifa.
According to the governor, while kidnappings and militantcy was at its peak in the Niger Delta region of the country, Operation Delta Safe was sent to all the comprising states of the region except Cross River State. Ayade believes that this made all the militants to consider Cross River State a safe haven.
Upon arrival, the governor said the militants, who did not find pipelines to blow replaced crude oil with human blood.
Ayade also claimed that Cross River State had been excluded from the initial plan of NDDC which was to make a prosperity agenda for the region, affirming that the story of the state in the NDDC has been that of melancholy as it has been reduced to want in body, soul, and spirit.
The governor therefore pleaded that the state be treated fairly, especially when one considers the fact that “the state has a landmass of over 21,000 square kilometers, larger than the entire Niger Delta. Connecting two local government is larger than any state in the Niger Delta with international boundaries to over four countries with its attendant challenges”.