By Andy Esiet, Calabar
First female aspirant for the 2023 governorship race in Cross River state has emerged insisting that men must shift for women to take over as the 2023 race is an inclusion for all.
Former Nigeria Ambassador to Ethiopia and Governorship aspirant under the People’s Democratic party (PDP), Amb. Nkoyo Toyo who formerly declared her intention to contest the governorship ticket yesterday at the PDP Secretariat annex along MarySlessor Avenue said she was not asking the men to leave the system completely but “should shift a little for the women to sit aswell ” .
Toyo who was accompanied by the National Women Leader of PDP, Dr Stella Atoe, a founding member of PDP, Ntunkai Grace Eyo Ita, a PDP chieftain Mrs Nella Andem Rabana SAN and many others said, women and the youths in the state and country constitute the voting strength and “PDP this time around should think of doing things differently. People should be encouraged to come out and vote and voters’ apathy must stop. We will win doing it differently” .
The Ex- House of Representatives member, Calabar /Odukpani Federal Constituency with rich academic and work credentials said, “our politics is ruined by three major problems, one we rule by exclusion so people are not feeling governance at the most basic level and nothing is working and you are not wanted…When this happens people feel unwanted and they believe the state and country are not working .Things are not just right so we need to make governance more inclusive and more participatory”.
Toyo took a swipe on the state economy stating that “we have a growthless economy , people are poor, the level of indebtedness of the state is high. We have read reports that we are now taking N55.5 million monthly to support the salary bills of the state, it shows you the state has a serious economic problem.Our IGR is leaking very badly, what we generate doesn’t go into the government’s purse, the allocation from the Federal government is not helping matters either, so the economy is not growing, there are no opportunities, so something drastic has to be done to make sure the economy is more inclusive in terms of its growth and development.
“We have a prebendal politics, we reward people producing little based on loyalty which is rewarded , and this produces a dysfunctional system where people for instance in the Civil Service are rewarded not on the bases of work done but it is based on those who you favour and nobody is held responsible for things like leakages because everything goes,” she said . You give appointment to people who cannot even function in a position you have given them.so in thong term the government collapses the health, educational system is down. You don’t need a magician to tell you or a sooth safer to see it”.
She said that one of the core mandate of her administration if elected would be the total revival of the local government system in a bid to take governance to the people at the grassroots.
On what she will do differently to get the state back on sound footings, Toyo said, “we have to build an economy which is more people inclusive. One major attribute of my government will be reviving the Local Government system. You cannot rule the Northern Senatorial District from Calabar, you need people on ground, if you want governance to count for the people.
“We need to look for creative ways to bring both religious and traditional institution into governance, a lot of our people believe in these institutions, we need to redefine our work ethics, we need to tap into this energy of returning some level of accountability , so that we can be blocking some leakages to do more work.
“We will ensure that the local government is totally revived and the bureaucracy has to work , we will train and recruit good people to who can act as catalyst to join others who ate already in the system to make governance reach everyone at the grassroots. We can create more jobs , we can make things work , we are already the paradise state in Nigeria , we can make it clean and green again revive agriculture and boost security”.
The State Chairman of the PDP, Venatius Ikem who received Toyo and her team, said Amb.Toyo as one the most experienced CrossRiverians who is qualified in so many ways , a lawyer a social activist and more who has a lot to offer to CrossRiverians.
He said, “I have known her for close to two decades, the only word you can describe her with is competence , she comes with a lot of competence ,she comes with a lot of experience . I have seen her perform as a lawyer , an NGO person and an ambassador for this country. I have no doubt on my mind she would perform fantastically if given the chance to be governor”.