By G9ija

A People’s Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial hopeful, Prof Sandy Ojang Onor, has stated that when elected governor, he will take deliberate steps to restore the tourism glories of our state by paying specific attention to ecotourism.

Prof Onor, representing Cross River Central in the National Assembly, further stated that he would try and surpass the achievement of former governors’ Donald Duke and Liyel Imoke.

Speaking at a media parley with journalists at NUJ Secretariat in Calabar on Monday, said it is his intention to lead the movement towards the rebirth of our state, which has plummeted and nose-dived in the last six years. As you are aware.

He maintained that he has worked with the two past governors who made them proud as a people, adding that Mr Donald Duke laid the foundation, Senator Liyel Imoke built on it and also carved a niche for himself in the area of rural development.

According to him, he would follow their footsteps. “as every good father will be proud to have a child who will do better than him. Therefore, I will strive to surpass their achievements.

‘Therefore, I will take deliberate steps to restore the tourism glories of our state and will pay specific attention to ecotourism, which of course, is unique to Cross River.

‘The local government system will be resurrected and its full autonomy restored. Our people depend on this tier of government for survival. Under my watch, the dry bone called the local government system in our state will live again.

‘I will pay attention to our civil service system. Once upon a time, we used to have a vibrant civil service. We will get the civil service back to the path of growth and both active civil servants and retirees will feel it,’ he stated.

On zoning, he said: ‘Cross River State has never practised it and those championing it are ethnic jingoists who want to mislead the people. Or are either coward who does not have what it takes to contest the party’s ticket under a free and fair process.

‘Zoning has never, and I repeat, zoning has never been practised in our state since the advent of the current democratic experience in 1999. We cannot afford to sacrifice competence on the altar of zoning, as we prepare to choose a candidate for the governorship or any other election.’

He insisted that nobody or group of persons should divide our state and its people in the name of zoning.

He argued that the people of the state share commonalities with deep historical roots and it would be thoroughly unfair for anybody to fan the embers of geo-ethnicity, just to satisfy their selfish ambition.