From Judex Okoro, Calabar
Cross River Governor, Prof Ben Ayade, and the State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have traded words over the status of Ogoja Rice Processing Factory.
Governor Ayade had, a few days ago, posted a statement on his official facebook page saying that Ogoja Rice Factory has been completed and has commenced production and that the rice is available in the market.
The Governor advised members of the public to patronise the loaclly manufactured rice.
Faulting Ayade’s claim over the commencement of Ogoja rice, the state PDP publicity secretary, Mr Mike Ojisi, in a statement made available to journalists n Calabar, said they are not shocked at such a post on social media because the APC government led by Prof Ayade is used to propaganda.
Ojisi lamented that since the inception of this administration, Ayade has made over 30 promises and policy statements in almost all sectors of the economy and non has been fully fulfilled, adding that the vitaminsed rice seedlings at the Industrial City in Calabar is totally moribund and the city now a ghost of itself.
The statement read in part: “Firstly, it is on record that Governor Ben Ayade had earlier announced that the industries built by his administration has been taken over by concessionaires. But further investigation showed that by the terms of the concession, the state government has little or no stake in the production phase of the factory.
“So, we make bold to state categorically that there’s no form of production going on in the Ogoja Rice factory, rather the government had resorted to allegdly bagging and rebranding of imported rice, just to cajole the general public into buying into believing .
“Yesterday, it was Ayade Rice, Today is the turn of Ogoja Rice, tomorrow may be the turn of APC rice. It is alleged that the real producers of Ogoja Rice have since dissociated themself from the Ayade-produced Ogoja rice.
“For the records, Ogoja Rice is a registered trademark of the Yala-born illustrious entrepreneur, Chief Paul Santos, who has established a thriving rice processing mill at Yala and is succeeding.”
Alleging that the Governor had called on rice farmers to bring their rice paddy to the factory, he enjoined on Cross Riverians to not to be deceived into beliveing the the propaganda style of APC government as the much-publicised Calachika Factory has turned moribund.
He called on Cross Riverians to join hands with the PDP to salvage what is left of the state just as he called on Ayade to prepare his handover to them.
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