From Judex Okoro, Calabar
The Boki local government traditional rulers and other community stakeholders have decried the on-going massive destruction of their forests, calling on the Cross River Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate to help them if elected.
Speaking at the consultative meeting with various stakeholders at Okundi and Kokwagom respectively in Boki on Thursday, they said they have been abondoned with no dividends to democracy to show in the last seven years.
Lamenting their woe when he and his clan heads received the governorship campaign team of PDP, the Paramount Ruler of Boki local government area in Cross River Central Senatorial District, HRM Fredelime Amarda, said their forests have been masaively destroyed and depleted leaving the people with no alternative means of livelihood.
Amarda pointed out that beside the issue of climate change, many of the animals in the forest have become endangered species while the ecosystem and ecotourism have been significantly affected.
While seeking for help to arrest the uwanton destruction of the forest around his domain, the Monarch appealed for government intervention to curb the menace.
According to him, “We are seriously worried and have expressed this concern to the relevant authorities for action but nothing have been done as I speak with you.
“It is on this note that we are appealing for help to put a stop to this when you become the governor of the state and sued for peace before, during and after the elections.”
Also speaking at a town hall meeting at Kokwagom community, Chief Emmanuel Arop, said: “We have been abandoned. We can not relate with our brothers. No higher institution in Boki.
Our forests are gone, rivers gone in Boki. We need your assistance.
“APC has destroyed the state. Calabar is a laughing stock now because it’s not a shadow of itself. Boki needs development , we need network roads, deliver us from APC , it’s a cancer , cankerworm remove them immidiately.”
On his part, one of the youth leaders, Chris Bisong, called on the PDP candidate to take tje issue of deforestation very seriously, promising to mobilise support ahead of 2023.
Earlier in his remark, the PDP candidate, Sen. Sandy Onor, had regretted the massive deforestation across the state and said that his administration would change all that when voted into office on March 11.
He also promised to run a government that would be responsible, transparent and accountable to the people.
He described Prof. Ben Ayade-led All Progressives Congress (APC) governement as wicked and have failed to meet with the developmental needs of the people.
“We are coming to change all that, we won’t act irresponsible like they have done in eight years of the locus,” he stated.
“The state is grinding to a halt under Ayade, lets raise up our PVCs and vote out this maladministration.”