Environment Journalists/Writers Association of Nigeria (EJWAN) honours Prof Ben Ayade, Governor of Cross River State with the Best Environment/Earthcare Leadership Award in Nigeria 2017/2018.
The emergence of Gov. Ben Ayade as the winner of the award, came in sheer recognition of his quiet and immeasurable contributions to the overall environmental transformation of Calabar and the entire state, coupled with his inspiring leadership style.
Today, the saying that Cleanliness is next to Godliness holds sway in Cross River state, as Calabar has undoubtedely continued to maintain its lead in environmental sanitation and in tourism in the country.
In the recent past, the often times accumulated stinking heaps of refuse that littered the city has today becomes a thing of the past.
This is due to the vision of Professor Ben Ayade, governor of the state.
In just a year since the innauguration of the Cross River Green Sheriff by Gov. Ayade, the impact of the agency is being felt positively justifying the rationale for its establishment.
The outfit set out under the name Cross River State Green Police but recently had the POLICE changed to Sheriff has three main arms: one responsible for nursery development, another in charge of tree planting, while the cadet cadre innaugurated on November 12, 2016 has the mandate to ensure that all drainages are kept clean, all fences painted and kept clean, every single house has a minimum of four trees planted and the the environmental contractors ranging from grass cutting to desilting irrigation, landscaping, urban afforestation renewal, public parks, waste collection and management remain directly under its control and supervision.
The governor who described them as the Green Eyes of Africa, said that the green police conferred with powers to enforce the state’s sanitation laws and policies, can arrest and issue warrants while ensuring that all citizens and residents comply with the state’s sanitation and environmental policies.
The agency core mandate, according to the governor was to combat climate change and to maintain Calabar status as the most beautiful and cleaned city in the country.
He further charged them to be soft, diplomatic and gentle while hoping that Cross River State will continue to lead and dominate the African landscape when it comes to issues of climate change mitigation.
To ensure the success of the agency, Ayade provided adequate equipped such as patrol vehicles and communication gadgets, and adequately motivated by living wages.
The legalization of street trading by Ayade administration which many feared would take a toll on sanitation in Calabar, has become a rare success.
Before now street hawkers were being harrased on daily basis out of the streets, with the excuses that their activities made the environment untidy. But Ayade came legalizing street trading thereby giving this people hope of daily food and has also managed to keep the city clean with the establishment of the Green Sheriff. The Green Sheriff has also provided the much needed jobs to thousands it employs.
These are some of the achievements EJWAN considered to bestow on Prof. Senator Ben B. Ayade, Governor of Cross River State as the Best Environment/Earthcare Leadership Award winner 2016/2017.