He lamented the country’s over dependence on imported goods in his address to mark the 55th Independence Anniversary at the U.J. Esuene Stadium, Calabar.
Ayade said while Nigeria may have gained political independence, she has remained in a quagmire of economic slavery.
“We have gained democratic independence, but today, we are still economic slaves as long as we feed on imported food, live on foreign finished homes, cloth with imported garments, export our crude, import our refined petroleum products, import our drugs, medicine, weapons, tooth pick, singlets, socks and even under wears.
“As long as we still depend on their technology to communicate and travel, use their instruments to know what we have in the soil, water and how to get them out, we remain slaves.
“As far as our political leaders continue to seek medical attention in foreign lands, send their children overseas to study, steal and stash our money in foreign lands, then we are still slaves. Slaves to our mentality, slaves to our inertia and slaves to colour. Any political independence without economic independence is independence in paralysis.”
He however added: “Today offers us another opportunity to celebrate our nation’s Independence from her Colonial Masters.
“No nation has ever gotten to its destination on a roller coaster; and so, ours has not been an easy ride. But today’s anniversary marks another watershed as we continue to march ahead with great hope and a refreshing optimism with our eyes cast on a sparkling horizon that is a harbinger of lush.”