by crossriverwatch admin
The poor attitude of the members of Cross River State Executive Council towards attendance at the daily activities of the ongoing calabar festival has received knocks from the former governor of the state, Mr. Donald Duke , crossriverwatch can reveal.
Duke who initiated the annual calabar festival in 2004 has remained a stakeholder, an avid follower and attendee of the annual event even after his friend and political associate, Liyel Imoke took over power from him in 2007.
Crossriverwatch gathered that Duke summoned the organisers of the Xmas show led by the special adviser to governor Imoke on Governor’s Office, Mr. Nzan Ogbe, who is said to be the festival anchor person in the governor’s absence, to know why there have been low turn-out of exco members at the night affairs of the carnival activities where several star artistes and comedians have performed.
The former governor according to a reliable source was miffed with the event managers for exposing the absence of his friend, governor Imoke.
Our source said he gave matching orders to the organizers to do whatever is possible within their means to correct what the source described as conspicuous anomalies in the organization of this years’ event.
Also queried by Duke was the renovation of the Millennium Park and Mary Slessor’s round-about in the period of the carnival.
The park is where the flag off of the carnival commences but is currently under renovation that may not finish before the December 27th carnival day.
Only last Sunday, the 12 kilometres final adult carnival dry run moved to Rabana roundabout on IBB Way.
This reduced the rehearsal carnival to 7 kilometres due to the renovation of the Eleven-Eleven/millennium Park Round-About.
The meeting which our source said took place at Duke’s Diamond Hill Home in Calabar had other political leaders in attendance.
In a telephone chat with Mr. Effiong Okon, the spokesperson for the Acting Governor, he told crossriverwatch that he cannot comment on deliberations on the meeting since he was not invited to attend.
Mr. Okon also refused to comment on why members of the state exco’s have not been showing up at the carnival events since the governor traveled saying he cannot speak for them.
“For the acting governor, he is always there at the events and there is no way you will be going to church and will not invite your children to join you. Why the exco members have not been coming, I don’t know. I am not their spokesman so I cannot speak for them.” he said.
Governor Imoke has been out of the state for a two month cumulative leave for medical treatment abroad and has since transferred the affairs of the state to his deputy in acting capacity through a letter to the state house of assembly.
Since his absence, observers say the running of the state affairs has not been the same particularly during the Christmas season.
Imoke is due to return in February 2013 at the expiration of his leave.
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