by crossriverwatch admin
The Conference of Nigerian Political Parties, CNPP, in Cross River State has threatened to drag the Cross River State House of Assembly to Court in the next two weeks of officials of the state government do not tell crossriverians where the governor is and what is wrong with his health.
The state Chairman of the group, Mr. Cletus Obun told crossriverwatch in an interview that the acting governor as presently empowered cannot sign approvals for capital projects and even some recurrent expenditure and this has grounded the ministries, departments and agencies. He said the House must come out clean and give the acting governor more powers to get the state back to life.
Mr. Obun who said CNPP had no issues with the governor taking ill however quarreled with the manner the governor’s information managers have kept sealed lips over the matter. He said after over ninety days of the governor’s absence, anyone who truly cares about the state should begin to ask for explanations rather than keeping quiet and allowing the state to stay grounded.
He said: “There is nothing wrong that the governor went on leave and fell sick there. That is quite natural. What is unnatural is the fact that a number one citizen of a state goes on leave with tax payers’ money and they have made it a secret. Why has it become a secret? That we should not know that our number one citizen is sick? That this is where he is? It took a lot of agitation in Enugu to know that their governor was in a hospital in London. In the case of Cross River State, do we have to go and demonstrate and carry placards for government officials to tell us what is wrong with our governor and where he is?
“It is clear that the managers of information in Cross River State are deficient in character. Imoke had an accident on his way to the Ranch sometime in 2008 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the oldest paramount ruler in the State; Uti J.D. Agba of Obudu, the celebration took place at the Chief J.D. Agba’s Stadium in Obudu. The governor was going to spend the night in the Ranch to attend the event the next day and he had an accident on his way to the Ranch. Fortunately or unfortunately, he was flown abroad for treatment. And when the information hit the newsstands, state officials led by the information commissioner as it then were, Mr. Patrick Ugbe denied it.
“An official from the governor’s office in the Guardian and other newspapers denied it. He said there was nothing like an accident and the state radio took one week, refuting that story. A month later, the governor recovered and came back and these same state officials were in the stadium and they made a show of it in the state television and radio. The same state television and radio that kept denying the governor ever had an accident were broadcasting live, the return of the governor from hospital. We are therefore not surprised that a few years later, the same crop of officials who are still changing ministries here and there are the ones still hiding the information that this governor is seriously sick and they do not want us to know.
“It is over ninety days now, the state is comatose, the state is grounded. And we are very petrified that no one wants to ask questions. We will go to court to seek an order of mandamus to compel the House to perform its duty and get this acting governor, in real sense to act as a governor. There are a lot of things this acting governor cannot do. He cannot for example issue releases. He cannot give approvals on capital projects. Even on elementary matters of current expenditures, ministries are virtually grounded. So we will go to court and compel the House, and make it a pronouncement of a competent court, to demand that the house of assembly empowers, if they cannot, the Court will compel them to empower the acting governor to act as a real governor. We have the option of going to Court, we have the option of also occupying Calabar.
“At the moment we are doing our investigation to know the true state of things. To know the hospital the governor is and his true state of health. They have done it in Enugu and Taraba and we want to borrow a leaf from them. We are using our own linkages and contacts to see how we get all these information. By the time that is done hopefully by the end of this month, I can give you the next two weeks, we would have established all these details and if we confirm that the governor will not return soon, due to serious or terminal illness, the acting governor should be adequately empowered to act in the real sense of the word. It is over ninety days and we cannot continue in this uncertainty, we are working hard and in the next two weeks, we will go to court and make sure that the illness of one person does not bring the state on her knees”.
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