By: Aplefe Ojong
Reliable information reaching CrossRiverWatch indicates that the Governor of Cross River State, Senator Liyel Imoke has concluded arrangement to take the handing over ceremony on May 29, 2015 to the Calabar International Convention Centre, CICC, instead of the traditional U.J.Esuene Stadium, Calabar.
CrossRiverWatch equally gathered that the outgoing governor is not only taking the handing over ceremony to the new CICC, but that he was committed to ensuring that attendance at the event should be strictly by invitation, and that anybody who has no invitation card can only stray into the perimeter fence of the prestigious Conference and Convention Centre to his/her peril.
We gathered from competent sources that the actual reason behind Imoke’s decision to hand over the mantle of leadership of the state to Professor Senator Ben Ayade in a confined room instead of the U.J.Esuene stadium where he received his own rein of powers from Mr. Donald Duke in 2007, and all other of his predecessors was to avoid being booed by workers of the state and other Cross Riverians for his inability to pay workers their salaries.
CrossRiverWatch also learnt that many indigenes of the state are so upset that Imoke is illegally planning to not only deny them the opportunity to witness the inauguration of the new governor, Professor Senator Ben Ayade, but that he was equally planning to deny the chief celebrant, Ayade the traditional drive around in a motorcade receiving cheers and acknowledgement from the crowd.
If Imoke does not recant his decision to hand over and carry out the inauguration of the new government in Cross River State in the CICC, extending invitation to only few a individuals, thereby denying the ordinary person the right to participate in the inauguration exercise, he will go down as the first governor of the state to hand over the mantle of leadership in the state to his successor in a parlour-like environment.
Competent sources also told CrossRiverWatch that it was a fraudulent and deliberate plot by Imoke to make the incoming governor, Ayade unpopular among the people of the state, beginning from day one by creating problems for the man, denying many Cross Riverians and Nigerians access to the inauguration venue. It somewhat leaves people with the impression that the incoming governor was aloof, tilted to the high class and the rich, not minding what happens to the poor, indicating why he could not stand his ground to tell Imoke that the handing over must take place in the stadium or a place like the Cultural Centre, though a major chunk of the centre has been sold out to a God knows investor.
Perhaps a groundswell of public opinion sampled by CrossRiverWatch reveal that so many Cross Riverians are disappointed that Imoke has shut them out of an epoch making event.
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