By Jonathan Ugbal
The call by the Cross River State chapter of Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) on the state governor, Senator Ben Ayade to resign, has been described as exercise oiled by a NGN100 million financial inducement.
Dismissing the call by IPAC, The Deputy Chief Press Secretary to Governor Ayade, Mr. Linus Obogo said it is not surprising, given the timing and venue of the press conference by those he described as desperados whose stock in trade is blackmail.
“For a long time, members of the Cross River chapter of IPAC have tried everything in the books to blackmail the governor into parting with huge amount of money so as to earn their support. But the governor has consistently refused to be on the same page with them. And so, given the time and season we are in, they have found a willing financier in Abuja, who, like them is also desperate about his political future,” said Mr. Obogo who also faulted IPAC’s claim on the state’s budget.
“I am gutted by the sheer moronic display of illiteracy and idiocy by these characters with regards to the 2018 budget. It is rather sad that in a bid to hustle for survival, some people would shamelessly choose to go to Abuja to showcase their shallow knowledge of what a budget represents. A budget is purely an aspirational estimate of expected income and expenditure over a given period.
“Governor Ayade has not said he has a huge amount of money stashed somewhere to address his capital as well as recurrent expenditures in 2018. What he has so far estimated is well within his realistic expectation, ambition and vision.
“That is why I am incredibly benumbed by the lunatic call on the governor to resign over his expectations for 2018,” said Obogo.
The state chairman of IPAC, Mr. Sunday Michael had described the budget as one of “Kinetic Carricature” at a world press conference, Wednesday in Abuja which was attended by almost two dozen state chairmen of IPAC.
The WHISTLER reported that another reason for the resignation call cited by IPAC was Mr. Ayade’s failure to conduct local government elections.
And, reacting to this, Obogo queried why IPAC had not served what he termed a “hypocritical advocacy role” to states governed by the All Progressives Congress and maintained that there was a body stipulated by law for that purpose.
“Is the governor CROSIEC or is he the one to fix the timetable for the council election? It is lamentably ironic that while the governor is needlessly being crucified for his alleged refusal to conduct the council poll, in the same breath, state electoral umpire is being persuaded to carry out the exercise. Why then is the shot at a wrong target?” he queried.
IPAC had also said Governor Ayade should not seek re-election in 2019 and called for his blacklisting by the opposition parties; a call which Mr. Obogo said is: “Nonsensical as it is imbecilic and idiotic for any person or group of persons to appropriate to himself the authority and temerity to seek to disenfranchise others.”
He continued: “While we concede to the state chapter of IPAC the liberty to seek to justify their hefty paycheck, they however cannot abridge the governor’s constitutional rights. Besides, it is preposterous to make such a call on one of the country’s best performing governors.”
The report also quoted IPAC as saying that the Governor had deceived President Muhammadu Buhari into performing the groundbreaking ceremony for the proposed Superhighway which after two years, not an inch has been constructed and illegal logging thriving in the said route.
The council also alleged that it’s members were on the run from the state due to a breakdown in law and order and called on the state house of assembly to desist from being a rubber stamp and approving budgets despite the state not having properly audited accounts for two years.
But, Mr. Obogo argued otherwise and noted that: “Honestly, nothing can be more ludicrous and canine than their lack of appreciation for the governor’s unrelenting commitment to the issues of security in the state. In the past two years Ayade has continued to reinvigorate, re-energize the security architecture in the state as well as capacities (of) the various security agencies.
“It is the reason why as of today over 26 countries are already in the state for Miss Africa Climate Change beauty pageant slated for December 27. Also, 30 countries have begun arriving the state for the international carnival. It is rather cynical that this has gone unnoticed by these hustlers trying feverishly to seek relevance in a body clothed in credibility deficit.
“What this clearly reveals is that the elements in the state IPAC are too far removed to know exactly what is going on in their own states. Even in their roguish press conference, they could not as much as tell their gullible audience that the governor has since paid the state workers December salaries in November.
“They are also so obtuse not to have appreciated the many ongoing projects of gigantic proportion dotted across the state such as the Calabar Pharmaceutical Company, the state of the art cocoa processing plant in Ikom, the automated rice mill in Ogoja, the 134 kilometers Mfum-Yala-Bekwarra-Obudu ranch dual carriageway, the Boki east-west road, at various stages of construction.
“Sadly, IPAC is yet to ask where the money is coming from in the face of zero allocation from the center. No doubt, the state IPAC is blighted by the obdurate pursuit of handouts from persons whose political future is approaching an inexorable terminal end.”
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