By Jonathan Ugbal, Ushang Ewa and Efa Sunday
The gubernatorial candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Cross River State have begun the year with a new campaign strategy of calling each other liars and scammers.
Senator John Owan-Enoh of the APC fired the first salvo when he said Senator Ben Ayade of the PDP was a one-chance man and scammer likening him to the notorious bus robbers in Lagos State, Nigeria’s commercial capital.
However, the PDP’s media committee in a statement signed by it’s secretary who is also Mr. Ayade’s spokesman, Mr. Christian Ita returned the tackle with an allegation that Mr. Owan-Enoh was a scammer and described his moves as “desperate.”
The word ‘scam’ is a noun which the Cambridge dictionary describes as an illegal activity designed to make money while it’s derivative, ‘scammer’ which is also a noun is defined as; “someone who makes money using illegal methods, especially by tricking people.”
Owan-Enoh’s Adoption Story Biggest Scam Of 2019 – PDP
The most recent of the name calling was the media committee of the PDP campaign council in the State dismissing the purported adoption of Mr. Owan-Enoh by some 15 guber candidates and describing it as “a ruse,” “the biggest scam of 2019,” and, “a bogus New Year gift he could ever offer his supporters.”
The statement signed by Mr. It’s said the media committee was not surprised that, “eight of the so-called 15 candidates are already distancing themselves from the purported endorsement.”
It accused the senator representing the Central Senatorial District of the state of flying the validation kite, having seen that not only is his candidature enmeshed in acceptability crisis within his party, but that his floundering campaign has failed to gain traction and the necessary followership he had expected.
“This is clearly an act of desperation by Owan Enoh. It is a febrile attempt to hoodwink his supporters and create the impression that his flustering campaign is gaining impetus, when in actual sense he is still grappling with the challenge of acceptability by the generality of his disparate APC family. There is no doubt that even the undiscerning within his fold know that he is merely trying to pull the wool over the eyes of a motley of his supporters who are yet to see through his already vanquished and vanishing aspiration,” the PDP said.
Insisting that Owan Enoh has nothing to offer the state, given his 20 years of political representation since 1999, the party urged Cross Riverians to be wary of him.
“Owan-Enoh’s adventurism is already a failed project. It is indeed sad that for someone seeking to govern Cross River, his first outing in the new year is to scam the people with his adoption claims. Seriously, we think it is time Cross Riverians saw through his duplicity and shenanigans.
“His proclivity to deceive has shamefully been exposed by eight of the so called fifteen governorship aspirants who have since dissociated themselves from the purported acceptance,” the PDP said.
Furthermore, the group accused Mr. Owan-Enoh of self-seeking and challenged him on his track record of democracy deliverables as a one-time House of Assembly member, three-time House of Representatives member and senator, insisting that he was “merely seeking to add to his CV the title of former governorship candidate.”
“Owan knows full well that his campaign is already in tatters and the only way to force himself into the consciousness of a handful of his followers who will soon abandon him the way others have done is to sell them a dummy. This is the height of fraud,” the statement added and disclosed that neither Mr. Ayade or the PDP was losing sleep over what it said is “fictive,” as well as, “a hoax and another of the senator’s fraudulent ploy to wrench political relevance.”
Ayade, A One-Chance Governor, Lies About Everything – Owan-Enoh
A few days earlier on January 1, the APC flag bearer had while addressing journalists at his Jorany Hotel in Calabar, said the PDP guber candidate was a liar and scammer.
This happened just three days after he had collected the party’s flag in Uyo, Always Ibom State putting what many described as the final nail to the coffin of who is the actual Guber candidate of the party following a long battle between him and Niger Delta affairs minister, Usani Uguru Usani.
He queried the utilisation of public funds to build private corporate entities and challenged Mr. Ayade to come out clean on the ownership and operations of the Cross River Garment Factory.
“Who owns the garment factory? How much was spent in building the factory? After three and a half years, how much has the factory generated?,” Owan queried.
He lamented, “In 2015, we took a bend, thinking it was the right bend, but it turned out to be the worst mistake we have ever made and that bend was a one-chance bend.
“This administration cannot get anything right, that is because the governor is a big scam. What his administration does is to look for big names and pay them sign-on fees.”
Fielding questions from the Journalists, Mr. Owan-Enoh explained that he will be focusing on feasible projects
“First, I won’t start by lying to the people who elected me into office. This administration lies about everything. They started lying from day one. Even China cannot put their money in a project such as the superhighway. That project (the superhighway) is cutting important villages and towns out. What I will do is rather go for feasible projects that does not require much to achieve such as dualizing the Ogoja-Ugep-Ikom-Katsina Ala road, which comes into the centre of Calabar,” he said.
He condemned the Ayade’s administration for it’s policy of ‘putting food on the table’ by appointing thousands of people even as he referred to it as, “the greatest insult on mankind,” adding that, “that was not why he was elected into office.”
He further explained: “I will rather build three functional skill acquisition centers in each senatorial district, that will train Cross Riverians on vocational and technical skills, which will equally enable them to fend for themselves and families.”
He continued: “Cross River State is known for tourism and tourist attraction sites, I will therefore develop those tourists center and also build international schools for hospitality and tourism, to train the personnel who will be working there.”
He warned Cross Riverians to be careful in casting their votes, as he said “a vote for Ayade is a vote for Frank, and a vote from prosperity to penury.”
It is unclear which Frank, he may have been talking about but, the most popular is Mr. Frank Ayade, a sibling of Governor Ayade whom during his thanksgiving ceremony in Obudu, had declared him as ‘co-governor.’
On the issue of zoning, he averred that: “2019 election is not about the north, south or the central. But it is about who has the blue print and who can change the narratives of our dear state, and to make it work again, following the leadership laid by Donald and Imoke, and to restore hope back to the state and her people.”
Responding to a question whether he will seek a second term in office, he answered: “I like to attend to first things first. Let me emerge the winner of this election first, then if you see my work, I will then come to you and ask if I should return for a second term.”
He promised “adequate support” for “private media houses across the state, because they must stand,” and announced that everyone seeking to be appointed into different offices “shall be made to renounce and denounce cultism,” if elected into office.
Also, he warned the Ayade’s administration to desist from pulling down his billboards and signages, stating that, “all fees due for such public display had been fully settled and therefore may likely result to my boys pulling down his (Ayade) signages if such acts reoccurs again.”
He called on all aggrieved and disgruntled members of the party to sheathe their swords and come together to work for the progress of the party with a unity of purpose.
Since You Are Here, Support Good Journalism
CrossRiverWatch was founded on the ideals of deploying tech tools to report in an ethical manner, news, views and analysis with a narrative that ensures transparency in governance, a good society and an accountable democracy.
Everyone appreciates good journalism but it costs a lot of money. Nonetheless, it cannot be sacrificed on the altar of news commercialisation.
Consider making a modest contribution to support CrossRiverWatch's journalism of credibility and integrity in order to ensure that all have continuous free access to our noble endeavor.