Now, let me make it clear that Ayade as Governor of Cross River State, has all it takes to arrest me and humiliate me and prosecute me and even put me in jail. I do not have any doubt about that in my mind. After all, he is Governor. Having said that, I also want to make it clear that, that is exactly what I want NOW.
Governor Ayade must arrest me and bring me to trial. I have not committed any crimes to be afraid of threats of arrest and prosecution. In the course of my adventures as an activist, I have been arrested several time, docked several times and taken to prison several times. I cannot lie to you that any of these moment was palatable. But with all the inconvenience, we were trained to endure all those conditions when you are fighting out of conviction.
Our Governor has gone our of control. With a weak and placated House of Assembly, surrounded by Commissioners and aides who lack courage to question his decisions even when they are wrong, surrounded also by acquaintances who see his rise to Governor as a finger of God and consider all his decisions right, the Governor has developed a “messianic” mentality, where he now feels that no one should express contrary opinion to what he considers right.
I have personally written about some of the Governor’s projects that I consider in my opinion, vital to opening up our State. I have spent money to do animated videos of the superhighway, rice seedlings factory, deep sea port etc to promote what I believe are laudable projects of the Governor. The Governor did not commission me to do all these. But he was delighted with the outcomes.
Now that I am critical of some of the Governor’s projects and their plausibility, he is threatening me with prosecution and jail as of I care.
You withdraw N4billion Naira from LG Joint Account, just days before the last election and you don’t want citizens to ask questions?
*It is your money?*
You want to go and annex community lands in Obudu in the name of building airport and you don’t want us to ask questions?
*Is your position not a public office?*
2019 budget is passed in secret. Previous budgets under your 4 years remain a secret and you don’t want us to ask questions?
*Is it your personal budget?*
You refuse to conduct LG elections for over 3 years and you don’t want to be asked questions?
*Are you bigger than our constitution?*
You support murderous gangs in Obudu who are unleashing deaths and kidnappings for ransom and you don’t want us to ask questions?
*Are you not the CSO of our State?*
The Governor has said I should stop sending anything to him again but I assure you I have not stopped and will not stop sending.
Governor, if you block me on Whatsapp, I will send sms, if you block me on sms, remember I know your verified Facebook ID. If you still block me, I will bring my petitions to your house either in Abuja or Calabar. If they refuse to open gate for me, I will carry placards, invite my media friends and sing aluta songs in front of your gate, you will watch it on television. If your security decide to arrest me, I would have fulfilled my aim.
Arrest me. Prosecute me and jail me. That is exactly what I want from you right now. I am ready. Both mentally and physically. Because I am not going to stop asking these questions that irritate you so much. It won’t matter to me whether you get angry or not. Take me to jail for asking questions and everyday I spend in jail will diminish you. I will keep talking from jail. I still won’t be quiet.
Even if you decide to kill me, death is but one of the characteristics of every living thing. You too shall die. Everything shall die. Even death itself shall die after killing every life. But like your middle name says, “Bengioshuye”. No one knows tomorrow.
As you resume your second term, prepare answers. I now wear a new cap of responsibility and I must stay up to it. I have a constituency. I am now the State Chairman of our young party, AAC. Members of our party and the generality of Cross Riverians will dog after your heels in your second term. We need answers not threats. That is what will work more efficiently.
1460 days is what you have left. It’s not a very long time. Your desire to return to the Senate in 2023, which is also making you more nervy is in the hands of God. But till then, there is a lot of work to do within the next 48 months. We want you to do it more transparently. That is why we are asking questions.
Lastly, I am in no fight with the Governor; so you don’t get it twisted. I can’t fight a Governor. I don’t have the wherewithal to make fight with a Governor. If he wants to deal with me, he has all the capacity to. He can bundle me from anywhere. Remember how Ifere Paul was bundled from Abuja. He can also bundle me from Lagos. But that won’t even be necessary because I am coming to Calabar after the weekend and I will let him know that I am around. And from Taiwan where he has travelled to, he can then ask for my arrest and jailing which I am ready to endure and wait him out.
But to think I will be threatened to stop asking these questions is a big fat lie.
Agba Jalingo is the Editor-In-Chief of CrossRiverWatch and writes from Lagos State.
NB: Opinions expressed in this article are solely attributable to the author, Agba Jalingo and do not in anyway represent the opinion of CrossRiverWatch or any other organization the author works for/with.
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