By CrossRiverWatch Admin
Cross River State Governor, Senator Ben Ayade has accused the Cross River State Chairman of the African Action Congress (AAC) and Publisher of CrossRiverWatch, Agba Jalingo of blackmailing his Government for personal reasons.
Speaking yesterday (Tuesday) while standing beside his Abia State counterpart, Okezie Ikpeazu, during the Calabar Green Carnival, an exercise that was meant to plant one million trees, the Governor said no matter what Agba writes about his Government, he cannot change the truth.
In his words, the Governor said:
“In Cross River a man who is begging and does not get what he wants becomes a journalist and starts blackmailing the State. That is not journalism. Unfortunately, the period of blackmail is over. The period of writing nonsense and earning a living is over. Because no matter what you write, you don’t change the truth.”
In his response Agba Jalingo said: “It is only Governor Ayade himself and a few of his cronies lingering around him who are still not aware that his Government has become a laughing stock among Cross Riverians and Nigerians alike. From beer parlors and motor parks in Calabar to Obudu to Akpabuyo, to boardrooms of concerned stakeholders, people discuss about how Ayade has no direction in Government and these people include some of his closest appointees. By the time he will understand what is happening to him, his time in that office would have elapsed and he will find out he was only able to build monuments that his successor will lock up like Tinapa Resort, when he exits.
“More seriously, I wish to challenge Governor Ayade himself to show or tell the people of Cross River State, by way of audio, video or in any other form, what exactly I begged him or asked from him that he did not give me or he should respect himself, respect his high office, stop hallucinating, and shut up!
“I have challenged Governor Ayade several times to embarrass me and shut me up by putting in public what I begged or asked him for. He has no answers. At least, a Governor who is so shameless and lacking in moral values to descend to talking about the delayed conception of my wife in public as a response to my petitions, should have no qualms putting any other information he considers damaging on me out, if he has any.
“I also challenge Governor Ayade to arrest me if he thinks I have done anything that is criminal, charge me before a Court and send me to jail. Telling cheap lies about me is not only unbeffitting of a Governor and will also not avail him any respite.
“The Governor must be prepared for even more clinical scrutiny of his Government from yours sincerely and our party, the AAC. As leader of the AAC in Cross River State, I have raised pertinent issues about how Governor Ayade is mismanaging the State finances, the festering and endemic corruption in his administration, and how his lack of direction in Government is trolleying the State into further quagmire, but rather than respond to these pertinent issues, the Governor goes on ranting about how my wife is yet to conceive and how I begged him for whatever, and he did not give me. How are these distractions supposed to suffice for answers to the issues our party AAC, has been raising about public accountability in Cross River State?
“In Governor Ayade’s definition, a journalist is a person who sing praises of Government all the time. And once that his definition is not met, he terms it blackmail. He really feels that everyone must clap while he fumbles and that is the hallmark of leaders who dwell in deep complex and consumate dictatorship.
“A leader that doesn’t want to be called to account is a dictator. A leader that refuses to be accountable to his people is a threat to democracy and the people of Cross River State must not allow Governor Ayade to begin to feel that the office of Governor is a royal throne where everyone must kowtow and genuflect before his royal majesty.
“Our party AAC and myself will continue to shine light on the activities of this Government regardless of every attempt by Governor Ayade to distract me with inanities and absurdities. He should prepare answers and not threats or gibberish.
“If what we are doing is so worthless, which Governor would have made it a topic on the podium? Our investigation is catching up with Governor Ayade. Our monitoring of the LG funds have frustrated his attempt to deep his hands in the allocations with two HOLGAs invited by the EFCC. I am aware that the governor is confused and deeply worried about the volume of investigation and details about his Government that we are putting out to the public and he is working round the clock to distract our focus. Sending aides to open new fake social media IDs to accost and troll me yet in his panic, he is calling on the NBC to regulate the social media, forgetting that my activism transcends social media.
“He is already funding a group of so-called ‘social media watchdogs’ including those who have worked with me and security agents, to gather Intel on me with a view to embarrass me. I’m waiting to see what they will find from their futile effort. In case the Governor needs a reminder, let him know that he is a beneficiary of our struggle for democracy in Nigeria. Since the days of Abacha, I have remained consistent and participated in mainstream efforts at calling successive Governments to account till date. So if Ayade thinks that it is because of him that I started activism or that pleading blackmail against Agba Jalingo is his joker, he should concede that he has lost it. I refuse to be distracted. I keep my eyes on the ball.”
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