By Jonathan Ugbal
Governor Benedict Ayade of Cross River state has commenced the demolition of the offices belonging to state’s Primary Health Care Development Agency (CRSPHCDA) and the Calabar Urban Development Authority (CUDA).
No fewer than three buildings including two which housed the management of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital are currently being demolished by the governor. One of this building which is occupied by CUDA is over 100 years old.
It is unclear whether the building currently housing the Mediatrix Development Foundation which was founded by his wife, Linda Ayade is also affected.
There is almost no information regarding what Mr. Ayade intends to do with the space which housed the St. Margaret’s hospital and later, the UCTH.
Staff of CRSPHCDA and CUDA are currently scrambling for locations to save their office equipment after Governor Ben Ayade issued an ultimatum for them to vacate on Friday.
“I can keep files in my home but what about the table, chairs, fans and other sensitive medical equipment such as the cold room and the solar systems that were donated to us,” a staff (name withheld to prevent punitive measures being meted on the person) told this reporter on Friday.
The CRSPHCDA headquarters coordinates the activities of the over 1,000 primary health facilities across the 18 local government areas of the state.
Before the close of work on Friday, staff of the CRSPHCDA could still be seen moving out sensitive medical equipment.
The agency was created by Mr. Ayade in 2016 with Betta Edu, the current health commissioner as the maiden Director General. It was first located at Barracks road, Calabar before it moved to Moore road.
The current Director General, Dr. Janet Ekpenyong when reached declined comment on the matter. CrossRiverWatch gathered that she was in a meeting with Edu and several others over the COVID-19 pandemic.
CUDA staff are said to have resigned to faith having been told that no office has been assigned to both agencies yet.
Meanwhile, sources in the health ministry say after the UCTH had evacuated the premises, Mr. Ayade was requested to reopen the St. Margaret’s hospital, an application he refused.
The old casualty block as well as a three story building which was never utilized were demolished between late 2018 and early 2019.
Unconfirmed information suggests Mr. Ayade is seeking to continue the fence erected to shield off the earlier demolished properties straight to the barb wire fence which separates the premises and the Peregrino lodge from the Marina resort.
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