That February 28 Meeting With Governor Ayade…BY AGBA JALINGO

In Breaking News, Opinion

Governor Ayade is asking APC stakeholders in Cross River State to attend a post-election meeting with him on Tuesday, February 28 and each of them is expected to arrive with results of the February 25 elections from their polling units for unit-by-unit analysis.

My observations:

  1. From the language and intent of the letter, it is a party affair. It is a meeting of APC stakeholders, not necessarily a government meeting, though most of the APC stakeholders may be appointees. So using a government letter headed paper for such a correspondence is an abuse of power and should be challenged. For the CPS who earns a salary not as a party man to sign such a letter which is actually the task of the APC spin doctors, is also a misuse of State manpower for party interest.
  1. The directive in that letter is blatant intimidation to voters on who their choice at the elections should be. It is an invitation to desperate means to win, in order to escape victimization by a Governor who is supposed to be the Chief Security Officer of the State.
  1. INEC will announce the results of the elections and post these results from every polling unit on its website and social media handles. Party agents and collation agents are also expected to sign and record results from every polling unit and transmit them to their various centers. For a Governor to ask so-called ‘party stakeholders’ to come to a post-election meeting to account for information that would already have been public, is a total disregard for the secret ballot system enshrined in the Electoral Law.
  1. The directive in that letter is borne out of desperation and subterfuge. It is intended to arm-twist the people that will be at the receiving end to break the rules and do extraneous things to win and escape axing by the boss and this should draw the attention of security agencies.
  1. However-so-be-it, that meeting will be of no effect whatsoever after the elections have been won and lost. Ayade will seize to be Governor on May 29, 2023, whether you win your polling unit or not. If he wins as Senator, which I doubt, he won’t be able to victimize anyone anymore as he will as Governor. If he loses, as I expect him to, what exactly will he be able to do to those who voted against him en mass with less than 60 days to leave the stage? Even if you were earning a regular salary from his government, will you die if you don’t get paid for the remaining less than 60 days?

 Recommendations:

  1. The way to counter this threat and intimidation is to #VoteAyadeOut. A man who cannot point to any FUNCTIONAL PROJECT in the entire 18 LGAs of Cross River, after eight years in power is the only man who will want to continue to use intimidation to remain in power. If he did well, it will be axiomatic and there will be no desperation.
  1. Don’t be rail-roaded into perpetrating crime to win for a man who gave you only food on the table during his long reign. Now that he is going with his table, where will you find the crumbs? If you were cowed into fear and subdued by trepidation while he reigned, it is because of the power he possessed. Even he himself is now aware of the near departure of that hurricane from his bosom. He knows there is little he can do now.
  1. Don’t be scared. Damn the consequences, go to the polls on Saturday, and #VoteAyadeOut! Heaven will not fall. Even if it falls, it won’t fall on one person’s head.

Citizen Agba Jalingo is the Publisher of CrossRiverWatch and a rights activist, a Cross Riverian, and writes from Lagos.

NB: Opinions expressed in this article are strictly attributable to the author, Agba Jalingo, and do not represent the opinion of CrossRiverWatch or any other organization the author works for/with.

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