By Jonathan Ugbal
With less than 24 hours left for him to exit the office, Cross River Governor, Senator Ben Ayade has barred the public from accessing the U. J. Esuene sports stadium in Calabar, the venue of the inauguration of the Governor-elect, Senator Bassey Otu and his Deputy, Rt. Hon. Peter Odey.
“Only those nominated in their various Local Government Areas and those officially invited are expected to enter the stadium to grace the occasion,” read a statement signed by the Permanent Secretary, Special Services in the Governor’s office, Dr. Alfred Mboto, and dated May 25, 2023.
The statement said those not invited, are “advised not to come close to the venue until the occasion is over to avoid embarrassment from security operatives on duty.”
The directive by Governor Ayade, Mr. Mboto’s statement said, was to ensure that they have “a hitch-free inauguration ceremony.”
The statement said those invited and “qualified to attend this occasion are to access the Stadium through the main gate, which is opposite the NNS Victory and Cross River State House of Assembly gates.”
To achieve the aim of having only invited guests as attendees, “movement around the U. J. Esuene Stadium on 29th May 2023 is highly restricted for security reasons,” the statement said.
Consequently, seven routes will be “barricaded against entry without a pass from 8:00 AM until the event is over.”
These routes are;
- Leopard Town Road by Donald Duke Road
- M/M Highway at Fidelity Bank/Transcorp Hotels
- Calabar Road at 11-11 Roundabout Way
- State Library Complex Road by M/M high
- Central Bank by former Navy clinic Road
- Big Qua Road by U. J. Esuene Stadium
- IBB Way by U. J. Esuene Stadium.