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Ben Ayade1

Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade

The Cross River State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party has alleged that Governor Ben Ayade, was using cash and vehicles as gift to induce political appointees to defect with him to the All Progressives Congress.

State chairman of the PDP Caretaker Committee, Effiok Cobham, said this during a Press Conference, in Calabar, on Wednesday.

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Reading from a prepared text at the well-attended event, the party chairman said, “Upon decamping to APC Governor Ayade declared pompously that in Cross River once the Governor moves everyone follows.

“To Governor Ayade’s consternation and embarrassment, nobody followed. Governor Ayade has now adopted unconstitutional methods to compel his cabinet and appointees, and other public office holders to follow him to the APC against their choice of remaining in PDP.

“Members of the House of Assembly have been offered 30 million naira each and an SUV each if they agree to decamp. Commissioners in Ayade’s cabinet are being offered 3 million naira and a car each to defect to the APC. Local government chairmen and councillors are under threat of removal from office unless they defect.

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“All appointees of the governor have been instructed to produce their APC membership cards before they can receive salaries.”

He also alleged that “The defection of Governor Ayade to APC is to cost Cross Riverians N2 Billion naira. This is what Ayade needs to buy defectors from even his cabinet to follow him to the APC. Even this filthy lucre put forward by Governor Ayade is not enough

The PDP accused the governor of frittering the N19bn recently received from the Federal Government as part of refunds for roads constructed during the PDP administrations of Donald Duke and Liyel Imoke.

Cobham said, “We call on Governor Ayade to declare this N19 billion which is the single largest revenue flow to Cross River State since the creation of the state, and to apply same in infrastructure like rural roads, urban road network and water which

In response, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to Governor Ben Ayade, Christian Ita, dismissed the allegations against his principal.

In a statement he signed, Ita said, “There is no doubt that it will take the PDP, in Cross River State ages to overcome the shock and trauma suffered following the exit of His Excellency, Governor Ben Ayade from the party.

“While still reeling from Ayade’s masterstroke, the almost emptied PDP has been busy shopping for lies to confuse it sagging coterie of followers and at the same time flattering to deceive.

“It is against this backcloth that PDP’s claim that the governor paid N2bn to people to defect is as ludicrous as the claim that nobody has moved with the governor to APC.

“PDP, for all they care can go on consoling itself that nobody has moved, but it’s clear that more than 90 percent of the members of the State House Assembly, including the Speaker, are already in the APC.

“While the vanishing clan of PDP tells unwholesome lies about 18bn refund, it should also in good conscience tell Cross Riverians how the state incurred the indebtedness of over N300bn, thus making it the most indebted state in Nigeria. Clearly, the PDP in Cross River is on a free fall and on an uncontrollable hemorrhage.”


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