By Vena Ikem
It is interesting that as part of Gov Ayade’s survival strategy he yesterday made a presentation to one unsuspecting very senior member of the President Buhari’s government that his travails are as a result of his dogged support of APC in Cross River State which has pitched him against the Governors of APC in the South South zone and for which reason they have connived against him to the point of conspiring to remove him from office as Governor of Cross River State and so requires support of the federal Govt!
He followed this up with an attempt to visit justice Onoghen with Liyel Imoke, which visit was rebuffed as they could not gain access to see the respected judge for obvious reasons.
It is remarkable to note that this drowning man is not deterred in his usual tactics. The misinformed official did not hesitate and without any effort to confirm these wishy washy stories of the Gov went ahead to make robust promises he is not in a position to fulfill independent of other party leaders, apparently acting out of the obvious cash inducement that is all the signature of Gov Ayade
If he had bothered to seek the opinion of party leaders from Cross River State, of course he would have been appropriately informed that the Gov is anything but a liability on any party he joins right now. Having lost credibility on his platform and fearing the worse he has been doing the rounds offering money to anyone who offers to assist him hang onto an office he has so roundly desecrated in pursuit of self aggrandizement. It will interest this official to note that as Gov Ayade is on his knees begging him, so is he on his knees begging all those with access to Gov. Wike of Rivers state to forgive him for betraying the PDP, vowing never to do the same again as he was only misunderstood!
We understand that bursting from the euphoria and excitement of this promise Gov Ayade rose from kneeling down to confess that for the first time since the last supreme court sitting over his matter he will be able to sleep without the aid of sleeping pills!
Not so fast your Excellency! Whatever arrangements reached with this senior official of govt seems to have taken for granted the teeming supporters of the Party who risk isolation if the Gov is given privileges he does not deserve. In the first place who will guarantee his support within the APC? At a time when his own party members are already celebrating his imminent departure, is it the APC members he has been trampling underfoot that will provide the buffer for him to land after destroying everything the state holds dear? This certainly will not only be counter productive to the very fundamentals of democracy but the very idea of the change Agenda that the APC represents.
It is no longer news that Gov Ayade pocketed the money the federal government provided as bail out of salaries of public servants, a fact the President himself is well aware of, and the state govt is currently owing local govt staff 4 months salaries arrears while pretending in the press that he is not owing any salaries. It is an open secret that he diverted several months of federal allocation to his brother’s personal account for which his brother, Frank Ayade, popularly known and addressed as Co governor in Cross River State is being investigated by the EFCC.
It is also common knowledge that this is a Gov who hoodwinked the president into going to flag off a fraudulent super Highway with fanfare only as a prelude to scam unsuspecting foreign and local investors into a punzy scheme of multi million dollars while degrading our forest reserves by exploiting the timber resources in this virgin forest for personal commercial interests.
Is this what the CHANGE agenda will turn out to be? It is one thing to attempt to make the masses of our people to reason with the change Agenda and the problems of delivering on our promises. It is another thing entirely if we start embracing fraudulent political actors who believe that they can buy their way in all circumstances by buying up officials of govt with access to decision making no matter what financial crimes they commit.
Clearly Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State is a character to watch carefully. From the inception if his administration since 17 months now, nothing he has done has not been shadowed by fraud : the superhighway( which was dead on arrival) the garment factory( whose ownership is shadowed in mystery between private directors and state funds and no single staff contrary to claims of employment ) , the Green police (which existed only for the flag off as there is no sign whatsoever of such a force in the state) . In short in Cross River State today his uncommon convoy is greeted with “one chance governor”! , which insinuation is rather unwholesome, for the image of this administration, to say the least. You can please verify my assertions here.
Governor Ayade stands appropriately to be removed from office as governor if it is found that he falsified his basic documents like age declarations, not just once but three times!, as his Party has confessed before the Supreme Court that he was fielded in error, given the serial falsification of documents before the court!
What on earth would it profit APC to take over such a liability when he would not even qualify to recontest the election in such an eventuality? Are we so lacking in confidence in our own party members that we must take every and any rogue candidate instead of building our own? It is a prospect too mind-boggling to imagine.
In the last nine months the APC in Cross River State has grown from strength to strength, building daily and has attained great heights too dear for a fraudulent hijack of this nature! If anything, Gov Ayade will drive more people out of the Party, who ran away from him, back into PDP than he can ever attract or even carry over from PDP because of his signature in failure and opaque leadership that has been a litany of financial impropriety, maladministration, even fraud, to say the least.
Kindly investigate all claims being made here and you will only come up with the inevitable conclusion that they are all understatements to say the least.
Yes, it is good to have governors move into the party but, all governors are not just governors. Some are a shame to the name. Ayade unfortunately is one of those that no party can be proud to call one of its own, most of all, not the APC!
If we must even lose election, let us by all means lose with dignity!