Anxiety over Cross River Governor’s health, whereabouts

Posted by Nsa Gill | 4 April 2018 | 3,535 times

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•Governor Ayade

Prof. Ben Ayade, governor of Cross River State, has been out of the state for over 30 days without a formal communication to the state House of Assembly.

This has prompted reactions from the opposition party in the state, the All Progressives Congress (APC), which Tuesday chided the governor for abandoning his official duty post for a private jamboree.

Senior citizens in the state have also raised concern over the absence of the governor and his regular disappearing acts.

Mens Ikpeme, Publicity Secretary of the APC, also condemned the state legislature for failing in their duty to hold the governor and the executive accountable.

John Gaul-Lebo, Speaker of the House of Assembly, in his response to the governor’s long absence in the state, argued that the governor had not breached any constitutional provisions for being out of the state for long.

Gaul-Lebo denied any plot or consideration of impeachment against the governor for his long absence without formal communication to the House.

He added that it was only when the governor was embarking on an annual leave or on a sick leave that he was bound to write and officially inform the House.

A member of the House told DAILY INDEPENDENT that Governor Ayade has severally breached the constitution and committed impeachable offences but that the speaker had always been the albatross thwarting every legislative move against the governor.

Utum Eteng, a senior lawyer, noted that the state governor, Prof Ben Ayade, had been absent from the state since the first week of March 2018, and wondered what actually was the state of his health.

Eteng said: “It is terribly unconstitutional and unfortunate that the governor can behave in a state as if there are no people who have seen the federal constitution.

“The state Assembly has not done their work as it should be. They are more like a lame duck.

“They do not know their role. How can they keep quiet in the face of flagrant violation of the constitution! So much has gone wrong in the Cross River Assembly.”

He added: “As the number one citizen of the state, his state of health should be of public knowledge.

“The people have the right to know where and when the governor leaves or is in the state. It is not legal but moral right for the people to be kept abreast of what goes on or how their governor governs them.”

When asked, Secretary to the State governor, Tina Agbor, said she, too, was not in town and could not comment on the whereabouts of her principal.

But Rosemary Archibong, Commissioner for Information, said it was wrong for the press to use the word whereabouts as if the governor was missing.

“The governor should be on his way back from his official trip to China and India where he signed business MoU and attracted more investments to the state,” the commissioner said.

Governor Ayade has embarked on numerous foreign trips since coming into office on May 29, 2015, most of which are often said to be part of his investment drive that purportedly yielded the signing of various pacts with foreign investors.

However, the recent statistics released by the federal office on foreign direct investments in the country shows that Cross River State has not been able to attract any foreign investment since the inception of Governor Ayade’s administration.

The last public assignment Ayade attended was the grand formal reception in his honour by the Cross River North Senatorial District where he hails from. (DAILY INDEPENDENT)

Source: News Express

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