Resign Now, APC Tells Ayade, I Will Protect Lives and Property, Governor Assures
The Cross River State chapter of the All Progressive Congress (APC), on Monday advised the state governor, Prof Ben Ayade, to resign over the failure of his administration to secure the lives and property of the people of the state.
But in a swift reaction, Ayade assured of his readiness to deploy every resources at his disposal to safeguard the lives and people of the state.
The APC had accused the Ayade administration of orchestrating insecurity in the state with a view to creating a conducive environment towards attacking its members and break their determination to take over the state in 2019.
The APC stated this at in a press conference jointly addressed by its National Chairman ,South -south, Ntufam Hilliard Eta, and the party's State Acting Chairman, Mr. John Ochala.
The party chieftains alleged that "within the past one week, three prominent sons of the State have been seized by kidnappers who have taken control of parts of the state. "A chieftain of the APC, Senator Patrick, Chief Ededem Ita Edem, a former Special Assistant on Labour Matters and Mr. Patrick Obasse, a local government management staff in Etung.
"Only recently, armed robbers and cultists held the peace of the state by the jugular. While robbers even operated in broad day light, the wake of high scale cult clashes had all left a river of blood on the streets of our towns. Equally, as we speak, communities in the state have been engaging themselves in internecine conflicts, resulting in massive destruction of lives and properties.
"As a party, with time-tested concern for responsive and responsible governance, we are sad that our people in Cross River State can no longer be guaranteed the safety of their and properties and so while we condemn these nefarious tendencies of the criminals as well as communal violence by some rural communities in the state, we call on Senator Ben Ayade to show us governance or better still resign in the overall interest of the people of Cross River State. We do not have the least comfort in the present state of affairs in the land".
Accusing the Ayade administration of ploting to attack its members, the APC said: "The lack of governance exhibited by the Ayade's government could possibly be a smoke screen about an agenda that targets chieftains and members of the APC in the state to undo the party of its rising profile which has given the PDP sleepless nights.
The APC called for the impeachment of Ayade should he refuse to resign from office over his alleged misrule of the state and alleged violation of the constitution.
"We urge that the State House of Assembly to rise above their party and parochial sentiments by doing the State the favour of impeaching the governor.
"If the House of Assembly do not find any areas for which to indict and consequenlty impeach Ayade, we wish to point to them that the Governor has consistently stayed out of the State for a period longer than what the constittuion prescribes, without duly transmitting the reins of governance to his Deputy as prescribed by the relevant statutes.
"Issues related to Education, Housing, Agriculture, Health which are captured in the concurrent list and allow that states and federal government shared responsibilities are completely ignored by Ayade. In fact as we speak, Ayade has further proven his complete lack of that sense of aesthetics and hygiene as reflected in the poor sanitary condition of the state, thus negating that old tradition of cleanliness.
"All of these failures reveal clearly the fact that Ayade was not and is still not prepared for governance. This therefore informs our call for his impeachment by the House of Assembly in the event of his refusal to resign from office."
Demanding the immediate release of the abducted persons, the party said: "We urge the Police, DSS and other relevant agencies to expedite action in the release of abducted Cross Riverians. We urge Cross Riverians to be vigilant in the wake of this orchestrated criminality and report all appearance of such tendencies to the security agents for prompt action".
But Ayade, who gave the assurances of his readiness to guarantee safety of lives and property in Calabar when he undertook the inspection of the deployment of security operatives at strategic places around the Calabar metropolis, said his administration has responded fully to the threats of criminals.
This came barely 48 hours after he joined service commanders on Operation Show of Force, an exercise aimed at demonstrating the combat readiness of the joint military task force code named Operation Skolombo along major streets in the metropolis.
According to him, “we have responded fully to this challenge and I’m sure that we have seen sufficient signals that we are totally in control and fully in charge. The truth of the matter is that, if we have crisis in other states, visitors will probably still go there because of their oil and gas installations, but if we lose our tranquility, if we lose the name and heritage of Cross River State as a peaceful state, then we are gone. That is why I will give my right hand to protect that name, that integrity and warmth that we are known for.”
Reaffirming his willingness to totally eliminate all forms of criminality in the state, Ayade said: “Let me assure the good people of Cross River that I am the governor who leads from the front and that is why I physically do this every day and we are seeing drastic results. So, gradually, we are beginning to see peace return, as we begin to see calm return, then I shall move backward and allow security operatives to take full charge.”
The governor described perpetrators of the evil acts as enemies of the state who are bent on destabilizing the beauty, peace, tranquility and panache that the people of Cross River and indeed, Calabar is known.
He further stressed: “We can’t afford to have this happen. We will go after them, we will pursue them like a chronic plague that they are and we are going to get them out of this state sooner than they expect."
He assured the people of the state that “we have strong information as to their hideout; we have strong information as to their location. We do know that these people are not Cross Riverians, they are here to destabilize us and I would not allow that happen.
"As I said, we have specific instructions and clear directions, we have clear knowledge of the people, we are going after them and we shall go after them and we shall get them,” he further assured.
Offering insights into the enforcement of safety measures on Calabar waterways which have had its own bite of piracy and militancy activities in recent times, the governor explained: “I have just concluded an audit of the water ways; I am convinced and happy with what I have seen in terms of security distributions."
He lauded efforts of the security operatives for their efforts in containing the situation so far, saying “I am quite excited about the response by the Military and indeed all the para-military forces that have come together to arrest the situation and gradually Calabar is regaining its peace."
While apologizing to those assaulted by the miscreants at some points, Ayade said: “Please bear with us, things will get well soon; I already received strong and clear signals as you can see that normalcy is gradually returning. I am fully on ground and fully in charge, we shall overcome.”
He assured residents and visitors to the state, particularly investors of their safety and urged them to go about their legitimate businesses.