By Harris-Okon Emmanuel
A group of stakeholders in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Cross River State styled as the Concerned Indigenes of Cross River State has petitioned the national chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus over alleged undemocratic activities of Governor Ben Ayade in the state.
The stakeholders in the petition alleged among others that the governor has in his three years in office derailed from the path set by previous PDP governors to enthrone a regime of visionless leadership, people oriented programmes and calculated efforts at suppressing the party in the state.
The assertions articulated on behalf of the group by two of their chieftains, John Offiong and Bassey Ekpo were immediately dismissed by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Christian Ita who described the allegations as baseless noting that the petitioners were political hirelings who for consciously covered themselves from the governor’s achievements.
In their petition, they alleged among others that: “Governor Ayade inherited a stable polity based on an inclusive collegiate political system which had our values and culture as the bedrock of our politics. Right from the zonal to ward to chapter levels, accountability ensured an unfettered and seamless connection between the people and those elected to political offices resulting in a degree of cohesion and non-violence.
“Social and economic unified values, consistent and well-thought-out policies led to a stable and thriving economy with tourism and prudent management at the forefront, resulting in improved standards of living and quality of life for our people thanks to Governors Donald Duke and Liyel Imoke.
“Unlike the past Governors in reference, in the past 36 months plus, we have shifted away from visionary leadership, people-oriented policies, programs, projects and good governance. Additionally, prudence in public financial management and accountability that was institutionalized in the state is a thing of the past.
The petitioners also accused the governor of promoting insecurity “wilful destruction of the state’s political economy in favour of himself and family in the name of industrialization.”
“Prevalence of incompetence and maladministration alongside a failure to develop or care enough to sustainably implement proper policies, which has led to institutional failures in all sectors of the State.” “Subversion of all institutions and pillars of government including usurping the powers and budgets of all Commissioners while rendering his Deputy Governor jobless and powerless,” they claimed.
Dismissing the claims yesterday, Mr. Ita said:”Can a governor with over 4000 appointees, who like the civil servants are paid salaries even ahead of time be said to suppressing the state economy?
“Can a governor who has built 12 industries in three years and still counting, including the garment factory that has employed over 3000 workers, mostly women, and widows, be said to be suppressing an economy.
“On the recent victory, even the state chairman of the party issued a statement congratulating the governor.