By Nsan Ndoma-Neji, Calabar
Cross River State Governor Ben Ayade yesterday reacted to the allegations by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, against the the governor that he collected N19 billion road repairs refunds from the Federal Government without using the money for purposes other than the common good of the people of the state.
Speaking in Calabar through his Special Adviser on Media Publicity/Chief Press Secretary, CPS, Christian Ita, shortly after the PDP new Caretaker Committee in Cross River State, led by former Deputy Governor, Mr. Efiok Cobham, Ayade stated that the money was N18 billion and not N19 billion as claimed by the opposition party.
The PDP caretaker committee had on Wednesday afternoon addressed a press conference, lambasting Ayade for converting the PDP Secretariat in Calabar to APC’s two days after defection to the APC.
Ayade denied ever concealing the true figures of what he collected from the Federal Government as refunds for repairs of federal roads in the state, adding that the figure disclosure had never being an issue.
He stressed that the figures are now suddenly being bandied and extrapolated by PDP mourners to score cheap political points immediately he left the party.
The statement from Ayade’s CPS, Mr. Ita, alleged that what was received by Ayade as refunds for road maintenance from the Federal Government was well documented.
Ita stated, “From the well documented figure of N18 billion, wailing wailers of PDP, apologies to Femi Adesina, have now found it convenient to juggle the figure all in a bid to blackmail and incite the public against the governor.
“Therefore, while the vanishing clan of PDP tells unwholesome lies about 18 billion refund, it should also in good conscience tell Cross Riverians how the state incurred the indebtedness of over N300 billion, 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.”
Ita urged the PDP caretaker committee members to stop not crying over spilled milk, adding that all the lies being peddled in several quarters just to bring Ayade’s hard end reputation into disrepute would do Ayade no harm.
Lampooning the PDP for over stepping its bounds, Ita added that they were the ones who caused the governor to leave the party for them, stressing that it will take the PDP in Cross River State ages to overcome the shock and trauma it suffered following the exit of Ayade from the party.
Ita stressed that the continuous grieving of the PDP shows clearly how much of an asset Ayade was to the party, adding that it would take the PDP a long time for the wounds to healed.
He said, “In its grief, the PDP seeks recourse in mendacity, but this will not mitigate their huge and monumental loss.”