By Nsan Ndoma-Neji, Calabar
Special Assistant, SA, to Cross River State Governor Ben Ayade, on Technical Matters, Comrade Ochui Agbor Ochui, yesterday expressed shock at the deriding comments made by former governor of the state, Mr. Donald Duke against incumbent governor, Prof Ayade, in a video released during one of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, campaign rallies in the state.
Reacting to the video, now making the rounds on the social media and being circulated by Duke’s supporters, where in Duke stated that Ayade was a total stranger who came from elsewhere to savour the goodies of Cross River politics,
Ochui condemned the former governor for statements credited to him in the video.
Duke castigated Ayade in the video, accusing the Cross River State governor of acquiring fake university/professorial degrees.
In the said video, Duke also accused Ayade of taking the state anti-clockwise 30 years back from where he met the state as governor years ago.
Duke said in the video that Governor Ayade is a total stranger who they mistakenly supported and allowed to walk into the Government House in 2015 to lead the state as governor, a comment which didn’t really go well with Ayade’s staunch supporters and other ardent supporters of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, in the state.
Irked by the development, Ayade’s aide on Technical Matters, Comrade Ochui castigated Duke for his deregatory comments, which according to Ochui were an aspersion cast to lower governor Ayade’s reputation, and cause others to avoid and shun him and incite people of the state against the sitting governor, a position he said Duke also enjoyed in the past without any hitch.
He said, “You dare not cough when Mr. Duke was the state governor and you learn the bitter lesson for daring to make a derogatory comment against the person of Governor Duke when he sat on the saddle as governor of the state.
“Unfortunately today, he is trying to incite the people against the administration of Governor Ayade, who had work relentlessly to ensure that the state is transformed from conventional civil service state to an industrialized state, where the private sector can engage young people roaming the streets of the state.
“I have not said that Ayade is a saint, neither have I said that he is perfect, but the way and manner these people are behaving, they behave as if they are saints.
“Right from the day Governor Ayade pronounced that the back to South agenda was going to hold water, hatred against him increased. Come to think of it, what value did these people castigating Ayade brought to the state that Ayade has not brought?”
Challenging former Governor Duke to show the people of the state any of the lofty projects executed by him, which is at the moment generating income into the state coffers, other than the bougous Tinapa Business and Resort project that dragged the state into huge debt, which Governor Ayade had in the last eight years been battling to defray.
Ochui blasted the former governor of the state for daring to use abusive language on a sitting state governor, and charged the former governor to respect an office that he once served, where any one who dared him had himself to blame.
He continued, “I used to think that Duke was a great leader, little did I know that he could stoop so low to rain all sorts of abuse on a sitting governor.
“Wasn’t it during his tenure that Bakassi was ceded to neighbouring Cameroon? If Bakassi was ceded in the tenure of Ayade, heaven would had fallen.”