By Edem Edem, Calabar
National Vice Chairman of All Progress Congress (APC) South South, Ntufam Hilliard Etagbo Etta has called on Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River state to tell the people of the state what he has used the 160million US Paris fund recently giving to states by the Federal Government as the state was still wallow in poverty and debts, with unpaid pensioners and local government workers and no ongoing rehabilitation of infrastructural facilities.
Speaking with our correspondent in Calabar, the APC Chieftain said that the governor should publicly declare that he has collected the 160 million US Dollars from the Federal Government to calm frayed nerves.
He said the fund was outside the normal federal allocation to states, “This fund is outside the normal federal allocation to the state. This one just happens to be an unforeseen largess from the federal government. This should help the state to defray outstanding debts and other bills, which have become a disgrace to the state.
“We must ask him to declare it publicly. Is he thinking that we do not have people in this state to challenge him? The head of service of the federation, the chief justice of Nigeria, the senior special assistant to the president on prosecution, the chief of naval staff, the minister of Niger Delta ministry, the chairman of NDDC, the national vice chairman of APC, etc, are all from Cross River State, So we have the people to do that”
“These people were appointed by APC govt…So how dare he think that he can blindfold the state and refused to explain to us with the money. Remember it was called bail out funds from the federal government.
“Since he collecting this money, pensioners have not been paid, no projects have been executed, local government workers are not paid and nothing has changed.
On the sale of National Museum and Monuments in the state, the APC Chieftain expressed dissatisfaction and said it was regrettable.
“ Let me inform you that the National Museum and Monument sits on the lands that my grandfathers ceded to the federal government. Gov Ayade will not buy our land. Even if he uses the coercive powers of the state to sell it or buys it, we will make sure that we get it back”.
Assessing Governor Ayade’s 24 months in office, Ntufam Etta stated that the government has performed far below par when compared with the administration of former governor Donald Duke. “Between 2002 and 2007, stating that the Federal Office of Statistics confirmed then that the state was the fastest growing economy in Nigeria. Today we should be competing with Bornu and Sambia forests…”