According to the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), which is also the former party of the Cross River State Governor Prof Benedict Ayade, the governor has been accused of misappropriating N19b state fund to woo his appointees to the All Progressives Congress (APC) where he decamped few days ago.
The party’s caretaker committee disclosed this during a media briefing at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), noting that he (Ayade) had refused to declare the money to the state. Chairman of the committee, Effiok Cobham, alleged that the governor was spending N2b from the recent refund of N19b for maintenance of federal roads undertaken by former governors of the state.
Cobham, a former Deputy Governor of the state, said Upon Ayade’s defection to the APC, “he declared that in Cross River once governor moves, everyone follows him, but his surprise and embarrassment nobody followed him.
“He has now adopted unconditional methods to compel members of his cabinet, appointees and other public office holders to join him in the APC against their wish.
“Ayade’s defection to APC is to cost Cross Rivers N2b. This is what Ayade needs to buy defectors from even his cabinet to follow him to APC. He can afford to spend N2b to fund his defection to APC, because he has ready cash from the N19b recently paid to the state as refund for federal road maintenance undertaken by former governors Donald Duke and Liyel Imoke,” he stated.
The party enjoined Ayade to declare the N19b, being the largest revenue inflow to the state since its creation, urging him to use the money for infrastructure, especially on rural and urban road networks, as well as water, which are more beneficial the people.
On the invasion of the party secretariat, the PDP accused the APC of carting away vital documents and register of party members, a development it described, as “illegal, immature politics, unnecessary provocation.”