Allegations and counter-allegations trailing the alleged looting of N100 billion by the Godwin Ayade-led administration published by an online investigative news medium (PointblankNews) has taken another dimension as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the governor are trading tackles over facts and figures.
The Cross River State government has since denied any involvement in such, describing the PDP as rumour mongers who should focus more on the challenges bedeviling it.
The state government also revealed that the allegations were not only baseless but untrue, adding that Cross River has received as statutory net allocation N115 billion from May 2015 to December 2021.
PDP has however issued a press statement corroborating Pointblanknews.com report which alleged that Governor Ben Ayade had looted the state treasury to the tune of N100 billion.
However, in a swift response, the deputy chief press secretary to Governor Ayade, Mr Linus Obogo, described the allegations as laughable, stressing that the claim by the PDP was a display of crass ignorance.
His words: “A further reinforcement of PDP’s sloth is its ignorance or mischief at peddling falsehood about revenue allocations to states which are published religiously.
“A thorough research would have saved the party the embarrassment of not realising that between May 2015 and December 31, 2021, Cross River’s net statutory allocation stood at about N115 billion.
“So, if N100 billion was allegedly stolen, how was the state able to execute projects, clear pensions, pay salaries and meet other financial obligations? Governor Ayade must be a magician.
“We have always known that the PDP and its coven of clowns are adept at copy and paste as they lack the vigour of rigorous research. How it got to this low in advertising raw ignorance on a scale it did with the “online news” hogwash beats the imagination.
“When the PDP keeps making references to workers retiring and not getting their pensions, it forgets so soon that when Ayade came on May 29, 2015, Cross River was in default of about three years of gratuities and pensions.
“Against this backdrop, therefore, we advise the party not to forget the age-long wise counsel: ‘He who lives in a glass house should not hurl stones.’
“Rather than dissipate energy trying to impeach the character of Governor Ayade and his government, as a civil and serious-minded government, we like to urge the PDP to concentrate on solving the hydra-headed and multi-faceted problems in its fold.”
Recall that the PDP had accused Governor Ben Ayade of allegedly embezzling about a N100 billion from the state’s treasury.
“The attention of our great party, the Peoples Democratic Party, has been drawn to a very serious, indicting, incriminating and mind-boggling investigation by an online news medium wherein the governor, His Excellency, Senator Ben Ayade, reportedly looted our state treasury to the tune of over N100billion using three private companies, close family members and allies.”
The PDP added that Cross Riverians were eager to know what had happened to their treasury.
In a statement made available to newsmen by the party’s state publicity secretary, Prince Mike Ojisi, they called on the EFCC, ICPC as well as other agencies to do a thorough investigation into the matter.
“Can the incoherent political vuvuzela give a holistic explanation to the above-mentioned facts, as Cross Riverians are eager to know what happened to our state treasury and commonwealth?
“While we await further explanations from the government of Gov. Ayade even when we know that none will come, we call on all anti-crime agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria, including the EFCC, ICPC, FIIB, etc to thoroughly investigate these allegations so that they are not swept under the carpet as usual.
“As a political party, The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will further take all appropriate steps to ensure that we equally as stakeholders in the Cross River State project file a petition on all issues with all said authorities to ensure that nobody is intimidated into silence and submission as has been the case ad infinitum,” they stated.
Pointblanknews.com had in a recent report exposed how Gov Ayade looted the state treasury to the tune of over N100BN using three private companies, family members and allies.