Monday, 27 January 2020

Jalingo replies Ayade, says stop misleading the public about me,

A Coalition of Civil Society organizations known as Coalition To Free Agba Jalingo has responded to Governor Ben Ayade's first official comment to the Incarceration of Journalists Agba Jalingo. TDN reports. 

The group in a statement issued this morning in Calabar, called on the governor to decease from misleading the public with false information, stating that the Governor is playing the victim card and has continued in his usual manner of shaving Jalingo's head in his absence. 

While debunking most of the governor's claims in his viral official statement while addressing Newsmen in Abuja, the group called on the governor to back all his claims with evidence, stating that Ayade maybe entitled to his own opinion but must accompany such opinions with facts. 

The statement reads in full: 

For The Record: Ayade's Misleading Tale On Agba Jalingo

...Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts...
         - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Governor Benedict Ayade of Cross River State on Monday, in what may be his best media spin so far, tried to spurn a narrative by playing the victim card which has remained his best response to every obstacle he has faced, on a matter he seemingly lost control of.

We would have kept quiet but due to the fact he choose in a rather grandeur manner and for the umpteenth time, to shave Citizen Agba Jalingo's head in his absence, it is only proper we invite him back to properly dispose the hair that was cut; after all, he is a self acclaimed environmentalist.

In his characteristically eccentric approach, he contradicted himself several times and we intend he answers questions he left unattended in what seemed more of an outburst to please than to tell his own story.

 1. Mr. Ayade claimed Citizen Agba Jalingo is facing charges of treason and he admitted in Court. Mr. Governor Sir, when did that happen?

 2. He claimed that Citizen Jalingo, by virtue of his being a leader of a political party should not be regarded as a journalist. Where did that logic come from? 

3. Ayade at some point referred to himself as "a professor." Will a leader of a political party like himself remain a professor, a lawyer, a business man as he has always claimed? Is that not showing the world his thought process on double standards?

4. On the claims that he has been giving Citizen Jalingo monies and funding CrossRiverWatch - CrossRiverWatch launched on August 27, 2012 with an office along IBB way Calabar. Another office apartment was rented along Ndidem Usang-Iso road in 2013. Management and staff moved into the new office in 2014 while Mr. Ayade was still a Senator whom as a step to please former Governor Liyel Imoke, decided to  sponsor some of his supporters to open blogs and news portals with the sole aim of discrediting CrossRiverWatch for publishing reportage that was "perceived" to be anti-government. Mr. Ayade, is this a lie?

5. Mr. Ayade should explain how he has been feeding Jalingo from the 34 days he spent in Police custody as well as the 125 days he has spent in custodial service as none of his aides, allies, relatives have visited with food for him. He is bereft of how Citizen Jalingo has survived all through and remains in high spirits.

6. CrossRiverWatch uses an IVM G5 as it's official vehicle. When and how it was bought, Mr. Ayade does not know. He donated a Toyota Sienna vehicle before he assumed office as Governor to the Association of Cross River Online Journalists (ACROJ). The succeeding Chairmen and Secretaries have kept custody of the vehicle and Citizen Jalingo has never driven it for a day. So, which official vehicle did he buy for CrossRiverWatch or Citizen Jalingo?

7. His conflicting positions that he has no hand in the matter but choose to stay away and then later work with Citizen Jalingo's lawyers is an indictment on him. These inconsistencies only show someone trying to hide facts which he did while playing to the emotions of the people. How do you stay away from a matter and then turn around to claim you feed the accused?

8. Citizen Agba Jalingo has always asked Mr. Ayade to make public, all the monies he allegedly collected from him (Ayade), and the requests he made. That demand still stands or was he just hiding in plain sight? It behoves on Mr. Ayade who claims his benevolence is unmatched to come clean on his intent to spend more time discussing about a matter he claimed to have no idea about instead of his visit to President Muhammadu Buhari; or could it be blackmail?

9. It is interesting to note that in his article published in July 2019, where Citizen Jalingo asked the State to come clean on the whereabouts of the NGN500 million approved and released for the Cross River Microfinance Bank, a location where the money was allegedly siphoned was never mentioned. But, Mr. Ayade mentioned Russia in his interview - is that where the money went? The State is yet to answer this question and other questions asked by Citizen Jalingo.

10. Why has the Cross River State government remained the only source and reference of information for the reason of Citizen Jalingo's arrest? The Police has remained mute. Only the Governor and his aides have been claiming it was his participation in the #RevolutionNow movement.

11. He protested in Lagos against the Federal Government; why then did 3 out of the 4 charges filed on August 30th, 2019 alleged treason against the Cross River State government, toppling the Cross River State government and forcing to an end, in an undemocratic manner, the administration of Mr. Ayade? 

12. Why does the State Ministry of Justice keep sending a representative to appear in Court when the public has been barred from Jalingo's secret trial?

13. If Mr. Ayade truly viewed Citizen Jalingo as his brother, why has he not visited him since his incaceration? Let us assume but not concede that Ayade has been giving assistance to this his brother, is there any law or even in Obudu tradition where the duo come from that says if your brother who is a leader is perpetrating corruption, you ought to keep quiet?

14. Why are Ayade's aides seeking to arm twist Citizen Jalingo into collecting millions of Naira and appointment if only he signs terms of settlement to keep his mouth shut, eyes closed and ears covered to the shenanigans of public office holders in Cross River State?

15. There is no State in Nigeria where up to three journalists are facing trial at the same time with the situation best described as
feeling the hand of Esau but hearing the voice of Jacob. Also, since 2015, more journalists, dissenting voices and critics in Cross River state have faced one form of attack or the other than the decade preceding this time. Will Ayade dispute this? 

16. Will he also deny that he is the nominal complainant?

17. If he said he is of the opinion that Citizen Jalingo should be released, does that mean he admits that #JalingoIsInnocent? Or is that a subtle way of saying he lost control of the process he planned? Does this mean he is no longer liable to the crime he so claimed Jalingo committed?

18. Why say all these now? Is it because Jalingo will not be able to respond after all the mudslinging against him while he was a free man were never bought by the people?

19. So, clearly, it was easier to lock him up and hope the public swallows hook, line and sinker all the garbage spewed about Jalingo.

20. Mr. Ayade must have felt that it was becoming obvious and trite, his decision to use influencers to cast aspersion on Citizen Jalingo in order to change the minds of the people who see beyond his shenanigans; hence, the need to seize the opportunity when it presented (a visit to the State House) and leverage on his position to quickly prepare a broth which he forgot to stir and put down before leaving home.

21. For a man whose inconsistencies on policies and matters of governance and administration are well documented in the media, it is rather funny how he intends to be taken serious with these statements. 

22. This attempt to soak the feathers of the cock with spittle from a parched throat at best shows a man on the ball and at worst, a Governor trying to hit the hay due to frustrations. This too, shall pass.


Coalition To Free Agba Jalingo