Wednesday, 23 June 2021

Defection saga: Southern Group calls Ayade to order over persecution of LG lawmakers





A pro Southern development group in Cross River State state known as Cross River State Southern Senatorial District Assembly has called on the governor of Cross River State to desist from political persecution of politicians who refused to defect with him to the All Progressives Congress. 

In a press statement signed by the chief of party, the group said the defection of politicians in the state is a healthy development for true democracy to thrive in the state as it has given room for a strong opposition to checkmate and critique the activities of government. 

The statement further condemned the hoodwinking and persecution of elected political office holders and citizens of Cross Riverians in a bid to force them to defect into the APC while frowning at the alleged seizure of salaries of Councillors, threat of appointees to either resign or get registered as members of the APC if they must be paid salaries.


The statement reads in full: 

1. The Cross River State Southern Senatorial District Assembly having keenly observed the recent spate of political activities in the state wishes to express concerns as it boarders on some alleged political persecution from the government of Cross River State on some elected officials of the third tiers of government.


2. In as much as we see the recent defection activities by members of the political class, especially those defecting from the People's Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress as a healthy development for true democracy to thrive in the state as it has given room for a strong opposition to checkmate and critique the activities of government, we want unequivocally condemn in all its entirety the hoodwinking and persecution of elected office holders or even Nigerians cum Cross Riverians in a bid to force them to defect into the APC. 


3. It should be noted that politics in itself is a game of interest or choice which allows for the expression of ones fundamental human right of Association. Therefore, the stoppage of salaries or political persecution of elected local government officials by the state government or chairmen of councils at the instance of the governor contradicts the ideals of democracy and should be resisted by well meaning Cross Riverians. 

4. Governor Ben Ayade had always preached politics with ethics, and this period of political exodus or separation has offered him one of those golden moments as an ethical politician to operate and observe ethnically. As an advocate of humanity, Ayade should ensure all areas in salaries and other entitlements owed or sized by government should be refunded to all affected. 


5. As a development driven group, we encourage anything that will not only attract development to our dear state and our people, to this end, we are calling on Cross Riverians to remain law abiding, avoid using misguided utterances that will jeopardize the current relative peace we now enjoy in the state. 


6. Finally let it be known that the Cross River State Southern Senatorial District Assembly frowns at the alleged seizure of salaries of Councillors, threat of appointees to either resign or get registered as members of the APC if they must be paid salaries. It is also alleged that some members of the Cross River State House of Assembly who have refused to Cross over with the governor are being denied some rights and privileges befitting their various offices. 

If these allegations are true, we call upon the government of the day to ensure these despicable acts are brought to a halt.






Signed on behalf of Cross River Southern Senatorial District 

Mr John Offiong 
Chief of party

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