20th February, 2015
The Chief Press Secretary to Governor Liyel Imoke of Cross River State, Mr. Chris Ita, has debunked allegations that the state’s economy has been mortgaged.
Ita told P.M.NEWS that the economy of the state has never been mortgaged as alleged and that those making such statements are only being petty for just no reason.
“I will appeal to the public not to be decived by cheap blackmail peddled by those that have so much benefited from this present government for reasons best known to them.
“ I will tell the truth which you may verify from National Bureau of Statistics. Cross River State’s economy has improved from 18th position to 7th across the state of the federation. The governor, Senator Imoke, has never and would never do anything contrary to the wish of the people,” he said.
For some time now, Cross River State’s economy has been alleged to be dwindling, leading to the protracted strike by workers at the state’s university, CRUTECH. With the elections at hand, the allegation is taking a further toll on the government of Imoke, whom the opposition has labelled as the ‘sole proprietor’ of Cross River State Government with all investments of the state being allegedly owned by the governor’s proxies.
The governorship candidate of Labour Party, Ntufam Fidelis Ugbo, made this allegation recently during one of his election rallies at Ugep, the headquarters of Yakurr Local Govt. Area of the state.
According to Ugbo, “Cross River State government is not for sale. I have been in the system and I know a lot which is not good for the citizens. So I have come to redeem the state from the sole proprietorship to public ownership. That is you, the people being in charge of the business and not the political class.”
Ugbo, until recently, was a key ally of Governor Imoke and one that was perceived to be anointed by the governor as governership candidate of PDP. But he defected to Labour Party, with Prof. Ben Ayade taking his place.