Ben Ayade withholds salaries of Chairmen, legislators, others who didn’t Decamp with him
The salaries and allowances of some political office holders in Cross River have been withheld due to political reasons.
It was gathered that the decision not to pay the political office holders, which include state lawmakers, councillors and chairmen, their May salaries, was based on their refusal to follow Governor Ben Ayade to the All Progressives Congress.
It can be recalled that the sitting Governor who contested and won the 2015 elections under the platform of the People’s Democratic Party recently decamped to the ruling APC.
When interviewed, one of the PDP Caretaker Chairman, Barr Effiok Cobham described the situation as unfortunate. He noted that salaries are the only source of livelihood for these people.
“It is criminal to seize elected officers’ salaries and allowances for not defecting to APC with you. It is true that all benefits and entitlements due PDP legislators at the Assembly and some councillors have been stopped because they are keeping faith with their party.
“The Governor is not paying from his pocket. He has even collected the official cars allocated to some of the legislators. The councillors are being threatened and harassed daily, thereby putting fears into them.
“Well, we as a party would not fold our hands and allow our members to be humiliated just because they refused to join Ayade in APC. We shall seek redress in a competent court of law soon.”
A source at the Assembly Complex in Calabar who pleaded anonymity disclosed that the total amount due the members was in the tune of N11m which includes their allowances of N1.5m each and N200, 000 each for their legislative aides.
The affected lawmakers are Rt.Hon Fred Osim (Ikom I), Okpechi Gabreil (Obubra I), Nelson Ofem ( Yakurr I), Elizabeth Ironbar (Akpabuyo), Efa Esua ( Municipality) and Itam Abang ( Boki I).
However, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Honourable Jones Eteng said that he was unaware of the situation, insisting that all the salaries of all House members have been paid up to date.