On Ben Ayade’s Inherited ₦400billion Debt: Cross River PDP Fires Back At APC Chairman
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Cross River State Chapter has reacted to a statement made by the Cross River State chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Alphonsus Eba.
According to Eba, the State Governor, Ben Ayade inherited a total debt of ₦400billion from the previous administration.
Reacting to the statement, the PDP said:- “On Tuesday, 14th December 2021, the Chairman-elect of the broom-wielding All Progressive Congress, Alphonsus Eba, in a bid to ingratiate his taskmaster, sent out a laughable, obnoxious, mendacious, and unbelievably nauseating claim into the media space. The Stopgap Chairman-elect in an ill-fated press conference tried to earn his keep in his effort to comfort the failure-laden administration of Ben Ayade by making unfathomable assumption of Ben Ayade inheriting an imaginary sum of Four Hundred Billion Naira (#400billion) from previous administrations”.
To say that the above claim credited to Alphonsus Eba-who save for partisanship and mischief ought to know better- is utterly insensitive, bemusing, reprehensible and unbecoming, would be an understatement, it’s a sheer figment of Alphonsus’ imagination. For the records, the debt inherited by Ayade from past administrations is not anywhere close to #400billion.
Statistically speaking, according to the report released by *Debt Management Office*, as at December 31 2015. Cross River State had a Domestic Debt Profile of *One Hundred and fifteen billion five hundred and twenty two million two hundred and fifty two thousand fifty seven Naira* (#115,522,252,057). As at *June 30th 2021*, Cross River State has a domestic debt profile of *One Hundred and Sixty One Billion Five Hundred and Forty Six Million Six Hundred and Eighty Five Thousand four hundred and twenty nine naira (#161,546,685,429)*
From the above statistics, one wonders how Alphonsus Eba arrived at the obnoxious claim of #400billion naira. For a government that claimed not to have borrowed a dime, one wonders how the domestic debt profile of Cross River State grew from *#115,522,252,057* to *#161,546,685,429* despite Bailout funds from Federal Government, Paris Refund and Internally Generated Revenues. Who then is responsible for the additional debt? While Ayade claims not to have incurred any debt, he has consistently collected the loans offered by the Federal Government including, especially loans to pay workers retirement benefits, running in excess of #20billion, which he has grossly misappropriated. It is on record that not all the states collected those loans because it was clearly spelt out that such loans were repayable loans.
Judging from the above, it’s either Alphonsus Eba is suffering from self-induced selective amnesia or he’s apparently being mischievous. As a party, we understand that the situation in Cross River State is critical, we are abreast with the reality that the state is currently financially comatose but we frown at the calculated attempt by Alphonsus Eba and his coevals aimed at dishing out mistruth to the public, just to gaslight responsible and rational Cross Riverians. We also have it on good authority that the Ben Ayade’s administration has perfected plans to siphon the #18billiom bailout fund from Federal Government meant for payment of pension, gratuity and salaries. We enjoin Ben Ayade to borrow a leaf from his colleague, Prof. Zulum of Borno State, who cleared all outstanding pensions, gratuities and salaries with the #12billion bailout fund received from Federal Government.
We call on all Cross Riverians of good conscience to rise and speak against this devilish orchestration and shenanigans by Alphonsus Eba and his co-travellers. We must resuscitate Alphonsus Eba from his seeming selective amnesia. As DG Due Process and Price Intelligence bureau, one expect Alphonsus Eba to be intelligent enough to know the debt profile of Cross River State prior to 2015.
Nevertheless, we call on Cross Riverians to join and register with PDP as we collectively strive to rescue Cross River State from the strangulating grip of Ben Ayade’s led avaricious Government.
As always, the party is open to receiving rational Cross Riverians into the umbrella party, as we are confident that there Shall be light at the end of the tunnel.
God bless Cross River State.
Prince Mike Ojisi
(State Publicity Secretary)