Tongues are wagging in Cross River State over the conspicuous absence of state governor, Ben Ayade, at the high profile burial of Emmanuel Edem, a retired Air Vice Marshal of the Nigerian Air Force, this past weekend in Calabar, www.calitown.com has gathered.
Edem’s funeral service held at the Presbyterian Church, Hope Waddell Parish, had an unprecedented number of top serving and retired military officers and security personnel in attendance but not the Chief Security Officer of the host state, Ben Ayade. While it was disclosed to www.calitown.com that Ayade was officially written to and informed of the programme of events and attendant internment, his reply and visible participation came in the condolence message sent to the deceased family. “I sighted the governor’s entourage heading to his garment factory, when it was obvious that the military high command from far and wide had flown into Calabar to honour a high calibre Cross Riverian and an air force officer of the rarest breed. I will call it insensitivity on the governor’s part to have busied himself with the garment factory instead of play host to all those who came; a real politician will cease an opportunity like this to consolidate old friendships and cultivate and maintain new ones, regrettably he thought otherwise and I feel bitter” one source maintains.
Unconfirmed sources also claim that after the burial, former governor Liyel Imoke who sought to find out why Ayade was absent got a shocker when Ayade maintained to him that, “I do not know the man”, forcing Imoke speechless.
But a source close to the governor maintained to www.calitown.com that “if Governor Ayade is not at a function and his deputy is there, we all know that this technically means he is/was present. Let us stop stoking fires of hatred. Platforms like www.calitown.com must continuously strive to be objective and unbiased in how events and issues are reported. If people have elected to hate our hardworking governor, we can only ask that they do not misinterpret even the governor’s cough and claim he farted. It is appalling.”
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