By Christian George
The governor of Cross River State, Ben Ayade, has refuted the report of ordering the closure of shops belonging to all non indigenes in the 18 local government area of the state over their massive vote for Labour Party on the February 25 general elections.
According to Daily Post, an unsigned statement was circulated on Saturday in parts of major towns in the state, announcing that the APC leadership in the state has ordered council chairmen to lock up shops of non-indigenous traders in Cross River State.
Watt Market, Marian Market, Ikom Market, as well as those in Ogoja and Obudu were a few of the markets said to have been ordered to shutdown.
In an sms to an Igbo leader in the State who had contacted the Governor, Ayade replied that, “It’s a horrible blackmail from the pit of hell.”
Chief Okoi Obono-Obla, a spokesperson for APC campaign council in the state said, “this is bunkum, balderdash, ludicrous, ridiculous, blatant falsehood, infantile, vile, and malicious propaganda by the fragmented and morally bankrupt PDP and its allies who are at the forefront of the agitation to divide Nigerians along sectarian lines to grab power through inferior methods.”
The statement which called for the governor’s reaction reads:
“The APC leadership blames non-indigenes in the state for the failure of Governor Ben Ayade and Ntufam Edim Inok at the polls in the just concluded election.
“We cannot continue to tolerate indigenes, especially Igbo traders in Cross River State, working against the APC. But for the ‘stranger elements’ in Calabar Municipality, especially the Igbo people, that voted overwhelmingly for Labour Party, Ntufam Edim Inok should have won the Reps seat of Odukpani/Calabar Municipality. Now, we are aware that there is another grand plot by this stranger elements to vote out APC as a form of protest against INEC for declaring Bola Ahmed Tinubu, President-elect.
“Council Chairmen are to direct all non-indigenous traders to vote APC or risk their shops being locked up.”