Governor of Cross River State, Professor Benedict Ayade and his Deputy, Professor Ivara Esu, snubbed the federal government team led by Director General of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mustapha Ahmed.
Neither the governor nor his deputy bothered to receive the team nor honoured invitation to attend the flag- off of the distribution of agricultural inputs to farmers that were assessed to have suffered damages and losses during last year’s flood disaster.
The federal government team also included representative of the minister of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development, representative of secretary to the federal government of Nigeria and others.
Despite series of notifications through official channels, the team arrived Margaret Ekpo international airport Calabar Wednesday 29 September 2021 but there were only junior officers from the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to welcome the high-powered federal government officials.
According to some officials of the federal government team who pleaded not to be named, “the Cross River State government did not even care to send vehicles to convey us.”
They also said that if officials from their zonal office were not on ground ahead of their arrival in Calabar with their vehicles they would have been thoroughly embarrassed.
According to another female official, “We were told that the governor would not be disposed to receive us until after the flag off of the distribution of the Agricultural inputs we came to distribute to farmers in the state.
“This never held as he neither called to tell them nor apologize.
“The previous day, we were to have audience with the deputy governor upon arrival. We were abandoned in his mini Conference hall as we waited for him for more than an hour. Eventually, he did not come to receive us.
“We are very disappointed”, she told a journalist, asking whether the governor thought he was still in PDP that he would snub an APC federal government team in his state.
“If we knew we would receive this type of snubbish treatment we would have looked at another state which equally suffered flood disaster last year and then conduct the flag off ceremony there”.
Speaking, Okon Owuna said he came to the event in his official capacity as commissioner for Agriculture, and not to represent the governor. He however commended NEMA, assuring that the state government was happy for the agric inputs given to farmers in the state.
The state director general of SEMA, Princewill Ayim graced the event and also commended the NEMA team for selecting the state for distribution of the agrochemicals to farmers who suffered disaster during last year’s flood.
An official close to the governor said since the minister could not come in person it was not very proper for the governor to attend in person, which reason he sent a representative, too.