Ayade appoints SAs on groundnut, yam, water supply, 32 others

With barely nine months to the end of his administration, Ben Ayade, governor of Cross River State, has approved appointments of 35 new aides, including special assistants (SAs) on water supply, groundnut processing, fertiliser supply, food storage, yam export, and dry season farming.

The announcement of the new appointments has drawn instant criticism from the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, which described it as unnecessary and a waste of limited resources that could be channelled into cleaning the dirty streets of Calabar, the state capital, and pay retirement benefits of pensioners.

Governor Ayade, who was elected into office on the platform of the PDP, defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), in 2021. But Ayade said the appointees will add value to this administration.

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A statement dated August 15 and signed by Linus Obogo, the deputy chief press secretary to the governor, which was sighted by BusinessDay in Calabar, stated that the appointments take immediate effect.

The appointment which cuts across various ministries of the state, including agriculture, communication, culture and tourism, among others, according to the government, will take many off the streets, thereby reducing unemployment in Cross River State.

The appointees are drawn from the three senatorial districts of the state to join hands with the state governor to move the state forward.

John Edem, a chieftain of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, described the appointment as “unnecessary” as “the appointees have nothing to offer but to pester the economy of the state.”

Edem stated that resources that could be used to solve problems like cleaning the streets of the state capital, payment of retired civil servants, and implementation of workers’ promotion, are rather wasted on appointments that have little or no value to the ailing economy of the state.

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